Social psychology (psychology)/Review

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This page presents an instructor review of Social psychology as it was taught in 2008 by James Neill.




  • An experiment; it 'worked' in general as a way for students to document their learning journey through the activities of the unit
  • It served as an appropriate and more engaging/dynamic alernative to "tutorial participation"
  • It tended (as desired) to help reward those students engaged throughout the unit
  • It involved extra support (e.g., via technical assistance and ongoing feedback) and final marking on the part of the instructor - and this required some technical expertise to "pull off" (i.e., successful mentor)
  • Additional handouts, demos (e.g., demo videos), online tutorials etc could be offered to minimise the technical barriers.
  • Transcluded from: E-portfolio instructor notes


  • Involved unique topic per person in order to reduce redundancy and to encourage individual, unique effort
  • This required some instructor expertise and experience to "pull-off"
  • Students had the option of putting the essay into the public domain, generating content which could be used to help build a social psychology wiki-book (b:Social psychology)
  • To do
    • Reduce penalty for over word count to 2.5% per 100 words
    • Clarify how words are counted e.g., one student noted that the website said that “references were not counted. I thought that this included in-text references.”
  • Transcluded from: Essay instructor notes


  • An open-book, 3-hour exam, 150-item exam was reasonable successful
  • Average mark was 71%
  • In previous years the exam had been too hard (not enough time; 2 hours); added one hour (2 → 3 hours)
  • Reduced draft from 165 to 150 items
  • Redrafted and reselected the items in 2008.
    • Approximately 2 to 3 days was put in – quite a lot – to set this up even better for this year and the future.
    • There is still work to be done in this area
      • In 2009, prepare the items more continuously and systematically as part of tackling each topic.
      • Become more clear about whether the items are to be stored in Respondus or other format – currently Respondus files are the master, but this is somewhat inefficient in selecting items.
      • The 2007 idea was to create a large database with randomly selected items by topic area, using Respondus
        • In part, this is to allow the creation of random quizzes, etc. e.g., in Moodle
        • The 2008 idea is create a reasonably standard exam, and use the other items for a test bank which could be on Wikiversity and/or Moodle for each chapter
  • Moderated by: Melisah Feeney (see email comments)
  • Faculty review by: Laurie Grealish (see .doc comments)
  • Item length in many cases was reduced.
  • Item style was made more consistent e.g., with punctuation.
  • American spelling changed to Australian.
  • Manual formatting applied
    • Keep with next
    • Hanging indent for answers
  • Reviewed item response frequency analysis from 2007 and redrafted accordingly; some items were also further redrafted further away from the textbooks items.
  • Added items to cover extra Environmental and tutorial topics
  • Ch9 – Selection didn't match the Respondus allocation – re-allocate the Respondus allocation accordingly.
  • Ch10 – Attraction For items 104-110 no selection was made – adjust Respondus; instead selected 2 from 35-46
  • Ch11 – Selections didn't match Respondus; adjust Respondus
  • Ch12 – Selections didn't match Respondus; adjust Respondus
  • Process
  • Master databases by chapter/topic in Respondus
  • Planned number of items per topic (170)
  • Manually selected items per topic, based on Sets in Respondus
  • Manually merged and reordered items for exam draft
  • Removed 5 items to bring to 165 (didn't record which ones)
  • To do
    • This exam could/should be used as basis for future exams (build and improve on it)
    • Eventually further reduced to 150 items
    • Retrospectively create a 2008 Ch plan for the 150 items as the new Master. (see notes page in Ch plan)
    • Suggest re-using with relatively minor modification, based on:
    • Should get some up-front planning thought and on-going preparation during Semester
    • Check/concentrate more on lecture content (as I prepare each lecture).
    • Conduct item response analysis.
      Proof-reading could further reveal useful copy-edits.
    • Most efficient would probably be to revise the word processing version; making master adjustments in the Respondus database.
    • To find item numbers, text search the 165 item with codes draft from 2008 (could make a new one of these up).
    • Request to schedule this at a similar time as 2008 - preferably Fri am in the first week of exams in 6B4*. Alternatively it could be Wed or Thu am of exams.
    • Alternatively, this could be an ideal unit to deliver an online Moodle exam. However, to be fair, this would require either regular Moodle quizzed (by topic) or a practice exam.
  • Transcluded from: Exam instructor notes


  • A good balance/combination was struck in 2008 (9 lectures + 1 review lecture)
  • Lectures were prepared in Open Document Presentation (.odp) format and hosted on
  • It is perhaps still an issue that the Aggression lecture is only presented electronically (in favour of showing Ghosts of Rwanda. This documentary provides an excellent point of reference and many students comment on its impact. The Aggression lecture could instead be pre-recorded and made available electronically.
  • Environmental psychology was surprisingly popular, based on e-portfolio comments - recommend keeping.
  • See also: Instructor notes on each specific lecture


  • A good balance/combination was struck in 2008 (5 tutorials + 1 tutorial as an Assessment Workshop)
  • Students appreciated the novelty and intrinsic interest level of the topic matter
  • Attendance was moderate (attendance was strongly recommended but not compulsory) - the e-portfolio was designed to assess attendance
  • These tutorials could continue to be worked on as engaging, dynamic, experiential, but also substantial content-worthy, practical-skill tutorials.



  • Selected e-reserve readings could be better incorporated into lectures, tutorials, and assessment


  • Baumeister & Bushman (2008) was generally popular and well-received
  • See also: B&B2008 textbook


  • Ongoing efforts were made towards making the unit materials available electronically using free and open educational resources.
  • The unit was taught using Wikiversity as an organising framework, and ucspace for uploading and embedding materials which couldn't easily be done with Wikiversity.
  • Students were required to create Wikiversity accounts in order to prepare e-portfolios

See also[edit]