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Distributed Scaffolding: Synergy in Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments


Technology, Knowledge and Learning Volume 23, Number 1, ISSN 2211-1662


When technology is employed challenges increase in learning environments. Kim et al. ("Sci Educ" 91(6):1010-1030, 2007) presented a pedagogical framework that provides a valid technology-enhanced learning environment. The purpose of the present design-based study was to investigate the micro context dimension of this framework and to analyze interactions between the student and tool, teacher and student, and teacher and tool. In this respect, to understand how the roles of the teacher and technology tool are balanced in a technology-enhanced learning environment, the distribution of scaffolds between teacher and the tool were analyzed. Forty-one middle-school students attending an international school in Turkey were scaffolded with technology-based scaffolding treatments in two groups supervised by two teachers. Qualitative analysis was conducted. The results showed that the students benefited from the use of hints, sentence starters and question prompts, which led the students to develop their ability to construct arguments with a claim, ground, backing, warrants, and in some cases, more sophisticated arguments using rebuttals as in the Toulmin argumentation pattern (Toulmin 2003). The results of the study also showed that technology-based scaffolds, which are provided with active support by the teacher, create a more effective environment, and students need multiple forms of support and multiple learning opportunities to learn science successfully in the dynamic and complex environment of the classroom. Since there is a strong interaction and balance between teacher support and the technology scaffolds, there is also a synergetic relationship that promotes student learning and improves the student's ability to construct arguments.


Ustunel, H.H. & Tokel, S.T. (2018). Distributed Scaffolding: Synergy in Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 23(1), 129-160. Retrieved April 1, 2020 from .

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