In this study, we examined how learners developed scientific explanations about light with the assistance of various technology-based seaffolds. The study emphasis was on scaffolding processes of reflection and articulation. We used a content-neutral software program (Progress Portfolio) to create the instructional scaffolds. A qualitative research design was used to investigate two pairs of prospective teachers in a science content course in engineering. Our findings suggested that the computer-based scaffolds used in our study were useful to support articulation, reflection, and revision of explanations, when certain conditions were met. A major theme of our findings relates to interacting effects among learner characteristics, teacher coaching, software scaffolding design, and task characteristics.
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