ERIC Number: ED347187
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Complex Knowledge Mastery: Some Propositions.
Keller, Joyce A.; Schallert, Diane L.
The proposition that the mastery of complex tasks embodies several components was studied for 236 students in an undergraduate introductory financial accounting course. A new curriculum was developed for the course that included in-depth exposure to the actual financial statements of a company and the understanding of the structural relationships among the accounts. Examinations administered during the semester determined students' basic knowledge as well as inferential understanding of structural relationships among accounts. On the final examination, students encountered questions about real-world companies that were considered far transfer complex task questions. Results indicate that basic factual knowledge is not enough to cause transfer, and that far transfer can occur even when factual knowledge has not been fully acquired. The failure of even the top students to achieve overall mastery suggests the need for skills to become automated before full transfer can occur. Structural transfer appears content dependent. An understanding of structural relationships facilitates the far transfer that complex knowledge implies. Although it was not specifically tested, it appears that students should be exposed to real-world contexts involving far transfer complex knowledge in order to learn to deal with information that is less than obvious. Two tables present study data, and an appendix contains five sample test questions. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Complex Concepts; Far Transfer