Scheduling scaffolding: The extent and arrangement of assistance during training impacts test performance

Jonathan G. Tullis, Robert L. Goldstone, Andrew J. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Various kinds of assistance, including prompts, worked examples, direct instruction, and modeling, are widely provided to learners across educational and training programs. Yet, the effectiveness of assistance during training on long-term learning is widely debated. The authors examined how the extent and schedule of assistance during training on a novel mouse movement task impacted unassisted test performance. Learners received different schedules of assistance during training, including constant assistance, no assistance, probabilistic assistance, alternating assistance, and faded assistance. Constant assistance led to better performance during training than no assistance. However, constant assistance during training resulted in the worst unassisted test performance. Faded assistance during training resulted in the best test performance. This suggests that fading may allow learners to create an internal model of the assistance without depending on the assistance in a manner that impedes successful transfer to unassisted circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-452
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 3 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • assistance dilemma
  • guidance
  • Scaffolding
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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