Self-Explanations in Game-Based Learning: From Tacit to Transferable Knowledge

  • Judith ter Vrugte
  • Ton de Jong
Part of the Advances in Game-Based Learning book series (AGBL)


Game-based learning is often considered to be an effective instructional approach, but the effects of game-based learning are varied and far from optimal. Aside from many features and characteristics that might affect the results of game-based learning, we conjecture that games generally thrive on experiential learning and that experiential learning does increase knowledge, but that this knowledge is often implicit. We note that though implicit knowledge is certainly valuable, that in general explicit knowledge is considered more desirable in education, because it is more accessible and promotes transfer. It is suggested that explicit knowledge does not always automatically follow from the development of implicit knowledge, but that this process can be supported through self-explanations. Because self-explanations rarely occur automatically in game-based learning environments, we propose that self-explanations in game-based learning environments can be elicited by specific instructional approaches. Three possible approaches for eliciting self-explanations are discussed: question prompts, collaboration, and partial worked examples.


Self-explanation Question prompt Collaboration Partial worked example 


Source of Funding

Sponsored by NWO under grant number 411-10-900 and FWO under grant number G.0.516.11.N.10.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith ter Vrugte
    • 1
  • Ton de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Instructional TechnologyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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