The redesign of general psychology psy 101j at the university of southern maine
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The Redesign of General Psychology (PSY 101J) at The University of Southern Maine. John Broida Associate Professor NCAT Redesign Scholar. Intro to Psychology had problems.

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The Redesign of General Psychology (PSY 101J) at The University of Southern Maine

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The redesign of general psychology psy 101j at the university of southern maine

The Redesign of General Psychology (PSY 101J) at The University of Southern Maine

John Broida

Associate Professor

NCAT Redesign Scholar


Intro to psychology had problems

Intro to Psychology had problems.

  • Taught primarily on the Portland campus of a 3 campus institution (also Gorham and Lewiston/Auburn, and some off campus sites)

  • 1200 students per year on a 10,000 student campus

    • 14-16 sections (size ranges from 100 - 30)

  • Most were taking the course to fulfill a general education requirement

    • 6 other majors require the course

    • Students must take 2 social science courses to graduate

  • Taught as lecture course, with 3 exams

  • 25% of students dropped/failed/withdrew (DFW)


As psychologists we knew

As psychologists we knew

  • Quizzing helps students learn

    • In class quizzes take time and effort

      • Grading, recording grades

      • Students argue for points – reduces time to lecture

    • We hoped to use the web to quiz students before class

      • Preliminary data suggested that students would read if quizzed

      • We could get them to prepare for classes if we quizzed

  • Repetition helps students learn

    • We wanted them to take more than one quiz, learn from their mistakes


Developed web based quizzes as part of the c2r colleagues committed to redesign

Developed web-based quizzes as part of the C2R (Colleagues Committed to Redesign)

  • Used what is now called the supplemental model

  • We saved money by having everyone use common materials (though we used different exams)

    • One of us created the quizzes we all used.

    • Used the test bank from the publisher

    • Others found materials that we put into WebCT.

    • We had hoped to increase class size, but that has not happened yet – it will in the spring

  • We now have the publishers create the quizzes – no longer use a common text – in Blackboard.


Effect was immediately obvious on our now fully implemented design

Effect was immediately obvious on our now fully implemented design

  • Had to recreate our lectures

    • We stopped enabling our students not to read

  • Students spent more time studying

    • A few quit the course immediately – too much work – but enrollment did not drop appreciably

    • Students liked the quizzes, they provide important feedback before exams

  • DFW rate dropped by 8%, grades went up 10%


Difficulties associated with redesign

Difficulties associated with redesign

  • We had to change course management systems 3 times.

  • We had to create our own quizzes each time the publisher came out with a new edition or we changed books.

    • Publishers now create them for us

  • We wanted to use different books.

  • Attendance dropped in some sections

    • Those where the quizzes were the basis of exams

    • Thank goodness for classroom response systems


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