Signaling principle

Signaling means that the attention is directed to critical aspects of the learning material. This makes sure students don’t need to look for important information. Signaling leads to better learning and ensures that students appreciate the learning material better.

Recently, several studies have examined this signaling principle. For example, with the help of eye movement registrations it is made visible what experts focus on when watching a video in the context of a learning task. For example: an expert wants to study the movement patterns of fish. What does he pay attention to when watching a video of a swimming fish? Whereas beginners can be overwhelmed by the whole picture, experts are able to focus their attention exactly on what is important for their educational purpose. Thus, knowledge about how an expert works, can help to steer the attention of beginners to important aspects of the learning material. This also promotes learning (Jarodzka et al, 2013;. Van Gog et al., 2009).