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What are Instructional Scaffolds?


"Instructional Scaffolds" represent help or support for learners who are immersed in instructional tasks that require a certain degree of individualized guidance. The chart below presents descriptions of four categories of scaffolds (Procedural, Conceptual, Metacognitive, Strategic, and Interpersonal), along with common in-class examples as well as examples for computer-supported instruction:
 

Scaffold Type

Description

In-Class Examples

Computer-Based Examples

Links to Examples

 

Procedural/
Functional


Guidance on how to utilize instructional resources and tools


How-To Sheets

Tutors

Introductory remarks and examples from the instructor

Well-written instructions


Guided Tours

Maps and Overview

Diagrams

Tables of Content

Search Engines

Tutorials

Well-written instructions


see the examples presented at http://www.edtech.vt.edu/
edtech/id/interface/help.html

 

 

Process


Guidance on helping learners understand their paths traveled within an instructional experience

"Big Picture" review

Daily introduction

Daily closure activities


History of users' paths

Explicit directions for navigating the software

Identification of links traveled

 

 

Conceptual


Guidance on what to consider throughout the learning experience


Benchmark lesson(s) facilitated by an instructor

Study Questions

Advance Organizers


Course Concept Maps and "Big Pictures"

Moderated chat experiences

Moderated discussion groups

 
Use Inspiration [www.inspiration.com] to create concept maps!

See the examples on the Communication page.

 

Metacognitive


Guidance on how to think about the problem(s) under study:

Planning scaffolds allow students to set goals and objectives, chart benchmarks and deadlines for projects, create concept maps, etc.  

Regulating scaffolds allow students to monitor their progress and receive feedback on their performance

Evaluating scaffolds allow students to critique one another's work, exchange documents to-from the instructor for revising, etc.


Individual Mentoring

Peer Tutoring

Teacher Modeling


Planning:

Microsoft Project software

Inspiration concept mapping software

 

Regulating:

online quizzing

interactive practice exercises

 

Evaluating:

Taskstream

eRoom


Taskstream is Web-based product designed to help teachers and students communicate with each other throughout the project development process.  Visit Taskstream.com for more information.

Here is a link to an overview of some specific Taskstream metacognitive scaffolding strategies:

 

http://www.taskstream.com/
Main/tour-html_new/staff_01.asp

 

Strategic


Guidance on approaches to solving problems


Small Group

 Mini-Lessons

 Textbook Assignments

Hints


Open Chats 

Open Discussion groups and forums

Hints


Ask the Internet coach! [http://askthecoach.apte.com/]

See other examples on the Communication page.
 

 

Interpersonal


Guidance for facilitating constructive collaboration and interpersonal interactions

Specific roles assignments

Modeling/examples provided

Interaction debriefing


Specific role assignments

Modeling/examples provided

Mediated discussion and chat environments

 
 
 



copyright © 2002 Greg Sherman