Chapter 15
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Chapter 15. Transfer and Problem Solving. Chapter Overview. Transfer Problem Solving Facilitating Transfer and Problem Solving in the Classroom. Transfer. Transfer: when something you learn in one situation affects how you learn or perform in another situation

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Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

Chapter 15

Transfer and Problem Solving


Chapter overview

Chapter Overview

  • Transfer

  • Problem Solving

  • Facilitating Transfer and Problem Solving in the Classroom


Transfer

Transfer

  • Transfer: when something you learn in one situation affects how you learn or perform in another situation

  • Transfer is an important concept for learning

  • If we did not transfer learning from one situation to another, then we would have to learn how to do everything from scratch


Transfer1

Transfer

  • Types of transfer

    • Positive vs. Negative transfer

      • Positive transfer: learning in one situation facilitates learning or performance in another situation

        • Example: Knowing how to add and subtract allows us to balance our checkbook

      • Negative transfer: learning in one situations hinders our learning or performance in another situation

        • Example: playing tennis well and playing racquetball poorly


Transfer2

Transfer

  • Types of transfer continued…

    • Vertical vs. Lateral transfer

      • Vertical transfer: An individual learns know knowledge or skills by building on basic, pre-requisite knowledge

        • Example: Learning to calculate mean and standard deviation before the t-test

      • Lateral transfer: Knowledge of a topic is not essential to learning a new topic, but helps somewhat

        • Example: Knowledge of French is not essential for learning Spanish, yet knowing French can facilitate learning Spanish


Transfer3

Transfer

  • Types of transfer

    • Specific vs. General transfer

      • Specific transfer: The original learning task and the transfer task overlap in content

        • Example: driving a car versus driving a truck

      • General transfer: The original task and the transfer task are different in content

        • Example: driving an automatic versus driving a standard


Transfer4

Transfer

  • Theories of transfer

    • Formal discipline

      • Early theory of transfer

      • Emphasized the importance of exercising the mind so that one can learn more quickly and deal with new situations; “mind as muscle”

      • Focused on general transfer

      • Not well-regarded


Transfer5

Transfer

  • Theories of transfer

    • Early Behaviorist – Thorndike’s Identical Elements: Transfer will occur only if the original and the transfer tasks have identical elements

    • Learning is facilitated because of the information, habits, interests , attitudes, and ideals that are produced when studying various topics


Transfer6

Transfer

  • Theories of transfer

    • Later Behaviorist – Similarity of Stimuli and Responses:

      • When stimuli and responses are similar in 2 situations, transfer will occur

      • When stimuli are different and responses are similar, some positive transfer will occur

      • When stimuli are similar and responses are different, negative transfer will occur


Transfer7

Transfer

  • Theories of transfer

    • Information processing perspective: Transfer requires the individual to retrieve the stored information and skills at the appropriate time so that transfer can take place

    • Retrieval cues determine what relevant knowledge, if any, will be retrieved

      • The more closely associated a transfer event is to one that is stored, the more likely it is that transfer will take place


Transfer8

Transfer

  • Theories of transfer

    • Contextual perspective – situated learning: Learning should take place in the context in which it will be used later

      • Skills don’t necessarily transfer from school to life, classroom to classroom, etc.

      • We find it hard to compute a 15% tip on a restaurant bill

      • To facilitate transfer, we should teach for transfer


Transfer9

Transfer

  • Factors affecting transfer

    • Meaningful learning promotes better transfer than rote learning

    • The more thoroughly something is learned, the more likely it is to be transferred

    • The more similar two situations are, the more likely it is that transfer will take place

    • Principles are more easily transferred than knowledge

    • Numerous and varied opportunities for practice increase the likelihood of transfer

    • Time is not a friend to transfer


Problem solving

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving is a complex activity in which we engage every day

  • Some problems are easy and familiar, others are more difficult


Problem solving1

Problem Solving

  • Basic concepts in problem solving

    • Components of a problem

      • Givens: information that is provided when the problem is presented

      • Goal: the desired end or goal state

      • Operations: the actions that are performed to reach the goal


Problem solving2

Problem Solving

  • Basic concepts in problem solving

    • Algorithms and heuristics

      • Algorithm: Specific, step-by-step procedures for solving a problem that will lead to the correct answer

      • Heuristic: general rule of thumb that may lead to the correct answer


Problem solving3

Problem Solving

  • Basic concepts in problem solving

    • Well-defined versus ill-defined problems

      • Well-defined problems: givens, operations, and goals are stated and understood; most research has focused on this type of problem

      • Ill-defined problems: givens, operations, and/or goals are unknown or unclear; most real-life problem solving is ill-defined


Problem solving4

Problem Solving

  • Theories of problem solving

    • Trial-and-error learning

      • Problem solving that is characterized by mostly unfocused exploration for a possible solution

        • Works only if there are a limited number of possibilities to be tried

        • Young children use this approach


Problem solving5

Problem Solving

  • Theories of problem solving

    • Response hierarchy: An individual tries out a set of responses to a stimulus based on the degree of habit strength; the organism basically runs through his/her repertoire of responses to a stimulus to see which one works


Problem solving6

Problem Solving

  • Theories of problem solving

    • Gestalt psychology: problem solving requires insight, which allows for a restructuring of the problem situation – not well supported; insight is not always necessary for problem solving


Problem solving7

Problem Solving

  • Theories of problem solving

    • Stages: Cognitive approach to explaining problem solving

      • Preparation: gather information about the problem and its solution

      • Incubation: think about the problem while engaging in other activities

      • Inspiration: insight

      • Verification: check to make sure the solution is correct


Problem solving8

Problem Solving

  • Theories of problem solving

    • Information processing theory: emphasizes the role of working memory capacity, meaningful learning, organization of LTM, retrieval, and strategies

    • More on this in the next section…


Problem solving9

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Working memory capacity: working memory is limited; we can overcome this limitation by storing information externally (write it down) and by using automatic skills


Problem solving10

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Encoding and storage of the problem: Sometimes we perceive and encode the problem situation incorrectly

      • St. Ives example in book, p. 363

      • A critical factor is knowing what information is important/irrelevant and encoding it in the correct way (see birds and worms example on page 364)

      • Experts and novices in a particular domain classify, encode, and store problems in different ways


Problem solving11

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Mental sets in encoding: the tendency to approach and encode problems in similar ways

      • See examples on page 367

      • In most cases this facilitates problem solving; occasionally it hinders our ability to solve a problem


Problem solving12

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Functional fixedness

      • We think of objects as having only one function; this causes us to overlook other possible uses, which can hinder problem solving

      • Functional fixedness and mental set are the result of past experience


Problem solving13

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Retrieval from LTM: as you are thinking about a problem, you must be able to retrieve relevant information at the same time so that you can solve it

      • We start searching logical places; problem cues can help us search for the correct information; anagram example

      • Anxiety interferes with our ability to retrieve information


Problem solving14

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Knowledge base

      • Expert problem solvers have a more complete and better organized knowledge base for the problems in their area of expertise

      • They also have more interconnections among that information

      • Novices lack the knowledge base and are likely to engage in ineffective problem solving strategies


Problem solving15

Problem Solving

  • Cognitive factors in problem solving

    • Metacognition

      • Successful problem solvers must

        • Believe they can solve the problem

        • Know which strategies to use

        • Plan a course of action

        • Understand that the problem may take time and effort

        • Monitor progress


Problem solving16

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Combining algorithms

      • Putting together several algorithms, as is done in higher-level mathematics, is often needed

      • Difficult to use


Problem solving17

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Hill climbing: a strategy in which individuals engage in activities that will bring them closer to the goal state

    • It usually leads to the correct solution; can be difficult if part of the problem solution requires a step backwards


Problem solving18

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Means-ends analysis

      • The problem solver breaks the original problem into subgoals and works successively on each subgoal until the overall goal is met

      • Often used

      • A problem is that the use of subgoals can allow us to forget the overall goal

      • The Tower of Hanoi problem often is used to demonstrate this strategy


Problem solving19

Problem solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Working backwards: begin at the goal state and work your way backward to the beginning

    • Example: geometry proofs


Problem solving20

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Drawing analogies: draw an analogy between a problem situation and another situation to give you some insight into the correct solution

      • Gick & Holyoak (1980) study on page 375 and in handout

      • Doesn’t always work; we often have to be told to generate an analogy; also, we may draw inappropriate parallels


Problem solving21

Problem Solving

  • Problem solving strategies

    • Representativeness and availability

      • Representativeness: we jump to a conclusion about a solution based on obvious characteristics of the problem

      • Availability: a problem is solved based only on information that comes to mind immediately


Problem solving22

Problem Solving

  • Meaningful versus meaningless problem solving

    • If you learn an algorithm at a rote level, you may overlook important information that is meaningful to the problem solution


Facilitating transfer and problem solving

Facilitating Transfer and Problem Solving

  • Students need to learn information meaningfully and thoroughly

  • Problem solving strategies should be learned at a meaningful level

  • One must have a mental set for transfer

  • Prerequisite skills should be practiced to mastery so that they become automatic

  • Numerous and varied opportunities for practicing transfer and problem solving should be provided


Facilitating transfer and problem solving1

Facilitating Transfer and Problem Solving

  • Students should practice identifying problems on their own

  • Differences between ideas should be emphasized in an effort to minimize negative transfer

  • Allow students to learn problem solving skills through discovery

  • Teach general learning and problem-solving skills


Facilitating transfer and problem solving2

Facilitating Transfer and Problem Solving

  • Students should learn strategies for defining ill-defined problems

  • Scaffold students’ early attempts to solve a problem

  • Cooperative group problem solving can facilitate the development of effective problem solving strategies

  • Classroom evaluation should measure transfer and problem solving


The end

THE END!!!


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