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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Scaffolding students' inquiry-based learning in a technology-enhanced classroom: An analysis of interaction patterns of scaffolding
by Shin, Suhkyung, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2016, 169; 10149236
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to examine how students’ academic achievement and group performance is related to the perceived usefulness of hard-, peer-, and teacher scaffolding. This study explores what types of peer scaffolding students engage in during group inquiry-based learning (IBL) activities and whether there are differences in peer scaffolding patterns based on the level of students’ prior knowledge.

A single instrumental case approach that integrated quantitative and qualitative analysis was employed for this study, which involved data gathered from 163 students in a 9th-grade biology course. The first research question focused on how students’ learning outcomes are related to perceived usefulness of hard-, peer-, and teacher scaffolding. Statistical results suggest that hard scaffolding, followed by peer scaffolding, were the most significant variables that predict individual academic achievement. However, only peer scaffolding was found to be a significant predictor of group performance, whereas hard- and teacher scaffolding were not significant predictors.

The second research question focused on the types of peer scaffolding observed during group activities. First, nine types of peer scaffolding were investigated and found to be provided with certain goals identified as direction maintenance, cognitive structuring, and simplification. Second, three different patterns related to the prior knowledge level of each group were observed. The high prior knowledge groups tended to be led by one student who facilitated group activities by elaborating and clarifying their peers’ arguments. In the mixed prior knowledge groups, the students with higher prior knowledge were likely to support those with lower prior knowledge. In the low prior knowledge group, scaffolding was more widely distributed among students. This study provides a holistic view of how students engaged in group activities and assisted each other using different peer scaffolding strategies in technology-enhanced IBL classroom environments. Identifying what learners’ difficulties were and the assistance they sought out will help instructional designers and teachers as they consider the areas in which students may need support during IBL group activities. As such, this study intends to inform instructional designers and educators regarding effective strategies for designing and implementing scaffolding to assist inquiry activities in K-12 settings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brush, Thomas A.
Commitee: Glazewski, Krista D., Hitchcock, John H., Kwon, Kyungbin
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Educational psychology, Secondary education, Educational technology
Keywords: Collaborative learning, Inquiry-based learning, Scaffolding, Scaffolding tool
Publication Number: 10149236
ISBN: 978-1-369-04354-9
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