Analytics of self-regulated learning scaffolding: effects on learning processes

Tongguang Li, Yizhou Fan, Yuanru Tan, Yeyu Wang, Shaveen Singh, Xinyu Li, Mladen Raković, Joep van der Graaf, Lyn Lim, Binrui Yang, Inge Molenaar, Maria Bannert, Johanna Moore, Zachari Swiecki, Yi Shan Tsai, David Williamson Shaffer, Dragan Gašević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Self-regulated learning (SRL) is the ability to regulate cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, and emotional states while learning and is posited to be a strong predictor of academic success. It is therefore important to provide learners with effective instructions to promote more meaningful and effective SRL processes. One way to implement SRL instructions is through providing real-time SRL scaffolding while learners engage with a task. However, previous studies have tended to focus on fixed scaffolding rather than adaptive scaffolding that is tailored to student actions. Studies that have investigated adaptive scaffolding have not adequately distinguished between the effects of adaptive and fixed scaffolding compared to a control condition. Moreover, previous studies have tended to investigate the effects of scaffolding at the task level rather than shorter time segments—obscuring the impact of individual scaffolds on SRL processes. To address these gaps, we (a) collected trace data about student activities while working on a multi-source writing task and (b) analyzed these data using a cutting-edge learning analytic technique— ordered network analysis (ONA)—to model, visualize, and explain how learners' SRL processes changed in relation to the scaffolds. At the task level, our results suggest that learners who received adaptive scaffolding have significantly different patterns of SRL processes compared to the fixed scaffolding and control conditions. While not significantly different, our results at the task segment level suggest that adaptive scaffolding is associated with earlier engagement in SRL processes. At both the task level and task segment level, those who received adaptive scaffolding, compared to the other conditions, exhibited more task-guided learning processes such as referring to task instructions and rubrics in relation to their reading and writing. This study not only deepens our understanding of the effects of scaffolding at different levels of analysis but also demonstrates the use of a contemporary learning analytic technique for evaluating the effects of different kinds of scaffolding on learners' SRL processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1206696
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023


  • SRL process
  • SRL scaffolding
  • ordered network analysis
  • segmentation analysis
  • self-regulated learning


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