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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E051847/1
Title: SCAffolding Rich Learning Experiences through Technology: SCARLET
Principal Investigator: Luckin, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
British Educational Communications Centre For Self Managed Learning intoMedia
Little Horsted Church of England School University of Sussex
Department: Culture, Communication and Media
Organisation: Institute of Education
Scheme: Advanced Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 31 December 2012 Value (£): 758,092
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Education Human-Computer Interactions
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Creative Industries Education
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 Apr 2007 ICT Fellowships 2007 - Interviews FinalDecisionYetToBeMade
29 Mar 2007 ICT Fellowships Sift Panel InvitedForInterview
Summary on Grant Application Form
The nature of technology has changed since scaffolding was conceptualised as an educational approach, and software scaffolding systems were first developed. Technology is smaller, more mobile, networked, pervasive and often ubiquitous as well as being provided by the standard desktop PC. This offers the potential for technology supported learning wherever and whenever learners need and want it. However, in order to take advantage of this potential for greater flexibility we need to develop modelling and scaffolding techniques that go beyond a single subject and place. The development of such models and techniques is the subject of the SCARLET project proposal.The concept of scaffolding was introduced to describe the sorts of support that can be offered to a learner to help them bridge the gap between what they want to achieve and what they are currently able to achieve by themselves. These face to face scaffolding techniques were then applied to educational software design. The requirements for successful scaffolding remain the same whether the scaffolder is a person or technology. The scaffolder needs to know about their learners as well as the subject to be learnt so that they can provide and remove support as and when appropriate to the learners' needs. For example, the scaffolder needs to know how much the learners currently understand about the subject, how motivated to learn they are and how confident they feel. Scaffolding software dynamically creates such learner models, activities are completed and information from teachers, peers and collaborators can be added. To complement these learner models, the scaffolder also needs a good model of the subject to be learnt. This model needs to identify the types of task that the learner can complete, the sorts of resources they can access and the types of assistance that can be offered. For example, simulated science laboratory software might ask children to explore food web problems by adding animals and plants to a virtual lab and then selecting actions, such as one animal to eat another. A scaffolding component could offer advice contingent upon:* The organisms available to the learner, domain resource contingency* The actions she tries to make happen once she has selected her organisms, task contingency. * The time at which support is offered, temporal contingency Initially software scaffolding systems concentrated upon using artificial intelligence to build such models of the learners' knowledge development and implemented scaffolding based upon the contingencies described above. More recently this modelling activity has involved exploring further types of contingency relating to learners' metacognitive awareness (what learners know and believe about their own learning), learners' motivation, and learners' confidence. To date however this scaffolding has been implemented to support learning within the context provided by the software.The increasing ubiquity of technology brings with it the need to explore new types of contingency. We now need to be able to model the context beyond that created by a single piece of software as well as the learner and the subjects being learnt. But what are the new types of contingency and how can we scaffold them? What types of technology can we use to develop new forms of scaffolding? These are the questions that the SCARLET project will explore. Such contingencies might include interface contingency for example. We also need to explore a different granularity of scaffolding support. If we consider scaffolding in the real world then the domain resource contingency discussed earlier might relate to resources such as a museum, park, an environmental expert or certain books in the library. The SCARLET project will explore ways in which we can use technology to offer advice about the resources that can be used to support learning across multiple locations, subjects and times.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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