I read with interest, this post from The Learning Scientists, “Learning Math from Errors” on a paper by Deanne Adams and colleagues that demonstrates learning from errors.
What I think is neat about this paper is the researchers gave students erroneous math examples (specifically, decimals, which can be hard for middle schoolers) rather than waiting for them to make the errors themselves. The researchers also required the students to identify explanations for the errors (like elaboration through self-explanation) and correct the errors themselves. They compared this learning condition to what appears to be the standard in math: solving practice problems.Megan Sumeracki – The Learning Scientists
The results whilst showing no differences between the two groups on the immediate post-test did show a better performance by the students in the erroneous examples condition than the students in the problem-solving condition on the one-week delayed post-test.
I have always found it valuable to use resources where students identify and discuss errors, and have checked and updated this collection of resources – Spot the Mistake.