Scaffolds to plan, monitor, and evaluate learning within technology-enhanced inquiry and modeling environments are often little used by students. One reason may be that students frequently work collaboratively in these settings and their group work may interfere with the use of regulative supports. This research compared the use of regulative scaffolds within an inquiry and modeling environment by paired and single students. Pairs were predicted to make less use of regulative scaffolds than singles. To validate this assumption 42 high-school students worked either individually (n = 18) or in pairs (n = 12) within an inquiry learning environment. Two regulative scaffolds were used by both conditions to assist them with planning, monitoring, and evaluating their investigative efforts; a cognitive tool called the Process coordinator and a Laboratory report template. Results showed that pairs achieved significantly higher learning outcomes than individual students, and although there was a strong trend of increased regulative tool use by individual students, the frequency and duration of regulative tool use did not differ significantly between conditions. Implications of these effects for regulative scaffold design and use are discussed and suggestions for future research are advanced.
- Inquiry learning
- Computer scaffolds