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Effects of Cueing and Collaboration on the Acquisition of Complex Legal Skills

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British Journal of Educational Psychology Volume 76, Number 3, ISSN 0007-0998


Background: To overcome the "teacher bandwidth problem" in supporting large groups of students, both automated process support (cueing) and face-to-face feedback by peers during small group work (collaboration) can be provided to students. Aim: The purpose of this experimental study was to examine whether a multimedia practical containing cueing could be effectively combined with peer feedback to support the acquisition of the complex skill of preparing a plea in court. Sample: In the context of a regular court practical, 50 junior law students at a Dutch university individually studied a multimedia practical and participated in small group discussions about intermediate learning outcomes of the practical. Method: The study examined the effects of cueing and collaboration on training outcomes and transfer pleas, and on cognitive activity during collaboration, by combining the multimedia practical and small group collaboration to support the complex task of preparing a plea in court. Results: Both cueing and collaboration positively influence training outcomes, with participants without cueing benefiting most from additional collaboration. Transfer plea scores reveal a positive effect of collaboration but a negative effect of cueing. Analysis of discussions during small group collaboration reveals a negative effect of cueing on the level of cognitive activity. Conclusion: Peer feedback during small group work indeed appears to be a feasible option to be combined with or (partially) substitute individualized cueing when training complex learning tasks.


Hummel, H.G.K., Paas, F. & Koper, R. (2006). Effects of Cueing and Collaboration on the Acquisition of Complex Legal Skills. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(3), 613-631. Retrieved October 20, 2020 from .

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