How experts deal with novel situations: A review of adaptive expertise

K. Bohle Carbonell*, R.E.W. Stalmeijer, K.D. Konings, M.S.R. Segers, J.J.G. van Merrienboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Adaptive expertise allows individuals to perform at a high level in the face of changing job tasks and work methods, setting it apart from routine expertise. Given the increased need for flexibility in the workplace, adaptive expertise is increasingly important for today's graduates and professionals. This review investigates which individual and environmental factors distinguish adaptive expertise from routine expertise and thus provides insights into how to facilitate adaptive expertise and its development. Key differences between routine and adaptive expertise are related to knowledge representation, cognitive and analogical problem solving abilities, and past experiences. Learning and working environments, which give individuals the responsibility to develop their own solution strategy and have supportive superiors benefit adaptive expertise. The results of our review also indicate that there is little consensus on the degree of adaptation adaptive expertise provides and the characteristics of a novel situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-29
JournalEducational Research Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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