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May 27, 2017
  1. DO/PhD Student
    I will be teaching Intro to Psych this fall for the first time. If anyone has any materials, power points, videos, activities, etc. they would like to send me I would greatly appreciate it! (PM for my email). It is a three hour class and I plan on mostly lecturing, with at least one activity per class.
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    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Dec 4, 2014
    1. Psychologist
      you didn't mention how large your class is, but here are a few things I utilized during my teaching of intro to a ~300 person class.

      With a really large class I tried to incorporate activities in the class as much as possible but sometimes was a challenge due to the space and number of students. One thing that worked reasonably well for me was either typing up outlines for them to take notes on, or when that became too much work, providing them with the powerpoint slides missing a good bit of information (e.g., I'd leave blanks in the slide ______ ...or list several bullet points with a note about what they should be listening for). That way I would make my ppts first, and then make a "student version" that was missing info. If you're going to do that though you need to establish it from the beginning of the semester and not partway through because you'll get a million angry emails. If you ever want to "flip the classroom" (to use a term from the book "Teaching Naked") you can provide outlines to assist those who are not good at organizing notes on their own to help with note-taking for that portion of the chapter, and spend much of the subsequent class period doing an activity.

      One activity my mostly freshman class really enjoyed was the opportunity to get an extra point on an assignment/exam if they could send me 3 memes, or you tube clip, podcast, etc (that was not obviously meant to be educational/lecture but more meant for pop culture/entertainment) that was 1) not inappropriate and 2) related to something we'd discussed in class up to that point. They had to write a paragraph (5-10 sentences) about how it related. I actually got a few great entries that I added to lectures the subsequent semester and students commented it got them thinking about how course content related to "real life." I also included links to various podcasts (several radiolabs, a few this american lifes, a hidden brain or two) they could listen to and write a response about for extra credit.

      ASAP science (a youtube channel) has a few short, entertaining but educational videos about intro-related topics (e.g., sleep).

      I incorporated participation points via clickers that enabled the class to take online polls/answer quiz questions in the middle of class (problem with ppl bringing their friends' clickers for them, but was helpful to check for general understanding of material in the moment) and also brief writing exercises at some point in the class- less likely someone is going to take the time to write 2 of those to cover for a friend, and entertaining to read.

      Favorite activity in my class was during discussion on eyewitness memory, have a fellow grad student friend burst in in the middle of class, run through the classroom and do something ridiculous/silly and then take a poll related to their appearance/behavior to see how widely varying they are.

      Take advantage of the link @MamaPhD posted above- having a strong and detailed syllabus with explicit policies about various issues likely to come up is critical. I err on the side of long syllabus with the most relevant material highlighted or bolded. It felt really juvenile but I also gave a quiz on the syllabus (and how to write an appropriate vs. inappropriate email to your professor or TA) during my second and third semesters of teaching in an attempt to cut down on unnecessary emails.

      I hope you enjoy teaching intro as much as I did. It was an absolute blast, possibly the most fun thing I did during grad school, although it took way more time than I thought it would the first semester. Good luck!
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      Board Certified Neuropsychologist
      10+ Year Member
    • Feb 15, 2009
      1. Psychologist
        Cribbing off a pre-existing powerpoint can save some time, but I always taught much better when I built my lesson plans and presentations from scratch. Just so much easier to control the flow and message. And, if you teach the same subject again, it's ready to go, usually with just some minor tweaks here and there.


        Associate Professor
        Lifetime Donor
        7+ Year Member
      • Nov 22, 2013
        1. Psychologist
          Check with the textbook publisher. They often have instructor support materials, including pre-made powerpoints, which are easily downloadable. Some publishers even allow instructors to access materials for book they've not yet adopted. I suggest you register as an instructor and spend some time exploring the major publishing co's websites.

          edited to add: as others are saying, these "packaged" powerpoints are a place to start, however, your lecture will flow much better if you thoroughly edit/add your voice to the slides.
          Apr 11, 2012
          1. Psychologist
            I was about to say that too, that ALL of the textbooks pretty much come with powerpoints and test banks these days, plus an instructor manual for activities. You can, with an instructor account, often download resources from other textbooks....I usually find materials I like from a book I am NOT using and pull significantly from that source when creating my materials.
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