Resources: evaluating the working memory model

Here’s a jigsaw activity for developing students’ evaluations of the working memory model. It’s designed for four ‘expert’ groups and three or four ‘jigsaw’ groups and covers (1) experimental support; (2) support from studies of the brain; (3) practical applications; (4) limitations of the model. There’s a set of working memory jigsaw stimuli and a slideshow with a couple of recall/application exercises tagged on at the end.

Resources: research methods and statistics

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here are a couple of bits for teaching elements of research methods and statistics. There’s an exercise on test choice and justification and two sets of stimulus-based methods questions: RMS question 1; RMS question 2.

Resources: working memory

Here are a couple of bits for teaching Baddeley & Hitch’s (1974) working memory model. There’s a slideshow, a set of application tasks to help students understand the distinction between the different components and the idea of processing conflicts in WM, and a summary of some relevant research studies with space for students to comment/interpret.

Resources: synoptic topics (science, reductionism, ethics, socially sensitive research).

Here are some things I’ve made for teaching synoptic issues recently. There’s an Edexcel bias, so YMMV. There’s an example essay on ethical issues, and another essay on socially sensitive research. There’s also a reading on the features of a scientific approach, a comparison table focused on the features of the scientific approach, a slideshow on reductionism (with activities) and an accompanying reading on philosophical reductionism.

Resources: research methods and statistics questions

Here are some scenario based questions on research methods and statistics.  There’s one on experiments and tests of difference and one on correlational designs and tests.  Example answers are included at the end.

Round-up: criminological psychology

Image: Tony Webster.

I’ve finished teaching criminological psychology for the time being so here’s a round-up of the resources I’ve published here recently on the topic.

Resources: drug treatments for sex offenders

Source: wikimedia.

Here are some bits I’ve made recently for teaching drug treatments for sex offenders. There’s an evaluation exercise where students are invited to identify weaknesses in a sample of evaluative writing about drug treatments for sex offenders and then write their own improved version (includes a teacher cribsheet with the main issues). There’s also a summary of some recent research  in this area and a short slideshow to support the lesson.

Resources: anger management with offenders

Here is a lesson on anger management with offenders. There is a slideshow giving background including Novaco’s cognitive model of anger and two application problems where students identify anger-relevant process and suggest ways of addressing them. There is also a results table and some extracts from Henwood et al’s (2015) meta-analysis of anger management with offenders. The lesson assumes you have set preparation learning on the topic.

Better evaluation with spectacles

One way of developing students’ evaluation of research studies is to use the ‘spectacles’ activity. I got it from Geoff Petty’s (2009) ‘Evidence Based Teaching: A Practical Guide’, which I recommend.  It’s a variant of the jigsaw approach. In ‘spectacles’ students are already familiar with the material they are working with (unlike in jigsaw, where they are typically encountering material for the first time). Students are in small groups, each thinking about the material in a different way. Each way is presented as a different pair of spectacles that brings a different aspect of the material into focus. They are then rearranged into mixed groups where they share their insights with each other in a co-constructive manner.

I most commonly use it when students are developing evaluation of research studies, particularly the key ‘classic’/’contemporary’ studies required by Edexcel’s psychology specification. Students are required to read about the studies in advance. The five ‘spectacles’ groups correspond to the GROVE evaluation criteria I use (Generalisability, Reliability, Objectivity, Validity and Ethics). Generally, 10 minutes in ‘spectacles’ groups followed by 15 minutes in ‘sharing’ groups seems to work well for my students but, obviously, YMMV. As a follow-up I often give out an A3 summary sheet where students can compile an overview of the whole study for revision purposes. Here are a couple of these for Raine et al (1997) and Howells et al (2005).

Provided that students remain directed towards developing a shared understanding rather than simply dictating and copying ideas, it’s an approach with few downsides. See my previous post on Jigsaw for more background.

Petty, G. (2009). Evidence-based teaching: A practical approach. Cheltenham: Nelson-Thornes.

Resources: labelling theory and crime

Here are some bits I’ve made recently for teaching labelling theory and crime.  There’s a jigsaw activity with slideshow and material on recent studies of the effect of labelling.  There’s also an applied learning scenario on labelling for developing application and analysis skills.