Using Learning Management Systems to Scaffold Collaborative and Interactive Teaching and Learning

  • Alice Macharia Njuguna Zetech University
  • Gikandi Joyce Mount Kenya University
Keywords: Scaffolding, Collaboration, Learning Management System, Information Communications Technology, Interactivity


The Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations advocates for inclusive and equitable quality education for all despite the unique circumstances faced by the learners and the teachers. Such circumstances could be economic, social or natural such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, which led to disruptions on the school calendar. Although several institutions of Higher Learning transited to online teaching using Learning Management Systems (LMS), the use of technology in ensuring interactivity and collaboration, which are crucial aspects of learning, needs to be examined more closely to establish its effectiveness. Given the fact that COVID -19 will be with us in the unforeseeable future, online teaching is here to stay. It is thus imperative to improve it so that the quality of education is not compromised. Previous research has shown the importance of Technology, Pedagogy and Content knowledge in effective delivery. LMS and related tools have been used to change the view of technology in the classroom, and the facilitator’s role is being re-evaluated. Successful facilitators look for innovative ways to scaffold the learning process. Instructional scaffolding is the process of supporting students in order to enhance learning and aid in the mastery of tasks. The aim of this study was to establish how LMS tools are used to improve collaboration and interaction in online teaching. The objectives were to establish which LMS tools are used to aid in interactivity and collaboration, how these tools are used to scaffold the teaching and learning process and how different elements interact to complete the scaffolding process. This study used a qualitative methodology where two virtual focus groups consisting of faculty and students in online graduate courses were used to review the scaffolding process.  The findings were analyzed qualitatively and the results indicate that synchronous and asynchronous tools found in LMS and their plugins are used to scaffold collaboration and interaction. LMS tools were found to improve learning outcomes and to build a sense of community. The need for flexibility and the ability for LMS to be integrated with other tools and plugins was identified as crucial. The study established the need for both learners and faculty to be trained on the use of the tools was proposed as an additional requirement for the success of the scaffolding process.