Instructional Scaffolding in STEM Education: Strategies and by Brian R. Belland

By Brian R. Belland

This publication makes use of meta-analysis to synthesize learn on scaffolding and scaffolding-related interventions in STEM (science, expertise, engineering, and arithmetic) schooling. particularly, the amount examines the level to which research caliber, evaluate variety, and scaffolding features (strategy, meant end result, fading agenda, scaffolding intervention, and coupled intervention) effect cognitive scholar results. It comprises particular descriptions of the theoretical foundations of scaffolding, scaffolding thoughts which were proposed to fulfill varied meant studying results in STEM, and linked efficacy info. moreover, the ebook describes evaluate suggestions and learn designs which are used to judge the impression of scaffolding, and indicates new fields within which scaffolding innovations that experience confirmed efficacious should be used.

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Taking a step back from the specifics of ACT-R, one may note that underneath the theory is a positivist mindset: that the reality is out there and known, and instruction should transmit to students what is known about reality. This is true to a certain extent. However, in ACT-R, students generate production rules, and such production rules may not be exactly the same amongst all students. It is important to not fall into the trap of thinking that all positivist traditions are simplistic and harmful to learning; rather, positivist approaches can form a solid cornerstone in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education (Matthews, 2004).

4 How ACT-R Informs Scaffolding One of the tenets of ACT-R that most influences the design of scaffolding is the idea that it is best to maximize successful practice and minimize unsuccessful practice. In this way, the exact amount of scaffolding informed by ACT-R often can be modified based on (a) model tracing of students’ abilities according to their progress through the systems and success or lack thereof on tasks, and (b) student self-selection of hints (Koedinger & Aleven, 2007). Adjustment based on model tracing attempts to automatically increase or decrease base student support based on the system’s estimation of students’ current abilities.

Such decisions are informed with reference to utility values that were generated in the creation of the production rule and thus associated with the latter. , 2004). According to ACT-R, a cognitive theory needs only concern itself with three levels of analysis: the biological level, the algorithmic level, and the rational level (Anderson, 1990). The biological level is what resides in the head. One cannot model it exactly, but one can approximate it through the use of an implementation model. The algorithmic level is the set of procedures and strategies by which information can be encoded, retrieved, and deployed in problem-solving (Anderson, 1987, 1990).

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