ERIC Number: ED413310
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar-30
Reference Count: N/A
Realizing the Potential of Scaffolded Instruction in Situated Learning Environments: Lessons from a Formative Evaluation.
Oliver, Kevin M.
One higher education institution initiated a context based, situated learning environment to guide an introductory freshman engineering course that was designed to overcome many problems in traditional engineering education. Instructors used situated environment to facilitate: student acquisition of intellectual curiosity, appropriate framing and resolving of ill-defined problems, and effective communication skills. Students developed solutions to ill-defined problems in astronautical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The course promoted positive student change, but formative evaluation (faculty interviews, questionnaires, and observations) uncovered problems with scaffolding that detracted from overall course success. These problems included: (1) disregard of its value by some professors at the expense of students lacking prerequisite skills; (2) student confusion regarding inherently vague concepts like reflective judgment and confusing problem-solving tasks; and (3) differing approaches to scaffolding taken by several instructors within the course. Suggestions for solving the problems included: incorporating technology supports into the course; direct instruction on reflective judgment and problem solving strategies rather than repetitive mentioning of catch words; and exposure of instructors to standards of scaffolding as a point of reference upon which to base performance. (Contains 28 references). (SM)
Descriptors: College Faculty, College Freshmen, College Instruction, Constructivism (Learning), Educational Technology, Engineering Education, Formative Evaluation, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Problem Solving, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Self Efficacy, Skill Development, Student Educational Objectives, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A