Resources: Socrative quizzes on various topics

Image: kake

I’ve been making quite a lot of use of the quiz/assessment website Socrative.com (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.

Bio-Psychology

Criminological psychology

Research methods and statistics

 

A demonstration practical: correlation between digit ratio and aggression

Source: wikimedia.org
Source: wikimedia.org

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: 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: 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.

Improving assessment with a single-point rubric

Source: www.cultofpedagogy.com

I’ve started using single-point rubrics for assessing and feeding back on essays since coming across them on www.cultofpedagogy.com  This post has a nice summary of the benefits which I won’t repeat here.

Here are a couple of essay questions and single point rubrics designed to develop and assess critical thinking and writing skills in line with Edexcel’s Psychology specification. They are both ‘context’ questions requiring a combination of analysis/application, critical thinking and knowledge and understanding. I’ve tried to construct them to facilitate the sort of structure that works with Edexcel (but which is also consistent good academic writing). There is one on different types of brain scanning/imaging and another on eyewitness testimony (weapons effect, postevent information). These are RTFs, so you can hack them about to make your own. If you do, please share in the comments.  

Action potential GIFs

Soon, action potential memes will be everywhere.

I needed to use this animation, which I made in PowerPoint, but I wanted to embed as a GIF in a Google Slides deck, because I use Google Suite for pretty much everything (what I lose on the bells and whistles I make back on the portability; I’m currently running my classroom off my phone).  It turned out it is possible but it’s a bit involved. In case you want to do it: I recorded the animation off the screen using Bandicam to create a .avi. This I edited in Microsoft Movie Maker and exported it as a .wmv file. This I then uploaded to Ezigif to create an animated GIF.

In principle, this should embed pretty much anywhere. However, I discovered, in the course of an hour-long experiment, that apparently animated GIFs don’t actually animate in a Google Slideshow if the source image is stored in Google Drive. I have no idea why. Therefore, I had to upload these GIFs to my own server and then use the URLs to embed them in the Google Slides. So this post is primarily for the benefit of those who run into the same problem as me and are frustratedly Googling for an answer. But in any case, the GIFs ended up on the Psychlotron server, so I thought I’d might as well share. Here’s a slowed down version, too.

Right click to save them.  If you want to embed them in your own Google Slides then use the image URL.

 

Resources: three lessons on brain scanning/imaging and developing academic skills

Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S. Wikimedia Commons.
Studies show that blog posts accompanied by brain scan images are 70% more convincing.

Here are three lessons on brain scanning/imaging. They’re from early on in my course so they’re also planned to help developing important skills and ways of thinking. There is a set of brief lesson plans for each session (these plans are read from top to bottom; no timings are given).

Lesson one introduces CT, PET and fMRI (slideshow) using a text on brain imaging and a reciprocal teaching activity. This is followed by an introduction to making comparisons, with a brain scans comparison table (copy this on A3). I ask students to complete the table outside class. There is some supplemental information to help them do this.

Lesson two (slideshow) starts with a Socrative quiz on brain scanning. This is followed by an application task in which students need to choose and justify the appropriate imaging technique for each scenario. There is then an opportunity for students to develop their academic writing.

Lesson three (slideshow) involves students planning and writing a short essay requiring application to a problem and critical comparisons between scanning/imaging techniques.