Learner Support as scaffolding

An properly designed and built online class contains a series or learning activities that are scaffolded to provide a path for students to develop their own knowledge. These activities require a teaching presence, a cognitive presence, and a social presence. What if they also contain, built into the scaffold itself, learning support.

Scaffolding in education is the act of creating learning objects that build on other learning objects. You learn addition before multiplication. You learn to write a sentence before writing a paragraph. Learning builds on itself.

In an online class, learner support could be part of the objectives. What if a learning object included an instruction to meet with a tutor and discuss the next objective. In this way, you are building in learning support. That objective met, the student would know that learning supports are available. The learning objectives of the tutoring team could include such things as :

  • Recognizes when to make an appointment
  • Understands how to make an appointment

Rather than duplicating what is taught in the classroom, the support is in the classroom with learning objectives that support a student in ways that transcend the subject matter.

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