One of the big differences between experts and novices in any domain is the facility with which they distinguish what is critical from what is unimportant or irrelevant. Since experts quickly recognize the most important features in information, they allocate their time efficiently, quickly identifying what is valuable and finding the right “hooks” with which to assimilate the most valuable information into existing knowledge. As a consequence, one of the most effective ways to make information more accessible is to provide explicit cues or prompts that assist individuals in attending to those features that matter most while avoiding those that matter least.
- Highlight or emphasize key elements in text, graphics, diagrams, formulas
- Use outlines, graphic organizers, unit organizer routines, concept organizer routines, and concept mastery routines to emphasize key ideas and relationships
- Use multiple examples and non-examples to emphasize critical features
- Use cues and prompts to draw attention to critical features
- Highlight previously learned skills that can be used to solve unfamiliar problems