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Scaffolding is the support provided to students by the learning environment, which includes the teacher but also curricular design, technological tools, and classroom social practices. Scaffolding is a social encounter between a teacher and a student and can involve tutoring and mentoring, but is more effective when both teacher and learner participate jointly in a complex and authentic disciplinary practice. Scaffolding simplifies a task so that it is within reach of the learner; it supports learners in participating in authentic disciplinary practices even before they have mastered the discipline; it helps learners focus on the most important aspects of the problem. Effective scaffolding is adaptable and contingent on the learner’s evolving understanding – the degree of structure should be gradually reduced or “faded.” This can be done by inferring a learner’s current understanding using digital traces or dynamic software.