Identifying Problem-Based Scaffolding Patterns in an Online Forum for Construction Professionals
Online help seeking is a common form of informal learning, and it has been studied extensively in a number of different settings. In an attempt to better understand how help is provided in online help seeking for a physical work environment, we have performed an in-depth qualitative study on questions and answers found in the largest Estonian online forum for construction field. Our intention is to understand the types of learning problems identified in the help-seeking process in the online forum and how problem-oriented scaffolding is provided and received in a networked setting. We used Jonassen’s typology for categorizing the similar patterns in problem-based learning that takes place in the forum. Data was analysed from two perspectives: first the problem definitions identified in forum threads were analysed based on the Jonassen’s typology, along with corresponding solution paths and solutions. The same discussion threads were then analysed also from the perspective of scaffolding patterns – how people support each other and how the help is being acknowledged. The results of our analysis point out that the human supporters provide certain scaffolding patterns for supporting help-seekers to solve problems.
KeywordsForum Communities of Practice Workplace learning Scaffolding
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