Scaffolding In Connectivist Mobile Learning Environment

Ozlem OZAN

Social networks and mobile technologies are transforming learning ecology. In this changing learning environment, we find a variety of new learner needs. The aim of this study is to investigate how to provide scaffolding to the learners in connectivist mobile learning environment: Ø to learn in a networked environment, Ø to manage their networked learning process, Ø to interact in a networked society, and Ø to use the tools belonging to the network society. The researcher described how Vygotsky's “scaffolding” concept, Berge’s “learner support” strategies, and Siemens’ “connectivism” approach can be used together to satisfy mobile learners’ needs. A connectivist mobile learning environment was designed for the research, and the research was executed as a mixed-method study. Data collection tools were Facebook wall entries, personal messages, chat records; Twitter, Diigo, blog entries; emails, mobile learning management system statistics, perceived learning survey and demographic information survey. Results showed that there were four major aspects of scaffolding in connectivist mobile learning environment as type of it, provider of it, and timing of it and strategies of it. Participants preferred mostly social scaffolding, and then preferred respectively, managerial, instructional and technical scaffolding. Social scaffolding was mostly provided by peers, and managerial scaffolding was mostly provided by instructor. Use of mobile devices increased the learner motivation and interest. Some participants stated that learning was more permanent by using mobile technologies. Social networks and mobile technologies made it easier to manage the learning process and expressed a positive impact on perceived learning.

KEYWORDS: Connectivism, Mobile learning, Scaffolding.