Adaptive human scaffolding facilitates adolescents' self-regulated learning with hypermedia

Roger Azevedo, Jennifer G. Cromley, Fielding I. Winters, Daniel C. Moos, Jeffrey A. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study examines the effectiveness of three scaffolding conditions on adolescents' learning about the circulatory system with a hypermedia learning environment. One hundred and eleven adolescents (n = 111) were randomly assigned to one of three scaffolding conditions (adaptive scaffolding (AS), fixed scaffolding (FS), or no scaffolding (NS)) and were trained to use a hypermedia environment to learn about the circulatory system. Pretest and posttest data were collected to measure the qualitative changes in students' mental models of the topic and quantitative changes in their declarative knowledge. Verbal protocols were collected during the 40-minute learning task to examine how each condition affected the way in which students regulated their learning. Findings revealed that learners in both the AS and NS conditions gained significantly more declarative knowledge than did those in the FS condition. Also, the AS condition was associated with shift in learners' mental models significantly more than the other conditions. Associated with these significant shifts in their mental models, learners in the AS condition regulated their learning by planning and activating prior knowledge, monitoring their cognitive activities and their progress toward learning goals, using several effective strategies, and engaging in adaptive help-seeking. By contrast, those in the NS condition used fewer effective strategies, while those in the FS regulated their learning by using several regulatory processes which seemed to impede their learning. Implications for the design of scaffolds for fostering students' self-regulated learning with hypermedia are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-412
Number of pages32
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Hypermedia
  • Scaffolding
  • Science
  • Self-regulated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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