Effects of Scaffolding in Note-Taking on Students’ Learning Outcomes in an Online Environment
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In a traditional classroom, lecture is the most popular teaching method in higher education, and note-taking is a commonly used strategy by students to assist learning. Accompanied by the development of technology, video-recorded lectures are pervasive in online courses now, and this presented research focused on the investigation of note-taking in the online learning environment. Based on cognitive learning theory, learners have limited working memory and always feel challenged to record complete notes from a lecture. Previous studies have shown that taking incomplete notes cannot benefit students’ learning as note-taking activities should. This presented research was an investigation to determine if providing different levels of scaffolding in note-taking would affect students’ learning outcomes in the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains. Students were randomly assigned to the no-scaffolding note-taking group, the mid-level note-taking group, or the high-level note-taking group. The psychomotor domain was targeted by comparing the quality of notes taken by students, which included an overall note quality score and score for each of five criteria (i.e., Comprehensiveness, Quantity, Correctness, Organization, and Originality). The cognitive domain was targeted by comparing participants’ test performance on an Immediate Test and a Delayed Test. The affective domain was targeted by comparing participants’ statistics anxiety, including six subscales (i.e., Worth of Statistics, Interpretation Anxiety, Test and Class Anxiety, Computation Self-Concept, Fear of Asking for Help, and Fear of Statistics Teachers) and the overall score of statistics anxiety, across the three experimental conditions. The presented research found the high-level scaffolding group took better organized notes than the no-scaffolding group, performed better on the Immediate Test than both the no-scaffolding and mid-level scaffolding groups did, and experienced lower anxiety levels when interpreting the findings of statistics than did the no-scaffolding group.