Dr. Jacqui Taylor, Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Bournemouth University recently presented and ran a workshop at the ‘National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology’, an annual conference for teachers of psychology to explore new ideas to enhance and broaden their teaching skills. Below, Dr. Taylor summarises her experience:
“I welcomed the New Year by presenting a poster and workshop at the 37th Annual ‘National Institute on the Teaching Of Psychology’ in Florida. The first day dawned with a beautiful sunrise and an early 7:30 am breakfast session!
My poster ‘The Evaluation and Assessment of Online Skills Through Online Group Discussion’ stimulated lots of interaction from delegates who were mainly interested in my use of reflection as an assessment tool. Increasingly, much of a psychology student’s learning occurs within electronic environments, however rarely are the new skills they develop in these contexts identified, improved or assessed. Over the past 5 years, I have addressed this important need, and examples from assessed online student discussions were presented in my poster to demonstrate an innovative way to develop and assess online skills. I made some good contacts with other lecturers who were using quite different quantitative rubrics to assess technical skills and I look forward to developing links with them.
My second presentation was under a category called ‘Participant Idea Exchange (referred to as PIEs!)’ and consisted of a one-hour facilitated workshop session. My ‘PIE’ was on ‘Psychological Literacy: A Practical Approach’ and I presented with Dr Carolyn Mair (a past PGR and lecturer at BU). Psychological literacy is a new and important concept in psychology education which encapsulates the knowledge, skills and attributes acquired through the study of psychology and the ability to transfer learning from the academic setting into the real world. Despite an increasing number of academic and professional publications highlighting theoretical concepts and benefits of psychological literacy, there are few practical resources for psychology educators. This PIE addressed this need by discussing our two recent publications commissioned by the UK Higher Education Academy: ‘An Introductory Guide to Psychological Literacy’ (Mair, Taylor & Hulme, 2013) and ‘A Psychological Literacy Compendium’ (Taylor & Hulme, in prep).
As the sun set on this year’s conference there were promises from many delegates to collaborate and share their teaching practice throughout 2015 and meet once again at the 38th ‘NITOP’ in 2016.”