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Transfer Of Learning: Foundation For Engineering Outcomes

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ERM Potpourri

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

10.1354.1 - 10.1354.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15195

Download Count

54

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Paper Authors

author page

Jefferey Froyd

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Transfer of Learning: Foundation for Engineering Outcomes

Jeffrey E. Froyd Texas A&M University

Abstract

Ultimately, engineering graduates are asked to apply their learning in contexts different from those in which they learned the material. Their ability to transfer their learning to new contexts is the basis for desired learning outcomes such as problem solving, design, analysis of socio- cultural contexts, and lifelong learning. However, results from research and experience have given rise to a wide range of judgments about the ease and likelihood with which transfer occurs. Without clearer understanding of transfer, efforts to improve crucial engineering outcomes such as problem solving, design, integration, and analysis of global and societal impacts of proposed solutions may lack a firm theoretical foundation. To stimulate further conversations and research on transfer in engineering education initiatives, the paper will examine research on transfer and address three issues. How might transfer be defined? How might transfer be assessed? How might transfer be facilitated?

Introduction

To create engineering designs, solve problems, analyze technical and socio-cultural contexts, and more, engineering graduates will be expected to apply their skills and knowledge in diverse, unpredictable contexts. That is, they will be expected to transfer what they learned before graduation in classroom contexts to many different contexts, including the workplace, government, and international forums. Ideally, research on transfer of learning would provide principles and examples that engineering educators might apply in creating assessment and learning activities that would help graduates enhance their capabilities to transfer their learning. However, results from research and experience have given rise to a wide range of judgments about the ease and likelihood with which transfer occurs. For example, Detterman states ”there is very little empirical evidence showing meaningful transfer to occur and much less evidence showing it under experimental control”1. On the other hand, everyday experience suggests that transfer occurs routinely and Haskell offers “deep-context teaching” as an approach to teach for transfer2. Despite the different positions, the importance of transfer is clear. “The sole reason why we have schools and universities, that is formal settings designed for learning activities is that we expect that learning will transfer”3. Without clearer understanding of transfer, efforts to improve crucial engineering outcomes such as problem solving, design, integration, and analysis of global and societal impacts of proposed solutions may lack a firm theoretical foundation.

To stimulate further conversations and research on transfer in engineering education initiatives, the paper will examine research on transfer and address four issues. • How might transfer be defined? Definition of transfer is crucial, because the likelihood of transfer often depends on its definition. Many definitions of transfer have been offered and results about the likelihood of transfer often depend on the definition. In addition, recent research has offered descriptions of transfer as

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Froyd, J. (2005, June), Transfer Of Learning: Foundation For Engineering Outcomes Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15195

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