Interactive Fiction and Learning Transfer

Hi, All,

Lately, I’ve been working on a conference presentation that focuses on transfer of learning from one context to another. I think that interactive fiction is a form that both invites and facilitates transfer. If you have some examples in your own IF teaching, I’d be glad to read about them.

The presentation includes a brief section on examples of the failure of transfer. These examples do not refer directly to IF, but I think they are relevant to interactive literature. Though I think these examples can be useful, I also find some of them rather problematic.

On such is example, which I’ve heard more than once in the past, goes like this.

“A group of people has just finished a course in Newtonian physics. If you ask these folks some simple questions about the motion of objects, such dropping of a rock to the ground, most of them will not answer in Newtonian terms. Instead, they’ll answer in terms of Aristotelian physics. Apparently, the learning about Newton’s physics has not transferred well.”

Strangely, though, I cannot seem to find any reference to this example when I search the Web. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Have a great day!



Hmm, that exact example was in a book assigned by the high school I teach at a couple of years ago. I’ll try to find it!

Edit: Wait, I actually think it was assigned reading to all faculty at BYU-Hawaii. I’ll keep tracking it down! I think the book also discussed stages of learning, from memorizing rules, thinking there are no rules, understanding more deeply, and then splitting into either ‘critical of everything’ or ‘enjoys everything’.

Thanks, Brian. I never would have thought of a high school textbook or assigned readings for university faculty.

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