The effect of Web-based question prompts on scaffolding knowledge integration and ill-structured problem solving

This study examined the effects of question prompts, knowledge integration prompts, and problem solving prompts, embedded in a Web-based learning environment in scaffolding preservice teachers' conceptual understanding and problem solving in an ill-structured domain. A mixed-method study was employed to investigate the outcomes of students' conceptual knowledge and ill-structured problem solving. The quantitative results indicated that students who received knowledge integration prompts had significantly higher scores in overall problem solving performance, but the same was not true for prompts focused on conceptual knowledge. Further, the qualitative findings revealed the positive effects of knowledge integration prompts in facilitating students to make intentional efforts to identify and explain major concepts and their relationships that are necessary for solving the ill-structured problem. This study has implications for designing curricula in ill-defined domains that seek to integrate and promote the application of educational principles to real-world problems. (Contains 2 tables.)

Chen, C.-H., & Bradshaw, A.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(4), 359–375.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
birth to preschool
early elementary
intermediate elementary
middle school
Instructional Support: 
electronic references and resources
multiple formats of text and notation
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
adjustable skill levels
multiple activities and level
multiple user profiles
student control
teacher control