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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Effectiveness of different types of scaffolds in self-regulated e-learning

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.09.00  Social sciences  Psychology   

Code Science Field
S260  Social sciences  Psychology 

Code Science Field
5.01  Social Sciences  Psychology and cognitive sciences 
Keywords
e-learning, scaffolding, self-regulated learning, knowledge, motivation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30062  PhD Ciril Bohak  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2020  180 
2.  04566  PhD Bojana Boh Podgornik  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2022  832 
3.  23783  PhD Katja Depolli Steiner  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  59 
4.  15844  PhD Alenka Gril  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2018 - 2022  465 
5.  15846  PhD Aleš Hladnik  Communications technology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  317 
6.  16131  PhD Alenka Kavčič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2022  138 
7.  24437  PhD Luka Komidar  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  150 
8.  52309  Žiga Lesar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2022  45 
9.  15677  PhD Matija Marolt  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2022  393 
10.  06835  PhD Sonja Pečjak  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  844 
11.  10811  PhD Cirila Peklaj  Social sciences  Head  2018 - 2022  416 
12.  35071  PhD Matevž Pesek  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2022  144 
13.  31278  PhD Tina Pirc  Social sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2022  125 
14.  18919  PhD Anja Podlesek  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  541 
15.  15446  PhD Melita Puklek Levpušček  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  407 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,958 
2.  0553  Educational Research Institute  Ljubljana  5051614000  7,042 
3.  1539  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science  Ljubljana  1627023  16,243 
4.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,843 
Abstract
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 e-learning. 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 e-learning 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.
Significance for science
Learning in an e-environment, opposed to learning from printed materials, presents a great challenge to students due to its openness and various possibilities. It demands a complex use of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational aspects of self-regulation from the students. Students who are better at regulating their learning can also have more success in learning. Even though self-regulated skills are of key importance for effective learning, their importance can vary with respect to the context of learning and students’ individual characteristics. Analysis of the extant literature shows that the use of learning scaffolds in e-learning can support self-regulated processes and helps to obtain better achievement and higher learning motivation. However, there is still a lack of findings about the impact of different types of scaffolds and their combined use on e-learning achievements and motivation. There is practically no research on motivational scaffolds and their effects. Studies of the influence of individual characteristics (abilities, knowledge, self-regulatory competences) on the effectiveness of self-regulated scaffolds are also extremely rare.   Therefore, the results of the proposed project will, on a basic level, present a new and original contribution to: (1) a clearer definition of scaffolds that support self-regulation of learning in an e-learning environment; (2) a deeper understanding of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational processes that take place in learning from e-materials; (3) an understanding of the interaction between the individual’s characteristics and the use of different types of scaffolds on learning achievement.   The findings of the study will enable us (1) to suggest improvements and adjustments to existing guidelines for developing e-learning materials by adding scaffolds for enhancing motivation and persistence, and self-regulating processes in students; (2) to contribute to a better use of specific types of scaffolds and their combination in e-materials, (3) and, due to obtained knowledge about individual characteristics’ role in use of scaffolds, to contribute to a more personalized use of scaffolds, which can lead to more efficient self-regulation in e-learning.   We expect original contributions to science in the fields of psychology, didactics, information and educational technologies. Methodological approaches, instruments and tools that we will develop in the project will also be useful in similar studies, in different contexts, and in e- and other learning environments.
Significance for the country
Learning in an e-environment, opposed to learning from printed materials, presents a great challenge to students due to its openness and various possibilities. It demands a complex use of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational aspects of self-regulation from the students. Students who are better at regulating their learning can also have more success in learning. Even though self-regulated skills are of key importance for effective learning, their importance can vary with respect to the context of learning and students’ individual characteristics. Analysis of the extant literature shows that the use of learning scaffolds in e-learning can support self-regulated processes and helps to obtain better achievement and higher learning motivation. However, there is still a lack of findings about the impact of different types of scaffolds and their combined use on e-learning achievements and motivation. There is practically no research on motivational scaffolds and their effects. Studies of the influence of individual characteristics (abilities, knowledge, self-regulatory competences) on the effectiveness of self-regulated scaffolds are also extremely rare.   Therefore, the results of the proposed project will, on a basic level, present a new and original contribution to: (1) a clearer definition of scaffolds that support self-regulation of learning in an e-learning environment; (2) a deeper understanding of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational processes that take place in learning from e-materials; (3) an understanding of the interaction between the individual’s characteristics and the use of different types of scaffolds on learning achievement.   The findings of the study will enable us (1) to suggest improvements and adjustments to existing guidelines for developing e-learning materials by adding scaffolds for enhancing motivation and persistence, and self-regulating processes in students; (2) to contribute to a better use of specific types of scaffolds and their combination in e-materials, (3) and, due to obtained knowledge about individual characteristics’ role in use of scaffolds, to contribute to a more personalized use of scaffolds, which can lead to more efficient self-regulation in e-learning.   We expect original contributions to science in the fields of psychology, didactics, information and educational technologies. Methodological approaches, instruments and tools that we will develop in the project will also be useful in similar studies, in different contexts, and in e- and other learning environments.
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