Scaffolding the scaffolders—Enabling creative teaching with mobile and social media tools


This project involved three practitioners teaching a course on the Bachelor of Arts degree. Using a design-based research approach, we redesigned the course that encouraged students to investigate and use contemporary mobile tools for promoting and communicating an idea or a concept. The course and learning tasks and activities were designed to scaffold students into using their mobile devices as a tool for creating content and as a mediating agent for formal and informal learning.

An important element of this project was to work with the novice practitioners and help them learn some of the mobile and social media tools and affordances and them build an understanding of the pedagogical implications of these tools for teaching and learning. As a result, a critical element of the project was finding a balance and a method for working with and providing the practitioners with ongoing support and guidance that created a conducive environment for them to converse and grow as an academic. A community of practice (CoP) was established with the practitioners that was nurtured and maintained for the duration of the project (over a three year period). The CoP was designed to enable ongoing conversations between the practitioners to encourage the formation of a trustworthy and respectful relationship between them—creating a collaborative space to share intricate and embedded learning and teaching issues. It also created a place to explore, discuss, investigate and experiment with new and emerging mobile and social media tools—building knowledge and expertise together.

A detailed overview of the project, outline and rationale can be accessed here.

Student output

Access the entire album here:

Journal publication

The publication shares some design principles based on reflections from the practitioners and what they thoughts were important and critical for them in the 3-year journey.