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The interactions between levels of learner prior knowledge and effectiveness of different instructional techniques and procedures have been intensively investigated within a cognitive load framework since mid-90s. This line of research has become known as the expertise reversal effect. Apart from their cognitive load theory-based prediction and explanation, patterns of empirical findings on the effect fit well those in studies of Aptitude Treatment Interactions (ATI) that were originally initiated in mid-60s. This paper reviews recent empirical findings associated with the expertise reversal effect, their interpretation within cognitive load theory, relations to ATI studies, implications for the design of learner-tailored instructional systems, and some recent experimental attempts of implementing these findings into realistic adaptive learning environments.