Scaffolding learner autonomy in online university courses


  • Elisa Ribbe Universidad de Deusto
  • María-José Bezanilla Universidad de Deusto



Learner autonomy, Scaffolding, Online Course Design, Teacher Roles,


Abstract This paper deals with the question in what ways teachers and course designers can support the development and exertion of learner autonomy among online university students. It advocates that a greater attention to learner autonomy could help more students to complete their course successfully and thus contribute the decrease of the high dropout rates in e-learning. To illustrate this position, the paper defines three principles of scaffolding learner autonomy and discusses them in relation to the specific challenges of e-learning settings. Drawing on relevant literature on course design, as result the paper presents exemplary design aspects that can serve the scaffolding of learner autonomy.

Author Biography

María-José Bezanilla, Universidad de Deusto

Profesora del Departamento de Innovación y Organización Educativa, y miembro del equipo de investigación INNOVA de la Universidad de Deusto.