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Implementation and Outcomes of Scaffolding Cyber-Enabled Collaborative Learning in Multiple STEM Courses

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Topics in Computing and Information Technologies I

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.901.1 - 26.901.16



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Paper Authors


Wei Zheng Jackson State University

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Dr. Wei Zheng is an associate professor of Civil Engineering at Jackson State University. He received
his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 and has over ten years of
industrial experience. Since becoming a faculty member at JSU in 2005, he has made continuous efforts
to integrate emerging technologies and cognitive skill development into engineering curriculum.

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author page

Jianjun Yin Jackson State University


Yanhua Cao Jackson State University

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Yanhua Cao is an doctoral candidate in Education. He is interested in the research of cyber learning and collaborative learning.

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Implementation and Outcomes of Scaffolding Cyber-Enabled Collaborative Learning in Multiple STEM Courses AbstractMore faculty members in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics(STEM) have realized the benefits of the collaborative learning and utilized it in their teachingpractice for helping their students to master complex STEM subjects. However, students may bestruggling in achieving the optimal learning benefit from their interaction with their peers,because they may be not aware of social interaction strategies and cognitive strategies for theeffective collaborative knowledge construction. In addition, students may cope with multiplelearning tasks and different schedules and may not be able to arrange the time for the face-to-facediscussion with the presence of all the team members. Therefore, the cyber-enabled onlinediscussion can be adopted as a good platform for collaborative learning. This papercommunicates a new instructional framework for scaffolding collaborative learning for studentsin multiple STEM courses through cyber-enabled online discussion, and presents its impacts onstudents’ learning processes and outcomes in the first round of implementation. Within thepresented framework, student are assigned to different teams and required to co-construct theirunderstanding of the course-related learning concepts and co-solve the assigned learningproblems with their peers through online discussion. The scaffolding from both social andcognitive perspectives is presented to students to guide effective collaborative learning processesthrough specifying, sequencing, and assigning roles or activities to students, and throughproviding prompts for them to ask thought-provoking questions. This framework wasimplemented in five STEM courses with 325 participants at a historical black university. While apaper in last year ASEE conference presented the proposed scaffolding for collaborativelearning and its influence on students in two civil engineering courses, this paper reports resultsof analyzing data collected from the valid samples in all five STEM courses in the first round ofimplementation. Those results further confirm that the presented instructional framework withthe proposed scaffolding can promote more collaborative learning among students forco-constructing their knowledge than they did in traditional class settings. The social interactionscaffolding may promote intellectual exchange among student team members and enhancestudents' satisfaction on online collaborative learning, social process for collaborative learning,intrinsic value on learning, and learning performance. The limitations of current findings andsuggestions for future implementation are also discussed.

Zheng, W., & Yin, J., & Cao, Y. (2015, June), Implementation and Outcomes of Scaffolding Cyber-Enabled Collaborative Learning in Multiple STEM Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24238

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