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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstructional Techniques to Facilitate Learning and Motivation of Serious Games
EditorsPieter Wouters, Herre van Oostendorp
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-39298-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-39296-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in game-based learning


  • Self-explanation
  • Question prompt
  • Collaboration
  • Partial worked example


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