The Open Psych Project

ITP student Ella Merriwether (Psychology PhD – Psychology & Law) developed the following independent study project.

Faculty advisor: Colette Daiute

Currently, many psychology instructors rely on teacher-centered, hierarchical approaches to teaching, often resorting to lecturing at students for the entire class period, rather than research-backed student-centered teaching that prioritizes engagement. While many instructors are interested in updating their approach, they cite the time and resource commitment needed to revamp an existing course as too daunting. However, I would argue that adopting a student-centered pedagogy is less work in the long run, and we can reduce this workload more by adopting digital open pedagogical practices and pooling our resources.

Therefore, my plan is to create a website that will serve as a repository for instructor-submitted student-centered lesson plans and activities. Instructors will be able to do three things with this site: (1) obtain ready to go, or very easily adaptable lesson plans/activities that engage their students in ways they haven’t done before, whether that be in this specific topic area, in this way, or at all; (2) share their own lesson plans/activities with their peers; and (3) give feedback for their peer’s lesson plans and reflect on their own work to improve their instruction in the future. Thus far, my team and I have completed a pilot test of lesson plans for half of PSY101: Introduction to Psychology and we plan to expand to the full course with departmental support soon. Ultimately, the goal is to help psychology instructors save time on lesson planning, boost engagement and student-centered learning goals, and inspire their own pedagogical creativity.

Tags: student-centered pedagogy; teaching resources; open access