Instructional explanation

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An instructional explanation is part of an instructional process wherein an agent, other than the student, provides an explanation for the student to comprehend. Instructional explanations contain the target knowledge components, which is the goal of the instruction.

Studies using instructional explanations manipulate their presence or absence (Schworm & Renkl, 2006), or how completely they are justified Hausmann & VanLehn, 2006.

The following is an example of an instructional explanation [1]:
"We know that there is an electric field. If there is an electric field, and there is a charged particle located in that region, then we can infer that there is an electric force on the particle. The direction of the electric force is in the opposite direction as the electric field because the charge on the particle is negative."

The instructional explanation was generated by the experimenters, and it explains the justification for choosing a particular direction for the electric field. In contrast, an explanation generated by the student while studying an example of electric fields is not an "instructional explanation." Instead, that is a self-explanation.