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This paper proposes a scaffolded concept mapping strategy, which considers a student's (high or low) prior knowledge, and provides flexible learning aids (scaffolding and fading) for reading and drawing a concept map. The goal is that the whole class should progress in synchronized fashion through this strategy, with each student achieving meaningful learning. The scaffolding is tailored to the student's needs, with various levels of support. The increasing demand for scaffolding, and its constant evolution, means that software aids are needed. The authors adopted a systematic instructional design, with associated software, to create a learning environment that supports the execution of the strategy. The paper also investigates whether this strategy improved student learning for 54 undergraduates in a database management system course. The results indicate that the students who used the strategy had better learning achievements than those who only experienced traditional lectures. Moreover, the implementation of the strategy received positive student feedback.