Teaching

For anyone interested in learning and memory, teaching is an extraordinary opportunity to observe those processes in action.  We professors typically expect our students to retain information over short (and hopefully very long) delays, to expand their semantic knowledge base, and to enhance their problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, we hope that they find insight and enjoyment in the pursuit of intellectual growth.  We can consider ourselves successful instructors if our students learn to apply the information gained in the classroom, to think critically, and to communicate effectively.

More specific Information for current students can be found via individual course Moodle sites.

Descriptions for courses that I regularly teach:

First-Year Seminar: Learning Science

Learning is central to our lives as students, professors, and citizens. This seminar will focus on the science of learning and how it is applied by individuals and institutions. Sources drawn from psychology, sociology, and other social sciences will inform our discussion of how you can improve your own academic performance and how institutions of higher education can support those goals.

Psyc 203: Design & Analysis I

This course is an introduction to basic research design, measurement, and the statistical analysis and interpretation of data. In this class, students should gain knowledge of the methods available for studying behavior, including complex experimental designs, surveys, and computer-aided statistical analysis of data using SPSS. In addition to hands-on experience serving as both participant and investigator, students also participate in the community of psychological scientists by reading primary research articles. Students also gain experience in presenting information in a scientific context through the composition of APA Style lab reports and poster presentations.

Psyc 256: Cognitive Psychology I

This lecture-style course is designed to introduce students to the study of cognition and covers topics such as attention, memory, imagery, language, reasoning, and problem solving.  The course is designed as a survey of the field where we discuss the current research landscape, emphasizing areas of connectedness and a historical progression.  In addition to participating in demonstrations of laboratory paradigms during class, students are also expected to participate in research experiments using a specialized software package and to describe the methods and results of these experiments in a series of brief reports. Critical reviews of books (e.g., Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman) and multimedia resources (e.g., a TED talk by Elizabeth Loftus) on topics covered in class are also required.

Psyc 330: Cognitive Psychology II

This discussion-and-laboratory course uses psychological research and theory to understand the efficient, yet error-prone nature of how the human mind classifies and retrieves information.  Concepts are presented in a historical framework so that students can appreciate the development of the field and how and why contemporary issues arose.  I expect students to integrate various perspectives and to think critically about the current status of the question at hand. During the laboratory portion of the course, students work in small groups to examine novel questions in the field and to describe those findings in APA style. Topics in this course change from year to year, but representative topics include everyday forgetting vs. amnesia, reconstructive aspects of memory, recall vs. recognition, mnemonic techniques, and applying cognitive psychology to educational practice.