INVESTIGATING DOMINANT TYPE OF ONLINE INSTRUCTOR SCAFFOLDING
The main goal of this study was to determine the types and frequencies of instructor scaffolding when directed at the individual level (one-to-one) versus the group level (one-to-many) and ultimately to identify the dominant type of instructor scaffolding provided at the individual and group levels. Thirty-one Faculty of Education undergraduate students enrolled in CD-ROM-based Multimedia Development course took part in the study within one semester. With the aim to stimulate students’ critical thinking engagement, the instructor scaffolded students’ learning at the group and individual level in solving three problem-solving scenario task assessments within an asynchronous online discussion forum environment. A qualitative content analysis was performed on the instructor scaffolding transcripts using thematic analysis, based on ‘unit of meaning’. Instructor scaffoldings were coded as either addressing the group or individual students and then were coded as either Technical, Content, Procedural or Metacognitive scaffolding. With a total of 1025 segments from 500 posts, the Metacognitive scaffolding was identified as the dominant type provided by the instructor at both the individual and group levels, followed by Content scaffolding, Procedural scaffolding and Technical scaffolding. The results of this study suggest that instructor tended to offer frequent positive or negative feedback and compliments in order to encourage and increase students’ participation, motivation and critical thinking engagement contributions. The results of the present study can be used as a guideline for designing scaffolding strategies in the context of asynchronous communication in guiding students' learning and thinking.