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Simulation to Application: Exploring Student’s Ability to Transfer Skills

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session


Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1374.1 - 26.1374.18



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Paper Authors


Stephanie L. Cutler Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach

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Stephanie Cutler has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her dissertation explored faculty adoption of research-based instructional strategies, such as active learning and inquiry-based learning, in the statics classroom. Currently, Dr. Cutler works as the research specialist for the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence - Worldwide Campus (CTLE - W) for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where she works with faculty to integrate and expand their research and teaching practice.

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Wendi M. Kappers Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach Orcid 16x16

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Wendi M. Kappers has a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Her thesis work explored how educational video game effects upon mathematics achievement and motivation scores differed between the sexes. During her tenure at Seminole Community College working as a Tenured Professor and Program Manager of the Network Engineering Program, she was Co-PI for the CSEMS NSF grant that explored collaborative administration and industry mentorship planning used to increase enrollments of woman and minorities with declared majors in the areas of Computer Science (CS), Engineering (E), Mathematics (M), and Science (S). Currently, Dr. Kappers is the fulltime Director of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Worldwide Campus (CTLE – W) for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In addition, she holds Adjunct Assistant Professor status in the College of Arts and Sciences, Worldwide Campus, teaching RSCH 202 – Introduction to Research, and in the College of Engineering, Daytona Beach Campus, teaching CS120 – Introduction to Computing in Aviation. Both positions allow her to stay focused upon real-life educational and classroom issues while designing training that explores technology utilization that is based upon structured learning principles and practices. She is an experienced Computer Engineer and Instructional designer, designing in Blackboard, WebCT, and eCollege, and holds many industry-related certifications including the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Trainer (MCT) certificates.

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Simulation to Application: Exploring student’s ability to transfer skillsSimulations have been used in training and education for years to aid students in gaining theskills needed to complete a task in a low risk environment. However, students can have troubleconnecting the skills used in the simulated working environments to skills that are needed to beapplied in the real-world environment. The simulations referred to in this study are simulatedenvironments that mirror student skill application, not a simulation of an event that is meant toaid students in the development of concept knowledge around the demonstrated event. This studyexamines students' ability to transfer skills learned during a simulation activity to that of a real-world application setting. The study is situated within an introductory engineering computingcourse in which students are required to work within MyITlab to gain familiarity with usingMicrosoft Office Software. In this setting, students are expected to use high fidelity simulations,complete online course work based upon these simulations, and then complete a comprehensiveexam to demonstrate skills learned with the real-world application. Guided by Kolb’sexperiential learning theory, end of course surveys will be implemented to investigate studentself-efficacy, the adaptive process, and students’ perceived ability to successfully use thissoftware for real world productivity outside of the classroom environment. Survey questions willfocus upon the student experience when working with simulation software and how using thesoftware enabled them to use the Microsoft Office Software effectively. Survey results will becompared with course grades earned when completing MyITlab simulations in correlation to thescores posted on the Microsoft Excel Final Exam. By gaining a better understanding of howstudents transfer knowledge from the simulated activity environment to the applicationenvironment, while capturing individual learning preferences, instructors will be able to betteraid the students to more effectively transition skill between environments and create a moreholistic learning environment to convert theoretical understanding into practical application. Thelessons learned from this study will be used to inform the implementation of improved practiceswhen the course is delivered the following term.

Cutler, S. L., & Kappers, W. M. (2015, June), Simulation to Application: Exploring Student’s Ability to Transfer Skills Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24711

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