The incubation effect (IE) is a problem-solving phenomenon composed of three phases: pre-incubation where one fails to solve a problem; incubation, a momentary break where time is spent away from the unsolved problem; and post-incubation where the unsolved problem is revisited and solved. Literature on IE was limited to experiments involving traditional classroom activities. This initial investigation showed evidence of IE instances in a computer-based learning environment. This paper consolidates the studies on IE among students playing an educational game called Physics Playground and presents further analysis to examine the incidence of post-incubation or the revisit to a previously unsolved problem. Prior work, which focused on predicting successful outcomes, includes a coarse-grained IE model developed with logistic regression on aggregated data and an improved model which leveraged long short-term memory (LSTM) combined with dimensionality reduction visualization technique and clustering on fine-grained data. The additional analysis which aims to understand factors that may trigger the post-incubation phase also used fine-grained data and LSTM to create a revisit model. Results show that time elapsed relative to the activity period and encountering a problem with a similar solution during incubation were possible factors in revisiting previously unsolved problems.
Talandron-Felipe, M. M. P., & Rodrigo, Ma. M. T. (2021). The incubation effect among students playing an educational game for physics. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 16, 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41039-021-00171-x