Scaffolding has proven an especially interesting and promising area for postsecondary teaching and learning practices. Particular interest has emerged in scaffolding student learning in technology-enhanced environments-especially those designed to promote critical thinking. This study examined participant perceptions and use of scaffolding in an online course focused on facilitating the development of critical thinking in instructional design. Findings indicated that use of scaffolding evolved from externally directed to internally relevant assimilation. The realization of personal utility emerged as the most prominent trigger for both improved learner perceptions and scaffolding use. Research and practical implications for the design of scaffolding are provided.
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