Explanation and Learning


Reviews on Explanation

Lombrozo, T. (in press). Explanation and abductive inference. K.J. Holyoak and R.G. Morrison (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning.
Keil, F.C. (2006). Explanation and Understanding. Annual Review of Psychology. 57, 227-254.
Lombrozo, T. (2006). The structure and function of explanations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(10), 464-470.


Reviews on Explanation & Learning

Wylie, R., & Chi, M. T. H. (2014). The Self-explanation principle in multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning(2nd ed., pp. 413-432). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. (PDF)

Fonseca, B.A. & Chi, M.T.H. (in press). Instruction based on self-explanation. In Mayer, R. & Alexander, P. (Eds.), The Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction. Routledge Press.

Lombrozo, T. (in press). Explanation and abductive inference. K.J. Holyoak and R.G. Morrison (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning.
Lombrozo, T. (2006). The structure and function of explanations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(10), 464-470.
Wellman, H. M., & Liu, D. (2007). Causal reasoning as informed by the early development of explanations. Causal learning: psychology, philosophy, and computation, 261–279.
Wellman, H. M., & Lagattuta, K. H. (2004). Theory of mind for learning and teaching: The nature and role of explanation. Cognitive Development19(4), 479–497.

Siegler, R. S. (2002). Microgenetic studies of self-explanations. In N. Granott & J. Parziale (Eds.), Microdevelopment: Transition processes in development and learning (pp. 31-58). New York: Cambridge University.

Philosophy

Theories of the properties that make for good explanations
Lipton, P. Inference to the Best Explanation, Routledge, 1991; expanded second edition, 2004. Chapter 2 and 3.
Woodward, J. F. (2003). Scientific Explanation: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Artificial Intelligence

Mitchell, T. M., Keller, R. M., & Kedar-Cabelli, S. T. (1986). Explanation-based generalization: A unifying view. Machine learning1(1), 47–80. 
DeJong, G., & Mooney, R. (1986). Explanation-based learning: An alternative view. Machine learning, 1(2), 145–176.
DeJong, G. (2006). Toward robust real-world inference: A new perspective on explanation-based learning. In ECML06, the Seventeenth European Conference on Machine Learning, pp. 102-113. 


Empirical Papers on the Effect of Explaining on Learning


Cognitive Psychology

Lockhart, R. S., Lamon, M., Gick, M. L. (1988). Conceptual transfer in simple insight problems. Memory & Cognition
Needham, D. R., & Begg,I. M. (1991). Problem-oriented training promotes spontaneous analogical transfer: Memory-oriented training promotes memory for training. Memory & Cognition 19, 543–557.
Williams, J.J. & Lombrozo, T. (2010). The role of explanation in discovery and generalization: evidence from category learning. Cognitive Science, 34, 776-806. (online pdf)


Developmental research

Amsterlaw, J., & Wellman, H. (2006). Theories of mind in transition: A microgenetic study of the development of false belief understanding. Journal of Cognition and Development, 7, 139-172.
Brown, A. L., & Kane, M. J. (1988). Preschool children can learn to transfer: Learning to learn and learning from example. Cognitive Psychology20(4), 493–523.  bf
Crowley, K., & Siegler, R. S. (1999). Explanation and generalization in young children's strategy learning. Child Development, 70, 304-316.
Chouinard, M. (2007). Children’s questions: a mechanism for cognitive development.Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 72, 1-57.
Kuhn, D., & Katz, J. (2009). Are self-explanations always beneficial? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology103(3), 386–394. bf
Legare, C.H., Gelman, S.A., & Wellman, H.W. (in press). Inconsistency with prior knowledge triggers children’s causal explanatory reasoning. Child Development.

Rittle-Johnson, B. (2006). Promoting transfer: The effects of direct instruction and self-explanation. Child Development, 77, 1–15.
Siegler, R. S. (1995). How does change occur: A microgenetic study of number conservation. Cognitive Psychology, 28, 225-273.
Siegler, R. S. (2002). Microgenetic studies of self-explanations. In N. Granott & J. Parziale (Eds.), Microdevelopment: Transition processes in development and learning (pp. 31-58). New York: Cambridge University. 


Educational Settings

Berthold, K., Eysink, T. H., & Renkl, A. (2009). Assisting self-explanation prompts are more effective than open prompts when learning with multiple representations. Instructional Science, 37,345-363.

Berthold, K., & Renkl, A. (2005). Fostering the understanding of multi-representational examples by self-explanation prompts. In B. G. Bara, L. Barsalou, & M. Bucciarelli (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 250-255). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Chi, M. T. H., Bassok, M., Lewis, M., Reimann, P., & Glaser, R. (1989). Self-explanations: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems. Cognitive Science, 13: 145-182. hphp
Chi, M.T.H., de Leeuw, N., Chiu, M.H., LaVancher, C. (1994). Eliciting self-explanations improves understanding. Cognitive Science, 18, 439-477.
Chi, M.T.H. (2000). Self-explaining expository texts: The dual processes of generating inferences and repairing mental models. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Advances in Instructional Psychology, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 161-238. 
Graesser, A. C., Langston, M. C., & Baggett, W. B. (1993). Exploring information about concepts by asking questions. In G. V. Nakamura, R. M. Taraban, & D. Medin (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Vol. 29. Categorization by humans and machines (pp. 411–436). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Hilbert, T. S., & Renkl, A. (2009). Learning how to use a computer-based concept-mapping tool: Self-explaining examples helps. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 267-274.
Kuhn, D., & Katz, J. (2009). Are self-explanations always beneficial? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology103(3), 386–394.
Berthold, K., Röder, H. Knörzer, D., Kessler, W, & Renkl, A. (2011). The double-edged effects of explanation prompts. Computer in Human Behavior, 27, 69-75.
McNamara, D.S. (2004). SERT: Self-explanation reading training. Discourse Processes, 38, 1-30.

Matthews, P. G. & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2009). In pursuit of knowledge: Comparing self-explanations,  concepts, and procedures as pedagogical tools. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 1-21.

Mwangi, W., & Sweller, J. (1998). Learning to solve compare word problems: The effect of example format and generating self-explanations. Cognition and Instruction, 16(2), 173-199. [Link]
Nokes, T. J., Hausmann, R. G. M., VanLehn, K., & Gershman, S. (2011). Testing the instructional fit hypothesis: The case of self-explanation prompts. Instructional Science, 39, 645-666.
Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and instruction, 1(2), 117–175. (online PDF) (internal link)

Pressley, M., Wood, E., Woloshyn, V. E., Martin, V., King, A., & Menke, D. (1992). Encouraging mindful use of prior knowledge: Attempting to construct explanatory answers facilitates learning. Educational Psychologist27(1), 91-109. [Online PDF]
Renkl, A. (1997). Learning from Worked-Out Examples: A Study on Individual Differences. Cognitive Science, 21(1), 1–29. [Link]

Renkl, A. (1999). Learning mathematics from worked-out examples: Analyzing and fostering self-explanations. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 14, 477-488. [Link]
Renkl, A., Stark, R., Gruber, H., & Mandl, H. (1998). Learning from worked-out examples: The effects of example variability and elicited self-explanations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 23, 90-108. [Link]

Rittle-Johnson, B, Saylor, M. & Swygart, K. (2008).  Learning from explaining:  Does it matter if mom is listening?  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 100(3), 215-224.

Chiu, J. L., & Chi, M. T. Supporting Self-Explanation in the Classroom. [Online PDF]

Encouraging Mindful Use of Prior Knowledge: Attempting to Construct Explanatory Answers Facilitates Learning. [article]

Educational Technology Settings

Chou, C.-Y., & Liang, H.-T. (2009). Content-Free Computer Supports for Self-Explaining: Modifiable Typing Interface and 
Prompting. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (1), 121–133. [Online PDF]
Aleven V., Popescu, O., Ogan, A. & Koedinger, K. R. (2003). A Formative Classroom Evaluation of a Tutorial Dialogue System that Supports Self-Explanation. In Supplemental Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. AIED 2003. pp. 345-355. [Online PDF]
Aleven, V., Ogan, A., Popescu, O., Torrey, C., & Koedinger, K. (2004). Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Tutorial Dialogue System for Self-Explanation. In Proceedings of Seventh International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. ITS 2004. Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 443-454. [Online PDF]
Aleven, V., Popescu, O. & Koedinger, K. R. (2003). A tutorial dialog system to support self-explanation: Evaluation and open questions. In U. Hoppe, F. Verdejo, & J. Kay (Eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Education: Shaping the Future of Learning through Intelligent Technologies, Proceedings of AI-ED 2003 (pp. 39-46). Amsterdam, IOS Press. [Nominated as a best conference paper.]  [Online PDF]
Conati, C., & Vanlehn, K. (2000). Toward computer-based support of meta-cognitive skills: A computational framework to coach self-explanation.International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED)11, 389-415. [Online PDF]
Hausmann, R.G. & Chi, M.T.H. (2002) Can a computer interface support self-explaining?, Cognitive Technology. (online PDF)
Renkl, A., & Atkinson, R. K. (2002). Learning from examples: Fostering self-explanations in computer-based learning environments. Interactive learning environments10(2), 105-119.

Instructional Explanations

Nückles, M., Wittwer, J., & Renkl, A. (2006). How to make instructional explanations in human tutoring more effective. In R. Sun (Eds), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 633-638). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Wittwer, J., Nückles, M., Landmann, N., & Renkl, A. (2010). Can tutors be supported in giving effective explanations? Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 74-89.
Wittwer, J, Nückles, M., & Renkl, A. (2006). Improving human tutoring by improving tutor-generated explanations. In G. Clarebout, & J. Elen (Eds.), Avoiding simplicity, confronting complexity. Advances in studying and designing (computer-) based powerful learning environments (pp. 349-358). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Wittwer, J. & Renkl, A. (2008). Why instructional explanations often do not work: a framework for understanding the effectiveness of instructional explanations. Educational Psychologist, 43, 49-64. [Link]
Wittwer, J., & Renkl, A. (2010). How effective are instructional explanations in example-based learning? A meta-analytic review. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 393-409.
Wittwer, J., Nückles, M., & Renkl, A. (2004). Can experts benefit from information about a layperson’s knowledge for giving adaptive explanations? In T. Regier, D. Gentner, & K. Forbus (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Wittwer, J., Nückles, M., & Renkl, A. (2010). Using a diagnosis-based approach to individualize instructional explanations in computer-mediated communication. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 9-23.


Combining Self-Generated and Instructional Explanations

Berthold, K., & Renkl, A. (2010). How to foster active processing of explanations in instructional communication. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 25-40. [Link]
de Koning, B. B., Tabbers, H. K., Rikers, R. M., & Paas, F. (2010). Learning by generating vs. receiving instructional explanations: Two approaches to enhance attention cueing in animations. Computers & Education, 55(2), 681-691. [Link]

Gerjets, P., Scheiter, K., & Catrambone, R. (2006). Can learning from molar and modular worked examples be enhanced by providing instructional explanations and prompting self-explanations?. Learning and Instruction, 16(2), 104-121. (Online PDF

Lovett, M. C. (1992). Learning by problem solving versus by examples: The benefits of generating and receiving information. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 956-961). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schworm, S., & Renkl, A. (2006). Computer-supported example-based learning: When instructional explanations reduce self-explanations. Computers & Education, 46, 426-445. [Link]
Hausmann, R. G. M. & VanLehn, K. (2007).  Explaining self-explaining:  A contrast between content and generation.  In R. Luckin, K. R. Koedinger & J. Greer (Eds.)  Artificial Intelligence in Education.  pp. 417-424. Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press. [Online PDF]
Hilbert, T., Schworm, S., & Renkl, A. (2004). Learning from worked-out examples: The transition from instructional explanations to self-explanation prompts. In P. Gerjets, J. Elen, R. Joiner, & P. Kirschner (Eds.), Instructional design for effective and enjoyable computer-supported learning (pp. 184-192)). Tübingen: Knowledge Media Research Center. [Online PDF] [Link]
Rittle-Johnson, B. (2006). Promoting transfer: The effects of direct instruction and self-explanation. Child Development, 77, 1–15. [Link]

Renkl, A. (2002). Worked-out examples: Instructional explanations support learning by self-explanations. Learning and instruction, 12(5), 529-556. [Link]

Selective Effects of Explanation


Berthold, K., Röder, H. Knörzer, D., Kessler, W, & Renkl, A. (2011). The double-edged effects of explanation prompts. Computer in Human Behavior, 27, 69-75.

Kuhn, D., & Katz, J. (2009). Are self-explanations always beneficial? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology103(3), 386–394.

McEldoon, K. L., Durkin, K. L., & Rittle-Johnson, B. (in press). Is self-explanation worth the time? A comparison to additional practice. British Journal of Educational Psychology. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8279.2012.02083.x


Tutor Learning from Explanation

Roscoe, R. D., & Chi, M. T. H. (2008). Tutor learning: The role of explaining and responding to questions. Instructional Science, 36(4), 321–350.

Chi, M.T.H., Siler, S., Jeong, H., Yamauchi, T., & Hausmann, R.G. (2001). Learning from tutoring. Cognitive Science, 25, 471-533. [online PDF]

Chi, M.T.H. (1996). Constructing self-explanations and scaffolded explanations in tutoring. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 10: 33-49. [Online PDF]

Vicarious Learning & Explanation


Chi, M.T.H., Roy, M. & Hausmann, R.G.M. (2008). Observing tutoring collaboratively: Insights about tutoring effectiveness from vicarious learning. Cognitive Science. 32:2, 301-341. [online PDF]
Gholson, B., and Craig, S.D. (2006). Promoting constructive activities that support vicarious learning during computer-based instruction. Educational Psychology Review, 18, 119-139.  
Craig, S. D., Sullins, J., Witherspoon, A., & Gholson, B. (2006). The deep-level-reasoning-question effect: The role of dialogue and deep-level-reasoning questions during vicarious learning. Cognition and Instruction24(4), 565-591. 
Driscoll, D.M., Craig, S.D., Gholson, B., Ventura, M.,Hu, X., & Graesser, A.C. (2003).  Vicarious learning: Effects of overhearing dialog and monolog-like discourse in a virtual tutoring session.Journal of Educational Computing Research, 29, 431-450.

Adaptive Tutoring, Dialog, Conversational Agent Systems

Tutalk: Infrastructure for authoring and experimenting with natural language dialogue in tutoring systems and learning research.

"The focus of our proposed work is to provide an infrastructure that will allow learning researchers to study dialogue in new ways and for educational technology researchers to quickly build dialogue based help systems for their tutoring systems. Most tutorial dialogue systems that to date have undergone successful evaluations (CIRCSIM, AutoTutor, WHY-Atlas, the Geometry Explanation Tutor)."

University of Memphis.

AutoTutor

ASAT

Bazaar, Carolyn Rosé and Conversational Agents.

Danielle McNamara on automated grading of explanations.

Wittwer, J., Nückles, M., & Renkl, A. (2010). Using a diagnosis-based approach to individualize instructional explanations in computer-mediated communication. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 9-23.


General Learning Strategies & Explanation

Conati, C., & Vanlehn, K. (2000). Toward computer-based support of meta-cognitive skills: A computational framework to coach self-explanation.International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED)11, 389-415. [Online PDF]

McNamara, D.S. (2004). SERT: Self-explanation reading training. Discourse Processes, 38, 1-30.

Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and instruction, 1(2), 117–175. (online PDF) (internal link)


Wong, R. M. F., Lawson, M. J., & Keeves, J. (2002). The effects of self-explanation training on students’ problem solving in high-school mathematics. Learning & Instruction, 12, 233–262.

Research on Learning through being Questioned


Wisher, R. A., & Graesser, A. C. (2007). Question asking in advanced distributed learning environments. In S. M. Fiore, & E. Salas (Eds.), Toward a science of distributed learning and training (pp. 209-234). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Research on Learning through posing or creating questions


Rosenshine, B., Meister, C., & Chapman, S. (1996). Teaching students to generate questions: A review of the intervention studies. Review of educational research66(2), 181-221. 

Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., Hamilton, R. L., & Kucan, L. (1997). Questioning the Author: An Approach for Enhancing Student Engagement with Text. Delaware: International Reading Association.