Learning from (video) modeling examples in which a model demonstrates how to perform a task is an effective instructional strategy. The model-observer similarity (MOS) hypothesis postulates that (perceived) similarity between learners and the model in terms of age or expertise moderates the effectiveness of modeling examples. Findings have been mixed, however, possibly because manipulations of MOS were often associated with differences in example content and manipulations of (perceived) expertise confounded with age. Therefore, we investigated whether similarity with the model in terms of age and putative expertise would affect cognitive and motivational aspects of learning when the example content is kept equal across conditions. Adolescents (N = 157) watched a short video in which a peer or adult model was introduced as having low or high expertise, followed by two video modeling examples in which the model demonstrated how to troubleshoot electrical circuit problems. Results showed no effects of putative expertise. In contrast to the MOS hypothesis, adult models were more effective and efficient to learn from than peer models.

Example-based learning, Expertise, Instructional video, Model-observer similarity, Observational learning
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.02.004, hdl.handle.net/1765/83207
Learning and Instruction
Department of Psychology

Hoogerheide, V, van Wermeskerken, M, Loyens, S.M.M, & van Gog, T.A.J.M. (2016). Learning from video modeling examples: Content kept equal, adults are more effective models than peers. Learning and Instruction, 44, 22–30. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.02.004