- On their own they must realize what the question is asking and think about which approach to answering it makes the most sense.
- They must decide which prior learning is the most relevant.
- They must try out an approach and make adjustments as needed.
- They must adapt their answer when faced with an unusual setting
- Initial learning is necessary for transfer
- Knowledge that is overly contextualized can reduce transfer.
- Abstract representations of knowledge can help promote transfer.
- Transfer is best viewed as an active, dynamic process
- All new learning involves transfer based on previous learning, and this fact has important implications for the design of instruction
Students are motivated to spend the time needed to learn complex subjects and to solve problems that they find interesting. Opportunities to use knowledge to create products and benefits for others are particularly motivating for students.
The most difficult tests questions involve transferable ideas and processes, not obscure facts. The student must first determine if the question requires mere finding or inference, then determine which prior learning – main idea? Character development? – applies, test out their answer, and adapt their somewhat general or formulaic view of the content to this particular passage and prompt.