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Assessment of vertical transfer in problem solving: Mapping the problem design space Documents

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Assessment of vertical transfer in problem solving: Mapping the problem design space 

written by Joshua Von Korff, Dehui Hu, and N. Sanjay Rebello

In schema-based theories of cognition, vertical transfer occurs when a learner constructs a new schema to solve a transfer task or chooses between several possible schemas. Vertical transfer is interesting to study, but difficult to measure. Did the student solve the problem using the desired schema or by an alternative method? Perhaps the problem cued the student to use certain resources without knowing why? In this paper, we consider some of the threats to validity in problem design. We provide a theoretical framework to explain the challenges faced in designing vertical transfer problems, and we contrast these challenges with horizontal transfer problem design. We have developed this framework from a set of problems that we tested on introductory mechanics students, and we illustrate the framework using one of the problems.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 26, 2012

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