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Office of Institutional Research

          Psychology Methods

          Learning Outcomes



  • Process
    • 2010-2011: Bi-weekly curriculum committee meetings to discuss PSY 192 (Core Course:  Research Methods). 
    • 9 Faculty participants formally identified shared learning goals for that course
    • June 2011: Summer Workshop “Implementation and Assessment of Deep Learning in the Methods of Psychological Science.”  (IR attended)
    • 2011-2012:  Faculty Teaching Circle to pilot assessment and evaluation rubric (~60 students at different points in educational arc).  (IR attended)
    • Next Steps:  Can 192 learning goals be expanded to be departmental learning goals?


  • Research Methods Learning Goals

    • Identification and understanding of knowledge generated by research tools
      • Critical evaluation of research design (e.g., how to read empirical articles and identify strengths and weaknesses of designs)
      • Focus on descriptive, relational, and causal research designs
      • Understanding of tables, graphs, SPSS output
    • Implementation of research designs (on paper or in data-driven projects)
      • Conceptualization and operationalization of dependent and independent variables
      • Reliability and validity
      • Hands on experience converting raw data to output
    • Scientific communication
      • Data presentation in writing, tables, and graphs
      • PowerPoint and poster presentations
      • APA style
    • Philosophy of science
      • Understanding of how the process of science works (e.g., no definitive studies, triangulation of methods)
      • Probabilistic thinking
      • Recognition of subjectivity in research design, data collection, and interpretation
    • Ethics and implications for the real world
      • Treatment of research subjects
      • Application to real world problems
      • Responsibility and citizenship


  • Assessment Design
    • Open-ended assessment demanding engagement with a messy, real world problem—high school start time
    • Their task:  Your job is to write an essay in which you state and explain your conclusions about the evidence, articulating its strengths and limitations.  Be sure to include your best recommendation to Dr. Post about keeping versus delaying the school start time.  Recall that Dr. Post is a trained psychologist who is familiar with scientific vocabulary within the discipline of psychology.
    • Materials included (including multiple choice questions for this round)




Quantitative Reasoning

Critical Thinking

Selected Departmental Learning Goals



Film Studies


Psychology Methods



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