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Transfer of scientific principles

Trainee Achievements

Transfer of scientific principles

IGERT trainee Lisa Byrge studied how learning scientific principles transfers from one situation to another. The ability to take something that is learned previously and apply it to a new situation is a critical aspect of learning. Students are often asked, for example, to see that the same mathematical equation applies in biology, physics, and chemistry. In experiments in which undergraduate IU students were asked to solve given tasks with two computer simulation, Lisa found that the ability to transfer broadly across domains can be hindered by the design of materials that situate learning too closely to how it will be used. When this kind transfer of learning is desired, her studies point to the pedagogical effectiveness of computer-based simulations that are grounded in perception and interaction, and emphasize underlying systems rather than situation-specific details.