Learning impasse

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VanLehn, Siler and Murray (2003) hypothesize that student uncertainty can play an important role in the learning process. In particular, they identify uncertainty as a type of learning impasse: “An impasse [...] occurs when a student realizes that he or she lacks a complete understanding of a specific piece of knowledge [...] when a student gets stuck, detects an error, or does an action correctly but expresses uncertainty about it.” In their view, learning appears to require that students reach a learning impasse. They argue that the learning impasse motivates the student to take an active role in constructing a better understanding of the principle being learned.