3. Level of detail

Experts and novices have different levels of detail in their models.


Strong students make more detailed mental models. Expert mental representations demonstrate superior extent, depth and level of detail They accommodate more interconnections and are more geared towards action.

Weak students, on the other hand, have simpler, fuzzier models with less interconnections that are less useful.

Normal distribution


Expert model

Novice model

Expert and novice models for the normal distribution. Note that this is only an illustration and does not reflect actual mental models!