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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in STEM Education


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Keith W. Thiede, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Gwyneth R. Hughes, Ph.D.


The order in which material is presented and explored may affect a student’s connection to and transfer of knowledge. In this study, direct instruction and exploration order were manipulated to determine the impact on depth of connection and transfer of learning. Students (N=179) from a chemistry class were assigned to two groups that received direct instruction and an exploration of specific heat and variability of data with increased trials. One group received direct instruction followed by guided exploration (di-exploration) while the other group did guided exploration and then received direct instruction (exploration-di). The exploration-di group retained more knowledge about variability and transferred that knowledge marginally better to another context (far transfer) and in context-free problems (generalization).