• Effectiveness of different types of scaffolds in self-regulated elearning
The Client : Javna agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije ( J5-9437 )
Project type: Research projects ARRS
Project duration: 2018 - 2021
  • Description

E-learning has many advantages over traditional learning from printed materials. For
example, it enables interactivity, visualization of concepts through videos and animations,
and adaptive presentation of content. Like in traditional learning, the success of learning in
e-learning environment depends on students’ individual characteristics, such as their
abilities, prior knowledge, learning motivation, and self-regulatory competences. E-learning
enables us to embed various scaffolds into the e-learning unit, which promotes the use of
cognitive and metacognitive processes and enhances students' learning motivation. In our
research project we will investigate how different types of scaffolds (cognitive,
metacognitive, motivational and combination of all three types) influence the results of elearning.
We will also investigate if the effectiveness of different types of scaffolds is related
to students’ individual characteristics (abilities, prior knowledge, self-regulatory
competences).
In the first part of the research project we will adapt the existing and develop new
instruments for assessing the students’ individual characteristics. We will develop two elearning
units from the field of natural sciences (units A and B), and a computer program for
navigating through the e-learning unit, managing scaffolds and monitoring the student's
learning activities in the e-learning units. Instruments will be validated on a sample of 300
9th grade primary school students.
In the second part, we will execute the main study, in which we will investigate the
effectiveness of different types of scaffolds in e-learning and the influence of different
individual characteristics on this effectiveness. We will start by measuring individual
characteristics (abilities, prior knowledge, motivational beliefs and strategies, metacognitive
knowledge, (meta)cognitive strategies, use of e-learning and e-learning environment) of
newly sampled 370 9th grade primary school students from 15 schools. In the first step, all
students will participate in learning the unit A without any scaffolding (for the purpose of
testing group equality). Based on their characteristics (including the measures obtained
during learning of the unit A), students will be divided into five comparable groups that will
participate in different experimental conditions. In learning the unit B, each group will get a
different type of scaffolds: the first group will learn without scaffolds, the second with
cognitive, the third with metacognitive, the fourth with motivational, and the fifth with
combination of all three scaffolds. During the learning of e-learning units we will monitor the
students’ learning behavior (navigating through the e-learning unit, managing scaffolds).
After completing each learning task, we will once again assess the students’ knowledge,
their motivation for learning the chosen subject matter, and the strategies that students
used during learning.
In the last part of the project we will analyze the gathered data. Based on the results we
will form a model of factors that influence the effectiveness of use of self-regulation scaffolds
in e-environment. The model will explain which scaffolds are most useful for students with
different individual characteristics.
New findings will be useful in planning personalized use of scaffolds in e-environments that
will optimize learning. The findings will also add to knowledge of effectiveness of
metacognitive and motivational scaffolds in self-regulated learning and to the assessment of
importance of combining different types of scaffolds in e-learning. They will promote
development of e-textbooks that will not integrate the scaffolds in an intuitive, but rather in
a systematic, scientifically supported way, thus optimally supporting independent learning.