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Abstract Title: Can We Assess Efficiency and Innovation in Transfer?*
Abstract: Schwartz, Bransford and Sears [1] propose a two-dimensional model that describes transfer in terms of efficiency and innovation.  Efficiency is the ability to apply prior knowledge to new situations quickly and accurately.  Innovation is the ability to question assumptions, let go of prior knowledge and generate new ideas.  Schwartz et. al. argue that most educational assessments focus on efficiency at the expense of innovation.  We suggest that this perspective does not adequately reflect the challenges that our students face while problem solving.  For instance, while faculty may find end-of-chapter physics problems to be routine and overly focused on efficiency, our students, who lack prior knowledge and experience may find these problems to be novel and innovative.  We propose an operational meaning of 'efficiency' and 'innovation' and development of criteria to measure these constructs in ways that reflect both students' challenges as well as faculty expectations.

* This work is supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation grants 0816207.

[1] D. Schwartz, J. D. Bransford, and D. Sears, in Transfer of Learning from a Modern Multidisciplinary Perspective, edited by J.P. Mestre (Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, CT, 2005).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: N. Sanjay Rebello
Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-2601
Phone: 758-532-1539
Fax: 785-532-6806