First, you need to identify where there are gaps in your learners’ knowledge. Then, you need to determine what information is needed to fill those gaps.

You can think of this like a staircase. Learners’ current knowledge is the bottom step, and learners’ desired knowledge is the top step. You need to provide the steps in between to help learners reach their goal. If steps are missing, learners will stumble or won’t be able to reach the next level.  

For example, imagine that you need to teach your learners how to drive a forklift. Currently, they have no experience with forklifts, but can draw from their experience driving a car. There is a large gap between what learners currently know and what they need to know. Your job is to fill in these missing steps using scaffolding.

5 steps. The bottom step reads 1 How to drive a car. The top step reads 5 How to drive a forklift.

In this case, you may scaffold your training by first teaching learners the parts of a forklift, then how to read the gauges, how to turn it on, and, lastly, how to drive it.

5 steps. From bottom to top the steps read 1 How to drive a car. 2 What are the parts of a forklift? 3 How to read the guages on a forklift. 4 How to turn on a forklift. 5 How to drive a forklift.