Scaffolding refers to various forms of providing learners with assistance to support them during instructional activities. Scaffolding helps bring a student into a "zone of proximal development" (Vygotsky, 1978) where they can perform successfully with assistance what they could not without it. Scaffolding can be faded by decreasing the level of assistance (or by increasing the level of difficulty/challenge) across a sequence of learning events. Adapting this fading to match a student's increasing ability is a variation of optimal scheduling.
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.