Faculty team receives FaCE grant to explore cognitive science/transfer

A project led by five faculty members from Ripon College has received funding through a FaCE Grant Award from Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM).

“Using Cognitive Science to Build a Problem-Solving Core Curriculum at Ripon College” is being developed by project leaders Kristine Kovack-Lesh, associated professor of psychology and chair of the department; Travis Nygard, assistant professor of art, chair of the department, and registrar of the College Art Collection; Joshua Filler, assistant professor of philosophy; Steve Martin, associate professor of communication and chair of the department; and Mark Kainz, associate professor of biology.

Cognitive science research suggests students have difficulty using skills developed within a discipline to address problems in a different context (“transfer”). Studies also show that transfer is improved when students explicitly link learning expectations across courses (metacognition) and intentionally apply skills to open-ended problems (meaningful learning).

The project leaders will build their expertise in using cognitive science-based strategies to improve transfer, metacognition and meaningful learning, and then help faculty colleagues develop seminars for the College’s Core Curriculum that effectively increase students’ skill-transfer.

Grant funds come from the Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) program, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and designed to foster collaborative projects among faculty and staff at ACM colleges.


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