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Scaffolding, Learning Styles, And Web Based Tutorials

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Current Topics in IE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1097.1 - 10.1097.9

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Stuart Kellogg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Scaffolding, Learning Styles, and Web-based Tutorials

Stuart D. Kellogg

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD 57701


A growing body of research suggests that increased learning gains can be achieved when instruction is designed around an individual’s learning style. Simultaneously, another body of research suggests that higher levels of thinking patterns can be achieved when instructional design uses a scaffolding approach. In order to help students develop more complex thinking skills one needs to provide a curriculum that is reasonably challenging while simultaneously providing the foundational support necessary for student success. This paper discusses a strategy for designing web-based tutorials that can help provide an element of scaffolding necessary for a developmental approach while simultaneously addressing alternative learning styles. Tutorial examples along with preliminary assessment results are provided.

Learning Style Preferences

A growing body of research suggests that students may enhance their performance academically with an understanding of the learning process1-3. In addition, a number of researchers suggest that a student’s learning preference curve can be an effective predictor of student success4-7. Self-assessment of learning styles can be traced back to early personality tests developed during World War II. Personality types can be tested with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which categorizes people into sixteen personality types8. Not only has the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator been utilized for work placement, it has also been used in the college classroom. There are, however, two significant drawbacks to the use of the Myers-Briggs inventory. It requires a certified professional to administer the inventory. Even then, researchers argue that it is more useful when used to indicate personality type than as a useful predictor of student learning preference style.

Neil Fleming and Charles C. Bonwell, with the hope of improving teaching and learning, created the VARK test in 19989-10. The Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic Learning Style Inventory (VARK) classifies students based on how they process information presented to them. One advantage of the VARK Learning Style Inventory is that it can be taken online with an immediate assessment11. Those administrators interested in the VARK Learning Style Inventory without Internet access can request a teacher’s guide and evaluation kit directly from the VARK Company.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kellogg, S. (2005, June), Scaffolding, Learning Styles, And Web Based Tutorials Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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