Resources: Socrative quizzes on various topics

Image: kake

I’ve been making quite a lot of use of the quiz/assessment website (free account needed; pay for enhanced features). I’m mainly using it to check comprehension of preparatory reading assignments, particularly for targeting areas where misconceptions are likely to arise (e.g. the difference between privacy and confidentiality when discussing research ethics). Here are some of the quizzes I’ve made recently.


Criminological psychology

Research methods and statistics


A demonstration practical: correlation between digit ratio and aggression


It’s blindingly obvious that students will learn things better if we model them first (see Rosenshine, 2012) and most of us are in the habit of modelling all sorts of things, including the sorts of thinking and writing skills that Psychology requires. However, with the recently increased emphasis on practical skills at A – Level (in Edexcel’s specification, anyway) I’ve found myself planning for lots of practical work and it occurred to me that I’ve never modelled the whole process of a practical investigation for my students. Bits of it, yes, but not the whole thing. On reflection, that strikes me as a bit of an oversight. Here is an attempt to put that right. The aims are twofold: (1) to show, all in one, the steps involved in carrying out a practical investigation so that students have an overview of what they will need to do and how it all fits together; and (2) model good research practices and set appropriate expectations about ethical conduct during research. It is based around a  practical investigation that can be done in 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the group.  It’s a correlational study of the relationship between D2:D4 digit ratio and aggression.  There’s a lesson plan, a slideshow, a PBAQ-SF questionnaire for measuring aggression an  Excel spreadsheet for analysing the results and a sheet for students to record their observations during the demo.  I’ve also written an example report, which is pitched for students studying the Edexcel specification (users of other specifications YMMV).

Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of instruction: research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American Educator, Spring 2012.  

Resources: two lessons on recreational drugs and synaptic activity

Image by Philippa Willitts.

Here are two lessons on recreational drugs. The first helps students understand the range of mechanisms by which different recreational drugs affect synaptic activity. There is a lesson planslideshow and an activity in which students must work out the effect of a different drugs on postsynaptic firing rates. The second lesson explores where our understanding of cannabinoids comes from and contains different activities to get students thinking about biopsychological research. There is a lesson plan, a slidehow and a reading on cannabis research. Edit: here is a link with more detail on the reciprocal teaching routine. Also, I forgot there was a Socrative quiz to go with this lesson.

Resources: a lesson on synaptic transmission

Here are some resources for a lesson on synaptic transmission. It’s based around this modelling activity for teaching synaptic transmission. There are some slides, a text on synaptic transmission, a Socrative quiz on the structure of synapses and a moderately tricky activity on summation and excitatory/inhibitory inputs.

Resources: 47,XYY kayrotype and criminality

Souce: wikimedia. Creative commons license.

Here’s a lesson on the 47,XYY karyotype (XYY syndrome) using the jigsaw format. It starts with a factual learning check and some slides to support an explanation of three different explanations of the association between XYY and offending. The jigsaw element is oriented towards using research into 47,XYY as a way of discussing various issues and debates in psychology. These are based on some of those specified by Edexcel (reductionism, socially sensitive research, development of knowledge over time and nature/nurture) but I imagine they’re fairly broadly applicable. There’s a slideshow, a Socrative true/false quiz on XYY and a set of jigsaw materials on XYY for four groups.

Resources: the glutamate hypothesis of schizphrenia

A colleague needed a short text on the glutamate hypothesis for a reciprocal teaching activity but couldn’t find one pitched at the right level. I therefore wrote one, because it was more fun that what I was actually supposed to be doing.

Resources: a lesson on neural transmission

I’m not getting tired of this any time soon.

Here are some resources for teaching neural transmission. There’s a lesson plan with various activities and a slideshow to support it, along with an unlabelled diagram of a neuron and a set of sequencing cards for events that occur during the action potential. These have been prepared for students who are scared of science, so descriptions have been simplified and you might want to use them as a bridging resource to something more complete.

Resources: two lessons on jury decisions

‘The INSET’ by John Morgan (Creative Commons).

Here are two lessons on jury decision making (plans). Both assume that you have set advance study of the relevant material.

The first addresses the characteristics of the defendant. There is an analysis task (based on an Edexcel sample question) you can use to structure a group discussion on  influences on jury decisions, explanations of those influences and the evidence that relates to them. This is followed by a consideration of the weaknesses of mock-jury research and an activity on research design to help integrate RMS knowledge and understanding with the topic of criminological psychology. Invite students to design studies and summarise them on this form, then stick them on a visualiser/photograph/scan and project them for a group critique. There is a slideshow to structure the lesson.

The second lesson focuses on pretrial publicity. It is also RMS-focused and structured around a content analysis of two newspaper articles about the Joanna Yeates case, one from the Daily Mail and one from The Guardian. The slideshow gives a structure for the lesson.

More action potential GIFs

Here are a couple more GIFs I’ve been mucking around with whilst teaching neural transmission.  Right click to save, or link to the URL if embedding in Google Slides.

Refractory period

Resources: introductory lesson on the brain

Here are some resources for an introductory lesson on the brain.  It assumes that you have set the students a preparation task before the lesson. There is a lesson plan, a slideshow, an advance organiser on the brain and brain scanning and a Socrative quiz on some key brain areas.