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Mentor modeling: the internalization of modeled professional thinking in an epistemic game


  • There are no conflict(s) of interest.

  • All co-authors had complete access to data supporting the manuscript.

  • Study had complete approval from the University of Wisconsin-Madison IRB.

Padraig Nash, 1025 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53715. Email:


Players of epistemic games – computer games that simulate professional practica – have been shown to develop epistemic frames: a profession's particular way of seeing and solving problems. This study examined the interactions between players and mentors in one epistemic game, Urban Science. Using a new method called epistemic network analysis, we explored how players develop epistemic frames through playing the game. Our results show that players imitate and internalize the professional way of thinking that the mentors model, suggesting that mentors can effectively model epistemic frames, and that epistemic network analysis is a useful way to chart the development of learning through mentoring relationships.