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The Value of Transfer Activities when Developing Technological Knowledge and Skills

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Design Cognition I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

25.1355.1 - 25.1355.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22112

Download Count

49

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Paper Authors

biography

Patrick Rowsome University of Limerick

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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.

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Niall Seery University of Limerick Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4199-4753

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Seamus Gordon University of Limerick

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Diarmaid Lane University of Limerick

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Abstract

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. https://peer.asee.org/22112

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