Post a composite review
Unpost a composite review
Search all MERLOT
Select to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Select to go to your Dashboard Report
Select to go to your Content Builder
Select to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
Select OK to launch help window
Cancel help


Advanced Search


Peer Review

Scaffolding: A model for learner support in an online teaching environment

by Catherine McLoughlin


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 14, 2014 by Faculty Development
Overview: This journal article describes a model that can be used by peer mentors to provide support to distance learners in the areas of articulation and goal setting, motivation, development of study strategies, communication, and autonomy. The article is well suited to university advisors, peer mentors and instructors who are searching for ways to assist new online students to persist in their classes.
Type of Material: Journal article with numerous references.
Recommended Uses: •Material can best be used as a resource for instructor and peer mentoring of online students. •Material can be used by administrators considering a retention program for online learners.
Technical Requirements: None
Identify Major Learning Goals: •Student will learn basics of scaffolding. •Student will learn of resources on theory and practice for online learners. •Student will learn of concerns that impact online learner’s persistence in courses. •Student will learn of some key skills that are not intuitive, but are necessary for online learners to feel engaged in their courses.
Target Student Population: Faculty, instructional designers, anyone building online courses
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: •Descriptions and explanations of terminology and topics are very good. •Numerous examples provided in each section. •Numerous references provided.
Concerns: Material is several years old. Although, still quite relevant, newer references would be helpful.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: •Very useful information for anyone preparing a retention program for online students. Although the material is directed at students new to online learning, many seasoned online learners could also benefit from mentoring.
Concerns: •Very useful to help a new retention program in the developing stages, but would need more in depth information to train mentors. The article is very academic and may not appeal to a wider audience.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The information is presented in a concise format. Interesting topic and easy to follow the suggestions.
Concerns: The reading level is very high.

Other Issues and Comments: None.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States