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Scaffolding student-generated questions: Design and development of a customizable online learning system

Computers in Human Behavior
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.05.002
  • Applications In Subject Areas
  • Evaluation Of Online Learning Systems
  • Supporting Classroom Teaching
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Learning Strategies
  • Communication
  • Design
  • Education


Abstract Despite the fact that the benefits of student question generation are well documented, most students do not take part in question generation exercises during their formal schooling and are not accustomed to authoring questions. Under the premise that student question generation activities should be better supported in a timely, flexible and logistically feasible fashion, a customizable online learning environment that accentuates various scaffolding techniques has been designed and developed. The framework guiding the development of the system, and its associated designs, are described. To assess the various built-in scaffolds used to support students’ learning activities by means of question generation, a study was undertaken to that measured students’ perceived usefulness of each mechanism, as well as the effects of the perceived usefulness of the scaffolds on students’ attitudes toward question generation learning activities in general. The data collected indicated that, by utilizing computers and network technologies, the developed system provided a supportive learning environment for student’s question generation learning activities. Support features not yet included in other similar systems (including access to generic question stems with sample questions, access to model questions, two-way cyclic communication between authors of question and assessors, and the ability to conceal one’s real identity by anonymity or nickname, etc.), were confirmed to provide a high level of support. Recommendations for classroom implementations and future studies are offered.

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