ScienceDaily (June 20, 2012) — Most of us assume that confidence and certainty are preferred over uncertainty and bewilderment when it comes to learning complex information. But a new study led by Sidney D’Mello of the University of Notre Dame shows that confusion when learning can be beneficial if it is properly induced, effectively regulated and ultimately resolved.

By strategically inducing confusion in a learning session on difficult conceptual topics, people actually learned more effectively and were able to apply their knowledge to new problems.

It is  important that the students are productively instead of hopelessly confused. By productive confusion, we mean that the source of the confusion is closely linked to the content of the learning session, the student attempts to resolve their confusion, and the learning environment provides help when the student struggles.