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The 2minuteMoodle motto
“Where before there was a spectator, let there now be a participant.” ~ Jerome Bruner 

Scaffolding can be characterised as acting on this motto (Bransford et al, 2000), and the aim of the 2minuteMoodle is to provide students additional scaffolding in the learning and teaching process at CQUniversity.

What is scaffolding?
In educational setting, scaffolding is a metaphor used to describe learner support mechanisms, which may be delivered by human and/or embedded in computer-based technological tools. Proponents such as Shaphiro suggest that scaffolding provides learners with a “support structure that aids them in attaining a higher level of achievement” (2008, p. 29).

What is involved in instructional scaffolding?
Scaffolding involves a number of activities and tasks. Here are some examples adapted from Bransford et al ( 2000): 

  • Motivating students, by recruiting student’s interest to the task.
  • Identifying critical features of objects to be learned.
  • Providing some direction in order to help the students focus on achieving the goal.
  • Demonstrating and defining the activity to be performed.
  • Simplifying the task to make it more manageable and achievable for students.
  • Controlling frustrations and risks, e.g. providing guidelines for engagement.

How to provide additional scaffolding for students?
The 2minuteMoodle approach provides some quick and easy scaffolding techniques, which involves preparing and recording answers to the following questions on a weekly basis:

The 2minuteMoodle instructional scaffolding approach

The 2minuteMoodle instructional scaffolding approach

Next, do the following:

  1. Choose the media type for the delivery, e.g. audio or video
  2. Do the recording – duration must be two minutes
  3. Provide access on the Moodle course site and/or via RSS
  4. Test that the file is accessible.

Note: It might help to refer to the activities and tasks for instructional scaffolding listed above.

Why two minutes?
It is assumed that other scaffolding techniques are already embedded in the way course sites have been designed in Moodle, as well as in other instructional materials such as Study Guides. The spoken format of the 2minuteMoodle is designed to complement these other techniques. Here the specific aim is to deliver a more personal message. As Gardner Campbell in his well-cited EDUCAUSE article asserts “There is a magic in human voice, the magic of shared awareness… Photographs are undeniably powerful, and perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words but a few words uttered by a dear voice may be worth the most of all (2005, p. 40).

References

Bransford, J. Brown, A.L.,  & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. (expanded edn.) Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 

Campbell, G. (2005) ‘There’s something in the air: Podcasting in education’. Educause Review.

Shaphiro, A.M. (2008). Hypermedia design as learner scaffolding. Educational Technology, Research and Development (56)1, 29-44.

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