While instructing a throwing technique in a small adult judo class, I encountered the situation where the most inexperienced (~6 months training) student was by far the most successful in absorbing the lesson. The far more advanced (> 4 years) students kept trying to make their familiar throwing techniques superficially resemble the new throwing technique, but without learning the new technique. The novice student was able to absorb the positive (do this) technique instruction, while the advanced students absorbed neither the positive nor negative (don't do that) instruction. I explained how the principle of the throwing technique works, how this principle differs from other techniques, and a simple way to check whether the principle of the day is being applied.
Everyone successfully threw their partner with something consistently, so to the students there was no obvious error. Everyone appeared to make a good faith effort to reproduce the new throwing technique; no one was intentionally ignoring the lesson. The problem is that the advanced students are getting by on what they already know, and not learning something new.
From the instructor perspective, I think the technical instruction is sound because at least one one student understands after the class who did not before. Normally, however, I would expect this to be an advanced student and not a novice.
How does an instructor help the advanced students out of this rut? Is there a way to encourage or trick them to see a technique as new, rather than incorrectly as a variation of something they already know?
Although inspired by judo, I do not think anything about this question is inherent to judo.