Learning from self-explaining emergent phenomena

Kasia Muldner, Winslow Burleson, Michelene T.H. Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


To date, relatively little work has explored how students learn about a particular class of processes, namely emergent ones. The research that has investigated these processes has primarily employed a case-study methodology. Here, we report on a controlled experiment comparing how students learn about the emergent topic of diffusion from self-explaining vs. from reading. In contrast to a prior study that found self-explanation was not associated with learning about emergence, students learned significantly more in the self-explaining condition. To shed light on how different types of self-explanations are related to learning, we analyze the content of students' explanations and their association to learning outcomes; we also present qualitative analysis of students' misconceptions and how these relate to existing theories of emergent attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-854
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue numberJanuary
StatePublished - 2014
Event11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Learning and Becoming in Practice, ICLS 2014 - Boulder, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2014Jun 27 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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