When reasoning is difficult due to complexity or the open-ended nature of a project, tools can help students to understand the principles behind the assignment and implement the intended learning objectives.
- Helping students to outline the project, create tasks, and organize their work.
- Complexity is reduced and problem solving is more tractable.
- Students identify important goals to pursue.
- Automating aspects of a task enables students to focus on more productive parts of the project.
- Student–tool partnership accomplish results beyond what the student could achieve alone.
- Students focus more effectively on the conceptual aspects of the learning experience.
- Helping to overcome the obstacles of unfamiliar approaches.
- Identifying and implementing aspects of the process that students may otherwise neglect.
- Students focus resources in productive ways.
- Having an implementation plan reduces the overload experienced in the decision-making process.
- Prompts and agendas can help students keep track of their plans and monitor their progress.
- Reminding students of important goals to apply to their work.
Reference: Reiser, B. J. (2004). Scaffolding Complex Learning: The Mechanisms of Structuring and Problematizing Student Work.
The Journal of the Learning Sciences , 273-304.