Anita Salem & Renee Michael
Rockhurst University


The difficulty that many calculus students face is their inability to apply methods and concepts used in practiced problems to new situations. This is not only a cause for concern in their calculus courses but also in subsequent science and engineering courses where they need to use the fundamental principles and methods of calculus.

This project began as an attempt to create a course activity that would help students improve their ability to transfer their knowledge across application domains. In the end, we were unable to determine how effective the activity was in addressing the problem of transfer however, we were able to formulate a simple but useful characterization of students' approaches to solving out-of-context problems.

For more information on this project e-mail Anita Salem at For information about other mathematics projects of a similar nature go to the Teaching & Learning MAA site:

| Nature of the Problem | Pedagogical Intervention | Investigation | Results | | Summary |
| Resources & Bibliography |