Design and implementation of computer-based scaffolding for improving problem solving in undergraduate science
Kim, Hyun Song
MetadataShow full item record
Many college students have difficulties in employing an appropriate problem-solving process to attempt solutions for science problems. Therefore, instructional support or guidance is necessary to develop students’ problem-solving ability. This dissertation focuses on the advancement of theory and practice in computer-based scaffolding to enhance college students’ problem-solving skills in science education contexts. This dissertation consists of three journal-ready manuscripts that together are designed to provide additional insights into the use of computer-based scaffolding in science education. The first manuscript provides an overview of a potential scaffolding design framework. Grounded in the scaffolding framework, a self-directed, online tutorial program, SOLVEIT, was designed to support the development of college students’ problem-solving skills within the domain of biology. SOLVEIT guides students through the entire process of solving a science problem with the assistance of various scaffolds (e.g., prompts, interactive tutorials, and expert models): clarifying the problem, analyzing scientific data, examining possible assumptions and drawing a conclusion. The second and third manuscripts were intended to examine the effectiveness of SOLVEIT and provide some of the missing empirical evidence to support the design of effective computer-based scaffolding for science problem solving. The collected data suggest that SOLVEIT is a promising tutorial program to better customize the instructional experience of students in an introductory science course. The results from the data collection and analysis led to the design of a refined scaffolding framework and suggestions to advance SOLVEIT for broader usage.