Scaffolding middle school students' content knowledge and ill-structured problem solving in a problem-based hypermedia learning environment Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the effects of domain-general and domain-specific scaffolds with different levels of support, continuous and faded, on learning of scientific content and problem-solving. Students' scores on a multiple-choice pretest, posttest, and four recommendation forms were analyzed. Students' content knowledge in all conditions significantly increased from pretest to posttest. However, the continuous domain-specific condition outperformed the other conditions on the posttest. Although domain-general scaffolds were not as effective as domain-specific scaffolds on learning content and problem representation, they helped students develop solutions, make justifications, and monitor learning. Unlike domain-specific scaffolds, domain-general scaffolds helped students transfer problem-solving skills when they were faded. Several suggestions are discussed for making improvements in the design of scaffolds to facilitate ill-structured problem solving. 2010 Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bulu, S. T., & Pedersen, S.

citation count

  • 79

complete list of authors

  • Bulu, Saniye Tugba||Pedersen, Susan

publication date

  • October 2010