The Compound Area of Quadrilaterals and Triangles: A Worked Example Based Learning Design

Endah Retnowati, Nindy Fadlila


Complex yet hierarchical mathematical material in fact does not mean that the process of schema acquisition and accommodation in long-term memory is easy. For an instance, year seven students learn to solve problems related to the compound area of quadrilaterals and triangles. This problem may be categorized as a well-structured problem, therefore, it might be procedurally obvious to reach the solution, for those who have possessed sufficient prior knowledge of the aspects of the shapes. This study aims to discuss instructional strategy for novices when learning to solve problems like these. Based on a cognitive load theory, the strategy of worked example could be applied effectively for novices. The design of the worked example must be presented in such a way it could minimize extraneous cognitive load. The composite shapes of quadrilateral and triangles might be challenging to be described in an integrated format to avoid the split attention effect. This paper shows how this can be done by using techniques, such as (1) number sequences of the solution steps; (2) different colors for prompting attention resource; (3) less wording, more procedure application; and (4) consistency of layout within overall material. In order to apply these, the instructional designers should follow ADD steps, (1) Analyze the learning content, arrange them accordingly; (2) Design one worked example, evaluate its accuracy and niche; and (3) Develop into several worked example pairs. Two worked example with paired problems have been successfully developed and declare valid. Eventually, it might be suggested that comprehensive consideration when designing worked example that contain pictures should reflects how students use their cognitive resource during learning.


Worked example; Compound area; Cognitive load.

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