Transfer of Learning as a specific case of transition between learning contexts in a French work-integrated learning program.

Abstract : The aim of this article is to discuss transfer of learning in a tertiary technical course in the French educational context. The focus is on a pedagogical sequence (i.e. a complex problem-solving activity) requiring different types of knowledge that students are expected to have learnt previously in the different parts of their training course (both at university and in the workplace). The theoretical approach considers transfer of learning as a complex transition, including not only cognitive but also social and identity changes. This type of transition can be more or less difficult according to the types of knowledge and the pedagogical organisation of the training course, including more or less connective activities between its different components. We recorded two groups of students during the pedagogical sequence and analysed their collective activity during the problem solving. Our findings show that students can easily transfer concrete knowledge from the workplace whereas they have great difficulty in using theoretical concepts and methods coming from the academic teachings at the university. We propose an interpretation of the students' difficulties by analysing the characteristics of these different social learning contexts. We also discuss the way in which such types of connective activities can be designed and managed by teachers to improve their efficiency.
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Laurent Veillard. Transfer of Learning as a specific case of transition between learning contexts in a French work-integrated learning program.. Vocations and Learning, 2012, 5 (3), pp.251-276. ⟨10.1007/s12186-012-9076-y⟩. ⟨hal-00965198⟩

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