The art of teaching for transfer, known as mediating transfer is an active research field.
Perkins (Harvard Graduate School of Education; Forgarty, R.; Perkins, D.; & Barell, J. 1991. The Mindful School: How to Teach for Transfer. Palatine, IL: IRI/Skylight Publishing. ) and Salomon (University of Arizona: Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. 1988, September. Teaching for transfer. Educational Leadership, 22-32) define two broad categories of techniques that teach for transfer.
I discussed the first category, bridging, in my last post. The second category, hugging, involves creating a learning situation in which the the current context becomes more like the context in which transfer is expected. In other words, “How is this situation / problem / topic that I am experiencing now, like the new situation / problem / topic that I will soon experience?”
In Alice 3, we are attempting to mediate the transfer form a drag and drop IDE, into a more traditional IDE for developing Java programs. We use two hugging techniques to accomplish this.
First, Alice 3 has been designed to provide a set of preference options that allows the student to view Java code with greater syntax details than in Alice 2.
In this first screen shot, you see a segment of Alice 3 program code, in Alice display mode.
which results in the same code fragment to look like this: