Asee peer logo

The Value of Transfer Activities when Developing Technological Knowledge and Skills

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Design Cognition I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1355.1 - 25.1355.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Patrick Rowsome University of Limerick

visit author page

Patrick Rowsome's research areas/interests include the transfer of learning in technology education, pedagogical strategies within technology education, creativity and innovation within technology education, and social constructivism. At present, he is investigating the value of transfer activities in a workshop based context in developing skill and knowledge. This research area involves developing a strategy to facilitate transfer activities and how this can enhance the transfer from context to context. The research aims to identify the key elements needed to design and implement an efficient pedagogical strategy to promote design and innovation.

visit author page

author page

Niall Seery University of Limerick Orcid 16x16

author page

Seamus Gordon University of Limerick

author page

Diarmaid Lane University of Limerick

Download Paper |


The Value of Transfer Activities when Developing Technological Knowledge and SkillsThe heritage of many second level international engineering curricula is grounded inthe development of craft and vocational education. In recent years the consensus ofpolicy makers and educators centres on developing a broader skill-set that includesdesign, innovation, and creativity. The need to understand the physical properties ofmaterials, the ability to select and execute appropriate processes, and implementeffective manufacturing systems still forms the core of engineering education.However, the contemporary nature and purpose of engineering education demandsthat students acquire specific technical content knowledge and develop practical skillsin the context of a collaborative environment applying knowledge and skills in aninnovative and creative way.In an attempt to elicit the critical variables that scaffold design and creativity withinengineering, this study using the divergent nature of decorative metal craft to exploreinitially the relationship between the ‘transfer’ of newly acquired knowledge andskills with student’s performance in a design based activity.The pedagogical approach taken was supported by Kolb’s theoretical Learning cycle,where students (n= 141) observed a demonstration of a skill (Concrete experience),reviewed technical details (reflective observation), transferred information into a newdesign idea (abstract conceptualisation) and then produce an artefact (ActiveExperimentation). The degree of transfer from the demonstration to the student’s newdesign was assessed using the augmented version (Haupt and Blignaut, 2007) ofKirkpatrick’s learning evaluation model. The validity of the performance and level oftransfer measured was insured by the aggregation of five subject specialist using anagreed rubric.The findings showed that there was a diverse response to the activities. At first it wasdifficult to distinguish between the obscure responses so the learning evaluationmodel was employed for this purpose. However some students merely mimickedwhat they were shown while others push the level of their understanding andexperimented to explore the capabilities of the skills. This aligns with theconstructivist belief that knowledge is not transmitted but constructed through hands-on activities or personal experience which generates knowledge. It was alsodiscovered that certain task allowed for a greater depth of experimentation thanothers. This has an impact on the pedagogical approach taken by educators andhighlights the importance when allowing students experiment when constructing newmeaning.

Rowsome, P., & Seery, N., & Gordon, S., & Lane, D. (2012, June), The Value of Transfer Activities when Developing Technological Knowledge and Skills Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22112

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015