Fostering student excitement over research methods was the theme for the day as Discovering the Scientist Within: Research Methods in Psychology authors Gary Lewandowski, Natalie Ciarocco, and David Strohmetz presented their "Returning the Joy to Research Methods" webinar on February 22nd.
The Monmouth University professors focused on making research methods, a key topic for psychology pupils, interesting and appealing for students. Over the course of the semester, Strohmetz stated, students are “learning the concepts, but they don’t feel that they are becoming better researchers.” His advice is to change the way the course is taught and create an enthusiastic environment for students about research.
Lewandowski, Strohmetz, and Ciarocco presented with a “show, not tell” mentality, utilizing their time by creating engaging, playful, and entertaining slides coupled with popular culture examples to create an informative lecture. They aimed to have instructors seek out ways to get their students to think like scientists by inciting their curiosity and relating scenarios to their daily lives on campus. Ciarocco stressed finding research that related back to concepts students would find stimulating. For example, she discussed research on how scent affects behavior, getting students interested about a topic they may not have previously given much thought to. She suggested working in small groups, writing press releases, and having group critiques to hold students’ attention.
PowerPoints were a major discussion throughout the webinar. As avid users of the media, the authors suggested bringing in more visuals and less words, keeping slides neat and uncluttered, and utilizing technology, such as animations and videos, in a smart and deliberate way. The authors emphasized “learning through doing” to root the information in their pupils minds by engaging, rather than just lecturing.
The webinar was met with high praise, as many instructors commented on the useful resources brought forward, including teachpsychscience.org, the professor’s resource site for statistics and research in psychology. There many activities, including group, lab, and one-on-one tools, to use and encourage the class to be curious about the world around them.
Keep an eye out for upcoming webinars on our Psychology Community!