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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26169

Title: Transfer of Learning from the Classroom to the Cooperative Education Workplace in a Baccalaureate Program in an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology
Authors: Donohue, Marguerite
Advisor: Skolnik, Michael
Department: Theory and Policy Studies in Education
Keywords: cooperative education
transfer of learning
baccalaureate degree
Kolb's experiential learning theory
Kolb's learning styles
Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology
Issue Date: 15-Feb-2011
Abstract: This research used case study methodology with both qualitative and quantitative research tools to examine the transfer of learning from the classroom to the cooperative education workplace and the relationship of students’ learning styles to this transfer of learning in a Bachelor of Applied Business program at a large comprehensive College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario. Kolb’s experiential learning theory was used as the conceptual framework. A purposive convenience sample of six students (28.6%) who had completed the second of three cooperative education work terms in the program participated and completed all components of the study. The research findings led to six conclusions: 1. Foundation skills learned in the classroom, such as communication and technical skills, and in this case general business concepts, are used in all of the cooperative education workplace experiences in this study. 2. The co-op work term experience itself, including the workplace environment and culture, is more important than the student’s learning style in explaining the learning from the classroom that a student is able to transfer to the co-op workplace. 3. Co-op experiences may not challenge students to the level they may be capable of with respect to what they have learned in class. 4. A co-op work term learning plan, opportunity to use previous learning, and a supportive co-op environment are important for students to be able to transfer their learning from the classroom to the cooperative education workplace experience. 5. Perceived barriers to transfer of learning can also provide the opportunity for learning experiences. 6. The program curriculum design plays a role in enabling transfer of learning. Several recommendations related to implications for practice were also identified. These included the need to reinforce the importance of communication and technical skills with students, providing a variety of learning experiences, designing curriculum to link classroom learning with the co-op experience, selecting co-op experiences so as to ensure alignment between the students’ knowledge and abilities and the opportunities available, providing formal orientation and training to cooperative education employer supervisors, and aligning the work term learning plan with the program curriculum.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26169
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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