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The learner control principle is that giving learners control over their instruction by allowing them to pace, sequence, and select information aids learning if learners possess high levels of prior knowledge and if they receive additional instructional support to orient themselves in the learning environment and to self-regulate their learning. Learner control has been suggested to afford an active, constructive processing of instruction, to increase and sustain the motivation to learn, to enhance the acquisition of self-regulatory skills, and to enable learners to adapt instruction to their preferences and needs. Despite these envisioned benefits, there is little empirical evidence supporting these claims, which is largely because these benefits are overwritten by the additional cognitive and metacognitive demands learner control imposes.
Worked examples consist of a problem formulation and the final solution. This chapter elaborates on the worked examples principle. Example-based multimedia learning environments typically provide multiple representations and information sources. Coordinating the use of these multiples poses substantial demands on learners. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning of R.E. Mayer and the cognitive load theory of J. Sweller and colleagues both emphasize that learning processes are highly vulnerable to extraneous demands in multimedia based learning arrangements. Findings on worked examples provide a very striking confirmation of these assumptions. Three major limitations refer to restricted knowledge about learning from worked examples in classrooms, the boundary conditions of the instructional principles, and their interrelations. The chapter also outlines a set of instructional principles that usually lead to enhanced learning outcomes. More theoretical and empirical analyses are necessary to gain profound understanding of how the interplay between these principles works.