Abstract Title

Getting students to experience psychology: Methods to engage students and show how to apply psychology

Presenter Information

Marc GentzlerFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Getting students to experience psychology: Methods to engage students and show how to apply psychology

Gentzler, M.D.

This presentation will describe three applied projects conducted for psychology courses. Two applied projects were a part of a human factors undergraduate course at a small private university in central Florida. The other is a project conducted for an introductory psychology class. Human factors is an applied subject, therefore it is necessary to include experiential learning into the curriculum. The first project involved an ergonomic analysis of a local company. The company was chosen by the students who were placed into groups. The goal was for the students to choose certain tasks that employees complained about either because of the repetitiveness or strain involved, analyze those tasks, and then finally create recommendations on how to reduce injury risk. The students were instructed to conduct observations and interviews for their analysis, take measurements, and conduct several ergonomic analyses including an ergonomic checklist, cumulative trauma disorder ratings, and two measures of workload, one of which was the NASA-TLX. Project focus varied from sitting arrangements in an office space to a task making food in a kitchen. The projects were in part service learning projects as they were supposed to help the organization while the students were learning about human factors. The projects ended in a class presentation. The second project was an accident analysis investigation. The students were given a true case of a complex vehicle accident. Although it involved a driver who was intoxicated, the question posed to the students was what perceptual issues existed that may have caused the accident regardless of whether or not the driver had been intoxicated. The students needed to apply what they learned in the course to discuss how cognitive expectations, visibility, dark adaptation, perception-reaction time, and optical illusions could have played a role in the accident. This project culminated in a paper. Finally, in introductory psychology, many professors tend to focus on multiple choice exams. It is proposed that students in introductory psychology should realize that psychology is a science, and therefore research is of great importance to the field. The students were placed in groups and had to collect data based on a topic of interest. Some conducted surveys, but most conducted experimental designs, largely based on social psychology. Examples included asking for a job application varying the style of dress, dropping something around people to test the bystander effect, and whether participants have different perceptions of people based on their race. Students obtained experience collecting data and presenting it in class.

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Getting students to experience psychology: Methods to engage students and show how to apply psychology

Getting students to experience psychology: Methods to engage students and show how to apply psychology

Gentzler, M.D.

This presentation will describe three applied projects conducted for psychology courses. Two applied projects were a part of a human factors undergraduate course at a small private university in central Florida. The other is a project conducted for an introductory psychology class. Human factors is an applied subject, therefore it is necessary to include experiential learning into the curriculum. The first project involved an ergonomic analysis of a local company. The company was chosen by the students who were placed into groups. The goal was for the students to choose certain tasks that employees complained about either because of the repetitiveness or strain involved, analyze those tasks, and then finally create recommendations on how to reduce injury risk. The students were instructed to conduct observations and interviews for their analysis, take measurements, and conduct several ergonomic analyses including an ergonomic checklist, cumulative trauma disorder ratings, and two measures of workload, one of which was the NASA-TLX. Project focus varied from sitting arrangements in an office space to a task making food in a kitchen. The projects were in part service learning projects as they were supposed to help the organization while the students were learning about human factors. The projects ended in a class presentation. The second project was an accident analysis investigation. The students were given a true case of a complex vehicle accident. Although it involved a driver who was intoxicated, the question posed to the students was what perceptual issues existed that may have caused the accident regardless of whether or not the driver had been intoxicated. The students needed to apply what they learned in the course to discuss how cognitive expectations, visibility, dark adaptation, perception-reaction time, and optical illusions could have played a role in the accident. This project culminated in a paper. Finally, in introductory psychology, many professors tend to focus on multiple choice exams. It is proposed that students in introductory psychology should realize that psychology is a science, and therefore research is of great importance to the field. The students were placed in groups and had to collect data based on a topic of interest. Some conducted surveys, but most conducted experimental designs, largely based on social psychology. Examples included asking for a job application varying the style of dress, dropping something around people to test the bystander effect, and whether participants have different perceptions of people based on their race. Students obtained experience collecting data and presenting it in class.