IntroPsych News

November 6, 2013

IntroPsych News provides periodic announcements, course updates, and additional teaching resources for introductory psychology instructors at the University of Alabama.

1. Student Opinions of Instruction (SOI): Students may complete an evaluation of your course during the interval of November 18-December 8. The link is on myBama. I've had higher response rates and fewer questions by using a statement such as the following:

The UA course-instructor evaluation (called the Student Opinions of Instruction-SOI) will be available on myBama beginning November 18. This form is used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructors and is reviewed by the Psychology Department Chair, the A&S Dean, and me.

The link to the evaluation can be found under the student tab on myBama. On the page is a box that reads Your Opinions Matter (It has an image of a computer mouse on it). Click the mouse and then you will sign in using your myBama logon/password. You will then be able to click on our course number to complete the survey. At the end of the survey, you are given the opportunity to write comments about the course and my teaching. Your opinions are important to me and I urge you to complete the ratings and supply comments.

Once you have completed and submitted the survey you will see the course list again and a status note (e.g., "PY 105-900: Submitted"). I suggest sending me a screenshot or other image of the status note. To receive credit, you must complete the evaluation and get the verification to me before December 9.

2. Meet the dog who knows 1000 words. A profile of Chaser, a 9-year old border collie. Thanks to Eric Greenlee for this article and video.

3. SmartWork presentation: Many textbooks are now coming with technology that assesses and tutors students as they read the text. For example, several of us use the Gazzaniga et al. text for PY 101/105 and the people at W.W. Norton Publishers have a new feature for the text that might be ideal for us as our enrollments grow. It's called SmartWork. They will doing demonsrations on the feature on Monday, November 11, 9:00-12:00 in Room 351. This presentation may be interesting to instructors in all undergraduate courses, as the technology is spreading beyond introductory psychology.

4. Big data on campus.This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the broad reach of data collection and tracking in today's universities. From student recruitment and advising to suggestions of potential friends, no area is unaffected.
You are sure to see some positives in this trend, as well as troubling implications.

5. UA final exam policies:

6. Last day to post course grades: December 17 (12:00 Noon)

7. How to start a movement. Derek Sivers' amusing and instructive TED talk that covers a variety of group behavior concepts (3:10 min).

8. Checklist for academic misconduct cases. Hopefully you won't need this, but here is a coversheet that lists all information to be submitted to A & S Dean's Office for cases of suspected academic misconduct.

9. I have schizophrenia. MTV's Tru Life series follows three young adults with schizophrenia (42:38 min). Some of us have assigned this video to watch in preparation for a class on the topic.

10. How smart are animals?. Dogs, dolphins, parrots, and even octopuses may be smarter than you think. This is an episode of PBS's NovaScienceNow series. The site also contains a wealth of related links. Thanks again to Eric for this resource.

11. Teaching resources: There are several resources on the Teaching of Psychology course website and I invite you to make use of them. Should you find additional resources that might be helpful to others, please let me know and I will post them. Resources for New Instructors contains information on assisting students and on teaching. The Multimedia Library is a compilation of videos, demos, and websites. You can find these resources by going to the Teaching of Psychology course website ( 695%20home%20page%20frameset. htm) and clicking on the desired link in the left margin. 

12. See the IntroPsych News archive for past newsletters.

I’m available to help with issues that arise in your course this semester. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.


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