Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 375–386 | Cite as

Interactive Example-Based Learning Environments: Using Interactive Elements to Encourage Effective Processing of Worked Examples

  • Robert K. AtkinsonEmail author
  • Alexander Renkl
Review Article


This review describes parts of our research program on example-based learning that relates to recent efforts to incorporate interactive elements into learning environments designed to support learning from worked-out examples. Since most learners spontaneously study or process examples in a very passive or superficial manner, this review focuses on how a variety of specific interactive elements in example-based leaning environments are capable of encouraging learners to actively process the examples. The review begins with an overview of the literature on worked examples and the associated self-explanation, which is important given that the quality of self-explanation is a major factor in determining whether learners benefit from studying examples. The review notes that example-based learning environments tend to be effective but often promote passive processing. It then highlights the strengths and limitations of three types interactivity introduced to example-based learning environments. The review concludes with a discussion of the role that these interactive elements play in these learning environments.


Worked examples Self-explanations Interactive learning environments Computer-based instruction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychology in EducationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Psychological Institute, Educational PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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