Scaffolding vs. Hints in the Assistment System

  • Leena Razzaq
  • Neil T. Heffernan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4053)


Razzaq et al, 2005 reported that the Assistment system was causing students to learn at the computer but we were not sure if that was simply due to students getting practice or more due to the "intelligent tutoring" that we created and force students to do if they get an item wrong. Our survey indicated that some students found being forced to do scaffolding sometimes frustrating. We were not sure if all of the time we invested into these "fancy" scaffolding questions was worth it. We conducted a simple experiment to see if students learned on a set of 4 items, if they were given the scaffolds compared with just being given hints that tried to TELL them the same information that the scaffolding questions tried to ASK from them. Our results show that students that were given the scaffolds performed better although the results were not always statistically significant.


Assistment System Intelligent Tutor System Scaffolding Condition Cognitive Science Society Cognitive Apprenticeship 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leena Razzaq
    • 1
  • Neil T. Heffernan
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcester

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