Learning from Erroneous Examples: When and How do Students Benefit from them?

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • Dimitra Tsovaltzi
  • Erica Melis
  • Bruce McLaren
  • Ann-Kristin Meyer
  • Michael Dietrich
  • Giorgi Goguadze
We investigate whether erroneous examples in the domain of fractions can help students learn from common errors of other students presented in a computer-based system. Presenting the errors of others could spare students the embarrassment and demotivation of confronting their own errors. We conducted lab and school studies with students of different grade levels to measure the effects of learning with erroneous examples. We report results that compare the learning gains of three conditions: a control condition, an experimental condition in which students were presented with erroneous examples without help, and an experimental condition in which students were provided with additional error detection and correction help. Our results indicate significant metacognitive learning gains of erroneous examples for lower-grade students, as well as cognitive and conceptual learning gains for higher-grade students when additional help is provided with the erroneous examples, but not for middle-grade students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th European conference on Technology enhanced learning conference on Sustaining TEL : from innovation to learning and practice
EditorsMartin Wolpers, Paul A. Kirschner, Maren Scheffel, Stefanie Lindstaedt, Vania Dimitrova
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationHeidelberg, Berlin
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)3642160190, 978-3-642-16019-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-16020-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning - EC-TEL 2010 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 28.09.201001.10.2010
Conference number: 5

    Research areas

  • Mathematics - Erroneous examples, Empirical studies, fractions misconceptions, adaptive learning, Metacognition