Tag Archives: interactive engagement

Celebrating the end of term!

And what a term it’s been! It’s certainly been busy and challenging, but I feel like I have learned a lot and I have had a ton of fun! This term I taught learners in two courses: the continuation of Intro Psyc (go section 6!) and Psyc 208 (a course I designed called How Social Psych Can Help You Succeed).

This year the students in my Intro Psych class were so wonderfully curious and engaged! I felt such great energy from them every day (some days more than others, but that’s normal!), and they truly inspired me to bring my “A game” every day (which I tried my best to do!). Here are some photos from our last day together. I had asked them to write their most important take-away message from this course. Take a look… 

Last week in Psyc 208 we held the Creative Advertisement Showcase, which was a fantastic celebration of what they had discovered throughout the term! Previously, teams of students had identified a learning challenge they face, investigated primary sources for insight into understanding and addressing the challenge, and summarized those sources in annotated bibliographies and team abstracts. The purpose of the Creative Advertisment was to get the word out to fellow students about research-based techniques and strategies for addressing the learning challenges they face. They truly were creative! Projects ranged from video and live games to posters to live skits and demonstrations to videos and pamphlets… an impressive variety! Check out some of their videos and websites (ordered by team #)…

Team 7’s Learning about Distractions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lts-wX9L8q4

Team 9’s Learning Environments: http://psyc208.wordpress.com/

Team 12’s Sleep & Learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaqQkImzagU

Team 15’s Stress Happens, Even for a Jedi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnmYyz61Mys with website: http://ipixels.net/stress/

Team 18’s Technology Crackdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zBCkhIoS74  

Team 22’s Cultural Differences and Learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jPW6tRA20w

And here’s a shot of Team 13’s interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure” study strategies station in action!

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic year! Study smartly for your finals… and remember that no matter how you do on them, that’s not a reflection of your worth as a person.

Kids doing science… and publishing!

What a fabulous example of what can happen when people — kids! — have the opportunity to use the scientific method to make discoveries about life. This paper about bees was actually published in a scientific journal. Bravo to the journal editors and reviewers for publishing such a fine example of science fueled by curiosity. A worthwhile read! Thanks to friend and colleague Lesley Duncan for the recommendation!

New Syllabus Posted

Ah the dawn of a new term! Living in an academic world means every four months is an opportunity for renewal. January can be an especially tough transition because of the remaining fatigue from Term 1. Thankfully, we also get Spring Break to catch our breaths. I’m very much looking forward to Term 2. I have had a fabulous time with my Intro Psyc (Section 006) students so far and I look forward to teaching and learning with them as we venture into the more “social” side of scientific psychology.

Psyc 208, Section 002, will begin anew on Tuesday. Here is a copy of the syllabus for those of you interested in checking it out early. This is a refreshed version of the course that was featured in UBC Reports last August. Based on feedback from students and my TA Jelena, I have revised the course to focus more on making teamwork work well, alongside personal development of skills such as self-control, goal-setting, and stress management. An open mind and a willingness to actively engage in learning will be assets to any student joining us in this course. Looking forward to meeting you on Tuesday!

Psyc 217 Poster Session!

Last Friday evening (November 26), 550 Psyc 217 (Research Methods) students showcased their hard work designing and conducting research throughout this term in a poster session. It was a fabulous event with many students reporting a rich learning experience… and that it was fun to see what everyone else had come up with!

Many thanks to Eric Eich, who committed financial support from the department to make this happen, to the Life Sciences Institute for allowing us to book their space, to my fellow 217 instructor and poster session co-coordinator Colleen Brenner, additional 217 instructors Victoria Savalei and Rajiv Jhangiani, and all dozen Teaching Fellows for their support and dedication to making this a success. And, of course, to our hard-working, impressive students! It was a pleasure to see your work!

BodyWorlds Field Trip!

Last night 37 of my fabulous Intro Psych Section 6 students joined me in an exploration of the brain and body at World of Science’s Body Worlds exhibit. We were able to see in real size many of the structures we’ve been exploring in class, including the structures of the inner ear, and brain parts including the corpus callosum, thalamus, and hippocampus. After looking so often at magnified, stylized, colour-coded versions of these brain strutures it was amazing to be reminded of just how small and unimpressive the structures appear — despite their incredible capacities. There were some great posters on display throughout the exhibit that discussed the neuronal communication process, and what we know about the brain’s influence in creativity, sleep, personality, love… and so on.

Here’s me and some of my students as we were leaving the exhibit area (unfortunately no pics are allowed inside).

What students were saying:

It really helped me visualize everything we were talking about in class.

By being able to see the actual thing [e.g., the cochlea] it is easier to picture. Seeing a diagram is one thing, but the actual structure adds another level.

This field trip helped me to understand more about the thalamus and the neurons.