This paper reports on a self-study undertaken by the author to better understand the educational practices of scaffolding in pre-service teachers' collaborative group work. The method included student interviews, conversations with a critical friend, and the researcher's diary. The self-study allowed for fine-tuning theoretical understanding and practical implementation of scaffolding in students' small group work. While the study confirmed my expectations that facilitation of the students' group work was useful for them to understand content and develop collaborative skills, the students' emphasis on the emotional side of scaffolding was a surprising find. It was also interesting to note that the needs of emotional scaffolding in mature age students were different to those of high school graduates, which related to their self-confidence and their understanding of the role of the lecturer in assisting with their academic work.