Psychology of Instruction:
  Using Examples in Teaching

     It may be a very good idea to use a number of
examples in teaching.  Providing examples of concepts
may help students learn and understand concepts.  In
Balch's study (2005), all the students received a booklet
with definitions of psychology terms.  Students either
received repeated definitions of the terms, or an
elaboration.  There were three types of elaboration. (1)   
One of the types of elaboration involved a specific
example.  The students took a multiple-choice test with
both definition and example questions.   Balch found that
students who received examples of the psychology terms
performed better on both types of questions than students
who received only the repeated definitions.
Using examples in teaching may be one of the effective
teaching strategies for improving comprehension.


1.  There were three elaboration conditions in this study
(paraphrase, example, and mnemonic).  See Balch (2005)
for more information about these conditions and other


Balch, W. R. (2005).  Elaborations of Introductory
  Psychology Terms:  Effects on Test Performance
  and Subjective Ratings.  
Teaching of Psychology,
32, 29-34.