Learner Engagement with Structuring and Problematizing in Scaffolded Writing Tasks: A Mixed-MethodsMultiple Case Study

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Payame Noor University

2 Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

Abstract

The present study set out to delineate to what extentfive intermediate learners engaged in structuring and problematizing scaffolding in two writing tasks. The study aimed at illuminating how the participants engaged with structuring and problematizing scaffolds cognitively, behaviorally, and affectively.  Learners’ written essays, think-aloud protocols, and interviews shaped the data sources which were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Modifications made in the final drafts were quantitatively analyzed to provide insight into the behavioral engagement of participants with scaffolds. The profundity of cognitive engagement was gauged by the interview questions designed to elicit the depth of processing and illuminate whether participants had merely noticed the existence of a problem or they had understood what was required to be done. Researcher also compared the use of cognitive and metacognitive operations after learners were presented with structuring and problematizing scaffolds through the analysis of think-aloud protocols generated in final drafts each session. Finally, attitudinal and affective engagement was gauged qualitatively through interviews.  The results indicated that structuring scaffolds engaged learners more behaviorally, cognitively, and affectively compared to problematizing scaffolds. Implications for instructors and material developers are discussed.

Keywords


Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37(2), 122–147.

Ellis, R. (2010). A framework for studying oral and written corrective feedback. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 335–349.

Elson, J. M. (2011). A process-genre approach to teaching argumentative writing to grade nine learners (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Rhodes, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Finn, B., & Metcalfe, J. (2010). Scaffolding feedback to maximize long-term error correction. Memory and Cognition, 38 (7), 951–96.

Flower, L., & Hayes, J. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication, 32, 365−387.

Fredricks, J. A, Blumenfled, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59–109.

Han, Y., & Hyland, F. (2015). Exploring learner engagement with written corrective feedback in a Chinese tertiary EFL classroom. Journal of Second Language Writing, 30, 31−44.

Hidi, S., &Boscolo, P. (2006). Motivation and writing. In C. MacArthur, S. Graham & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 144–157). New York: The Guilford Press.

Hyland, F. (2010). Future directions in feedback on second language writing: Overview and research agenda. International Journal of English Studies, 10(2), 171–182.

Jafarigohar, M., & Mortazavi, M. (2017). The impact of scaffolding mechanisms on efl learners’ individual and socially shared metacognition in writing. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 33(3), 211–225.

Lai, G., & Calandra, B. (2010). Examining the effects of computer-based scaffolds on novice teachers’ reflective journal writing. Education Technology Research Development, 58, 421–437.

Molenaar, I., Chiu, M. M., Sleegers, P. J.C. & van Boxtel, C.A.M. (2011). Scaffolding of small groups’ metacognitive activities with an avatar. Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(4), 601–624.

Mortazavi, M., &Jafarigohar, M., Rouhi, A., & Soleimani, H. (2016). The effect of scaffolding through structuring and problematizing on EFL learners’ writing self-regulatory skills, essay writing skill and global planning time. Quarterly Journal of Research in School and Virtual Learning, 4(3), 15–26.

Mortazavi, M., & Jafarigohar, M., & Rouhi, A. (2017). Can Scaffolding Mechanisms of Structuring and Problematizing Facilitate the Transfer of Genre-based Knowledge to Another Discourse Mode? Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 35(4), 133–156.

Reiser, B. (2004). Scaffolding complex learning: The mechanisms of structuring and problematizing student work. The Journal of the Learning Science, 13(3), 273–304.

Sadler, D.R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems, Instructional Science, 18, 119–144.

Schunk, D. H. (2003). Self-efficacy for reading and writing: Influence of modeling, goal setting, and self-evaluation. Reading &Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 159-172.

Schunk, D. H., & Hanson, A. R. (1985). Peer models: Influence on children’s self-efficacy and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(3), 313–322.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Wenden, A. L. (1991). Metacognitive strategies in L2 Writing: A case for task knowledge. In J. E. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown university round table on languages and linguistics, (pp. 302–322). Washington, D. C.: Georgetown University Press.

Wood, D., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G. (1976). Role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 17(2), 89–100.