Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Science and Mathematics Education


Christopher Gerbi

Second Committee Member

John Thompson

Third Committee Member

Craig Mason


Far transfer is the application of knowledge learned in one setting to a problem in a very different setting. This multi-method study looked at far transfer in humans and whether it could be facilitated, inhibited, or remain unaffected by the number of courses or years a student at a university spent learning about the subject matter of the knowledge being transferred. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis of pretest and post-test data from an introductory undergraduate earth science course, I found that students with more physical science background experience more frequently engaged in successful and accurate transfer of physics information to novel questions relating to plate tectonics. I also found evidence that a high amount of previous physical science experience seemed to promote transfer later in the earth science course. However, due to the sample size of the analyzed student responses, I believe that my results are preliminary and I encourage more research to be done on the topic with larger sample sizes.

Appendices.xlsx (113 kB)