Exemplar-based instruction: the role of self-explanation vs. example-construction in non-deterministic learning

  • Silvia Gasparini Pensa MultiMedia Editore


The example-based instruction paradigm provides that after rule presentation the learners are exposed to a number of examples which they are invited to explain on the basis of the learned principles (self-explanation condition). This instructional paradigm is considered to be effective for the exact disciplines, while evidence is more controversial in the case of non-algorithmic domains. In these cases the opportunity to do more exercises later is indicated as more effective than self-explanation in the training phase. Alternatively, the article aims to examine the possibility of integrating the instructional paradigm applied to problems of the second type by asking subjects in the training phase to provide rather than explain examples of the rule in order to make the rule-example link stronger on an implicit rather than explicit level. The results indicate that, applied to the case of L2 grammar learning, the self-explanation and example-construction conditions produce better learning results than the control condition and that the example-construction condition is more productive than the self-explanation condition. The results are discussed in relation to the reference paradigm.