Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Teaching Psychology

Fewer students enjoy reading for reading's sake—we need to integrate literary fiction and good non-fiction into the classroom. Doing so can bring psychological ideas alive but also help students appreciate reading for pleasure and insight into behavior.

Sharing Ideas

Sharing ideas about teaching with colleagues should happen more often than it likely does--there is always practical advice that experienced instructors can share with new teachers.

Step Away From the Cell Phone

What are we missing when we focus too much attention on our smartphones?

Final Exams Are Just Around the Corner

Like birth, death, and taxes, finals are inevitable—and always there at the end of term for undergraduates in psychology and all other academic disciplines. How best to prepare for them?

Teaching Evolves?!

The lecture isn't dead—but it is no longer the only approach college and university faculty use in their teaching.

It's a Wrap!

How can we get students to review what they did wrong on exams and papers?

Don't Say That

Students sometimes say the darnedest things—can we help them to think a bit before blurting?

Helping Students Leverage Skills Learned in Psychology

Psychology majors, like most undergraduates, are future-oriented--they look to what will happen after they graduate. But getting there, they often focus more on completing required courses ("hoop jumping") than thinking about what particular and important skills they have learned in their courses, skills that they can share with prospective employers, among others.

Christmas Longings: How Best to Savor the Holiday?

Christmas comes earlier and earlier and stays longer and longer--are we losing something by stretching out the holiday season for too long a time?

The End Is Near!

Final exams are a part of college life. Preparing well for them is a good idea. There are some basic do-able steps any student can take to work to improve his or her final course grade. Instructors, friends, and family members might learn some things here, too. Share these suggestions with a student you know.

YouTube and Me, or the Death of Classroom Documentaries?

Why do otherwise intelligent and motivated college students struggle to watch documentaries? Can--should--anything be done? Or, should psychology instructors just go with quick, cute, default downloads from YouTube and move on?

Courageous Candor and Teaching Psychology

What should faculty members do about students who are not succeeding as psychology majors? In effect, should we steer them to some other major?

Leading Effective Class Discussions: Some Suggestions

Class discussion promotes student learning of and engagement with course material. What are some ways to get good discussions started?

Only Connect: How Colleges Could Work Better

A new book offers helpful suggestions for improving the curricular and co-curricular experience of college students.

Getting a (Really) Good Start in College

What can you do to ensure you have a successful first year at college? What are some helpful steps to take? Mom, Dad, friends, relatives of students, share these recommendations. Your college-bound students will be glad you did!

The Ambivalence of August

August is here, summer will soon be over—and what have you accomplished? What can you salvage before the new academic year begins and you are back in the classroom?

Solitary (Writing) Confinement

Writing is a challenge for many people, perhaps because it is a solitary, even lonely, business. Must we write alone or can we be productive in public places?

What's in a Name?

It's easy for students to learn a professor's name--there's one of him or her. But how can a teacher learn all the names of students in a class? And what happens in years to come when casual run-ins on the street occur? There may be an elegant solution to this common teaching problem.

What is Summer For? Recalculating!

Summertime is a great time to plan your future. Don't be too lazy during the hazy days--have fun, yes, but use the time wisely and well, too, by "recalculating."

Teaching About Practical Steps to Creativity

It's nice when teaching and research inform daily life—and here is some intriguing evidence about the creative impact of walking.

On Pleasing Students, or the Goldilocks's Problem

Psychology teachers should routinely introduce changes to how their courses run. When they, however, it can be like dealing with Goldilocks--the porridge might be too hot, the chair too small, and so on. What to do?

That Question: “What’s a Psychology Degree Worth, Anyway?"

A college education is expensive—we all know that. But is a future salary the only return on investment (ROI) we should be concerned with? Aren't there important educational intangibles that provide us with a rich life then as well as later?

Vocabularies, the Evolving SAT, and Teaching Psychology

The SAT is changing: Vocabulary words on the test are to become less obscure and more aligned with college curricula. What does this mean for the learning of obscure words in or out of psychology?

Need to Remember Something? There's No App for That

Taking notes using traditional methods—writing in longhand, for example—appears to promote better learning and retention of course material than does taking notes on a laptop computer. This finding should have consequences for how technology is used in the classroom.

Test Early, Test Often?

Can routine, repeated quizzing or testing actually lead to enhanced academic performance? Apparently so!

Trust but Verify: Replication Is Important—for Teaching, Too

In order to be taken seriously, findings in psychological science need to be replicable, that is, found independently and consistently. Establishing a similar standard for teaching research and pedagogical demonstrations makes sense and will go a long way towards promoting educational integrity.

Holiday Gifts for Psychology Teachers, Students, and Others

It can be better to give than to receive, but what kinds of gifts should you give to those interested in psychology?

Evaluating Teaching Faculty or Faculty Who Teach? Huh? What?

Most college and university faculty teach, but not all faculty are teaching faculty. Huh? What? Faculty members have distinct duties depending upon the nature of the institution where they work, not to mention that there are different types of adjunct colleagues. The situation is more complex than it appears—students need to know and so does the general public.

Early Decision and College Admission: Waiting is Hard

How should high school seniors applying early decision handle their immediate futures? What should they do and not do? How should they act?

Well Done! Good Job! Excellent! But Temper Your Enthusiasm

Psychology faculty need to offer praise as well as criticism, but sometimes teachers go too far in one or the other direction. What's are some best practices for offering appropriate feedback on student work, such as writing, exams, presentations, and so on?

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