Transfer from Mathematics to Engineering

Nathalie van der Wal, Annoesjka Cabo

One of the main goals of PRIME is the transfer of mathematics to engineering courses. In general, transfer of learning is defined as using knowledge and skills in another context than the context in which it was initially learned. Thus, teaching mathematics in context has emerged as a possible solution to foster transfer. However, teaching mathematics in context only connects a particular mathematical topic to that context and not to other contexts. Clearly, the transfer of learning from mathematics to engineering is not an easy task. To evaluate the current state of transfer in our education, we developed a pilot study that measures the transfer of mathematics in a given PRIME course to a specific Aerospace course. In every course pair, we will compare the scores of specific exam questions in which the same mathematical topics are addressed.

Objective and expected outcomes

The aim of the study is to evaluate the current state of transfer of mathematics to engineering in service mathematics courses taught in PRIME. The outcomes of the study will help to guide the development of courses to foster transfer.

Results and learnings

The data are currently being analyzed, and results are expected to be out in mid-2022.

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