The current study investigated the role of discourse scaffolds embedded into vicarious learning environments in classroom learning. In the current study, one of three vicarious learning conditions with varying levels of discourse scaffolds preceded standard instruction on seven classroom days. An explanation condition included deep questions, course content and explanations. In a question condition the explanations were deleted. A monologue condition contained only course content. The explanation condition participants showed significantly greater learning gains for daily sessions. Results are discussed in terms of presenting vicarious explanations and their role in classroom instruction.