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Scaffolding refers to the instructional support that instructors or more skillful peers offer learners to bridge the gap between their current skill levels and the desired level. An aspect of scaffolding that is often ignored is the fading of support as the learner masters the skill. It has been suggested that there is a risk of over-relying on the support of integrated media in computer-assisted instruction. A three-dimension (3-D) model of scaffolding that incorporates level of subtask, level of support, and number of repetitions of practice has been proposed to vary the technology support systematically in response to the learner's performance. The 3-D contingent scaffolding model was implemented in a computer-based instructional program for statistics called Hypothesis Testing--the Z-Test in order to establish baseline data for integrated media-based instruction or a hypermedia learning environment. The scaffolded instruction as evaluated in terms of knowledge maintenance and transfer by comparing it to full-support instruction and least-support instruction. Findings from 75 college students provide evidence that the scaffolded computer-based instruction promoted knowledge maintenance and improved independent knowledge application, while promoting learning consistently across individuals. Results also show that a dynamic measure of the learner's ability is a better predictor of the learning outcome for subjects using this scaffolded instruction than static measures. The model provides a systematic way to link the concept of scaffolding to integrated media design features using both support building and support fading techniques. (Contains 2 tables, 6 figures, and 17 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: College Students, Computer Assisted Instruction, Constructivism (Learning), Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Hypothesis Testing, Knowledge Level, Learning Strategies, Models, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Statistics, Teaching Methods, Transfer of Training

Autor: Kao, Michelle T.; Lehman, James D.


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