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ERIC Number: EJ947468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1315
Scaffolding Strategies for Supporting Middle School Students' Online Inquiry Processes
Zhang, Meilan; Quintana, Chris
Computers & Education, v58 n1 p181-196 Jan 2012
Online inquiry, use of the Web as an information resource to inquire into science, has become increasingly common in middle schools in recent years. However, prior research has found that middle school students tend to use the Web in a superficial manner. To address the challenges that students face in online inquiry, we designed the Digital IdeaKeeper, a scaffolded software tool to help students engage in online inquiry through support for inquiry planning, information search, analysis, and synthesis. This study examined the differences between regular and IdeaKeeper-supported online inquiry performed by 8 pairs of sixth graders in naturalistic classroom settings. Analysis of 80 screen videos of students' computer activities and conversations found that IdeaKeeper-supported online inquiry was more integrated, efficient, continuous, metacognitive, and focused. This study has important implications for designing online learning environments for middle school students. (Contains 6 figures and 7 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A