screening first year students for readiness to study psychology john bathurst, aaron jarden & nancy...

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SCREENING FIRST YEAR STUDENTS FOR READINESS TO STUDY PSYCHOLOGY John Bathurst, Aaron Jarden & Nancy Weaver

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  • Slide 1
  • SCREENING FIRST YEAR STUDENTS FOR READINESS TO STUDY PSYCHOLOGY John Bathurst, Aaron Jarden & Nancy Weaver
  • Slide 2
  • INTRODUCTION The Open Polytechnic of NZ provides Psychology courses from Level 5 7 as part of Diploma and Degree courses Many of our students are: Adult learners Part-time students Sometimes with minimal secondary qualifications Some have not studied for several years before enrolling with us Students vary greatly in: Motivation Preparedness to study Ability to complete the course work
  • Slide 3
  • Overall, many students struggle with the transition from their previous education into tertiary level courses. This is particularly evident in the introductory courses, 73195 General and Applied Psychology, and 73196 Social and Individual Psychology
  • Slide 4
  • THE PROBLEM Limited student success in these courses: Poor retentions: Currently around 40-50% Poor successful completions Low pass rates: Currently around 60-65% Lack of student understanding of Psychology as a field: Students are unprepared for the scientific level of content in psychology Students are unaware of what studying psychology entails
  • Slide 5
  • THE PROBLEM (2) Stressful workload for tutors: High maintenance lab report and essay assignments with marks often around 40- 60% Large volume of student contacts (email, phone), many of which reflect: Lack of basic study skills Lack of general academic preparedness
  • Slide 6
  • THE SOLUTION Develop a pre-test to measure basic readiness to study Calibrate the pre-test Divert identified strugglers into a preparatory / bridging programme
  • Slide 7
  • THE PRE-TEST The aim of the psychology pre-test is to distinguish between students who are likely to successfully complete the course, and those who are likely to fail The pre-test is designed to work on two levels: Firstly the pre-test provides students with a glimpse into psychological study content areas and requirements, which should reduce the discrepancy between student expectations and the reality of the course Secondly, the pre-test is intended to gauge general academic proficiency, specifically student verbal and numerical literacy, and therefore their likely ability to complete the course work
  • Slide 8
  • TEST DESIGN (1) Two preparation items. Do students have the time and resources to complete this course now? Time: Do you have 10-12 hours a week to devote to studying for each course you would like to enrol in? Resources: Do you have the necessary resources for your courses? For example, money for text books, access to a computer for writing assignments, access to a phone to contact your tutor, etc
  • Slide 9
  • TEST DESIGN (2) 11 understanding items. Do students have the basic verbal and numerical literacy needed to complete this course now? 3 maths items: Calculate mean, calculate mode, create a table 3 comprehension items requiring student writing: Read a short text then summarize in own words 5 multi-choice items requiring student to choose correct answer: Read a short text and then answer multiple choice questions on it
  • Slide 10
  • TYPICAL MATHS ITEM Researchers in psychology often calculate averages or means for groups of scores. For example, a researcher may read out a list of words to a group of research participants and then test how many words on average are remembered. A mean (or average) is calculated by adding scores in a group of scores and then dividing that total by the number of scores in the group. For example, 3 + 4 + 12 = 19. 19 divided by 3 = a mean of 6.333 Calculate the mean of the following set of scores (you may use a calculator for this task if you wish): 18 7 65 46 90 12 4 22 Mean = _______
  • Slide 11
  • RESPONSES 90% get the right answer of 33 3.0% have answers around 33 0.8% find it too hard and dont give an answer 1.7% have answers around 14.67 (total / 18) 3.3% have answers around 88 (total / 3) 0.4% give an answer of 244.75 (how?) Simple arithmetic errors abound N=781
  • Slide 12
  • A surprisingly hard item (1) Researchers in psychology often show their scores in a Table to depict their results to others who are interested in the findings. In the Table below, enter the following mean scores, where three different groups of participants have completed a reaction time task. The symbol n is used to show the number of participants in a particular group while the symbol N is used to show the total number of participants in the experiment. Enter each n and the N into the table also
  • Slide 13
  • A surprisingly hard item (2) 20 ambidextrous people gave a mean time of 1.2 seconds, 23 right handed people gave a mean time of 2.6 seconds while 17 left handed people gave a mean time of 1.8 seconds Table 1 Mean reaction time to complete task (in seconds) Handednessn Mean time (in seconds) Ambidextrous Right handed Left handed N = 36% are unable to do this correctly
  • Slide 14
  • TYPICAL COMPREHENSION ITEM Read the following paragraph, then summarize the key information in the paragraph in one SHORT sentence, IN YOUR OWN WORDS When parental love seems conditional, that is, dependent on certain behaviours, children often block out of their self-concept those experiences that make them feel unworthy of love. They do so because theyre worried about parental acceptance, which appears precarious. At the other end of the spectrum, some parents make their affection unconditional. Their children have less need to block out unworthy experiences because theyve been assured that theyre worthy of affection, no matter what they do
  • Slide 15
  • TYPICAL MULTI-CHOICE ITEM (1) Read the passage below and then choose the best answer to the question by circling the letter beside it. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage A Russian physiologist called Ivan Pavlov did some research early last century. He found that when he repeatedly sounded a tone to some dogs as he presented them with food, the dogs eventually salivated to the tone on its own. By being associated with the food, the tone itself had acquired the capacity to trigger the response of salivation. This came to be known as classical conditioning, where the unconditioned stimulus (the food) evokes an unconditioned response (salivation), that is, a response that occurs without previous learning. The previously neutral conditioned stimulus (tone) acquires, through conditioning, the capacity to evoke a conditioned or learned response (salivation)
  • Slide 16
  • TYPICAL MULTI-CHOICE ITEM (2) Question: Rachel has found that when she opens the cupboard door to get the cat food, the cats come running to the kitchen. Rachel knows that this is classical conditioning, and that the unconditioned stimulus is the ______ and the conditioned stimulus is the _____. a. cupboard door opening; cat food b. cat food; kitchen c. cat food; cupboard door opening d. kitchen; cat food Answer: _______
  • Slide 17
  • MULTI-CHOICE RESPONSES A14.3% B1.7% C75.8% D1.2% AB2.3% AC2.7% AD1.3% CD0.5% N=781
  • Slide 18
  • NUMBERS OF ERRORS # %Cum % 015.4%15.4% 127.1%42.5% 224.6%67.1% 314.1%81.2% 47.7%88.9% 56.5%95.4% 6 2.2%97.6% 71.4%99.0% 81.0%100% N = 781
  • Slide 19
  • SOCIAL AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • Slide 20
  • ERROR DISTRIBUTION BY GRADE ErrorsABCDE 0510972 14101155 268108 31326 41220 511 61 N=120
  • Slide 21
  • EFFECT OF EXCLUSIONS Allowing 2 errors excludes 2 Bs, 7 Cs, 4 Ds and 1 E Allowing 3 errors excludes 1 B, 4 Cs, 2 Ds and 1 E All Failed Mandatory Component grades excluded by either
  • Slide 22
  • ACTIONS Two or fewer errors: enrol in psychology courses Three errors: advise diversion to 424 Tertiary Study Skills Four or more errors: require diversion into 424
  • Slide 23
  • TERTIARY STUDY SKILLS (1) Organise learning effectively Write in a style that meets given criteria for a report, an essay and a learning journal Demonstrate information literacy skills appropriate to study at tertiary level Operate computer applications to support study Perform numerical operations that support tertiary-level study Free entry into 73196 on successful completion
  • Slide 24
  • TERTIARY STUDY SKILLS (2) Correlations: 424 result with in-course 73196 assignments: r = 0.802 424 result with 73196 exam: r = -0.338 424 prepares students well for in- course work but does not give them exam skills
  • Slide 25
  • What to do next ?
  • Slide 26
  • THANK YOU FOR COMING!