Psy 361
For My Students | Admin/Research | Psychology | WKU 


Psy 361: Frequently Asked Questions from Students

For the Internet version in particular:

Who should take this course?

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Do you have examples of papers?

Examples of papers students produced for me are available in the Blackboard course.

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What are exams like?

Exams combine text and all supplemental material (excluding links to materials outside of the course website. Each builds on the other. I recommend studying at least 2 hours outside of class for each one hour in class for a C grade. This, of course, is an estimate. Your particular ability and comfort with material will vary, thus the effort and type of studying needed will vary.

I tend to assume you know definitions and ask for applications --thus you must know the definition as well as what to do with it. Supplemental materials are clues to what I think is important-- but I try to balance questions across all materials as motivation for you to read and consider it all.

Exams typically take almost the full hour and are usually multiple choice and an essay or two. However, I reserve the right to use other test items if I feel the class needs that experience or the format is better suited to a situation. Each exam assumes information which appeared on the previous exam. You may even see an item appear again. So don't take it and forget it. If your studying is ineffective-- change your behavior. For help with study skills ( and for exam-taking tips (

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Why are you not offering make-up exams?

See course syllabus.

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Will we take psychological tests?

I'll provide samples or mention opportunities to take tests. Many of the tests we will examine would take 2-3 hours for an individual to take so it is impractical to do more than give examples. I have located on-line tests for you to have the general experience of taking a psychological measure. These probably have low reliability and/or validity. But they can be amusing and illustrate some general design issues. Good "bad" examples can be great illustrations of principles.

In the fall, you could volunteer to have a graduate student administer to you an IQ test or personality test. Contact the Psychology Clinic (2695). Do so early in the semester because there are limited opportunities. There usually is no charge but they may not give you the results. Test administrators are supervised by doctoral level psychologists, however. You may also want to contact the Career Services Center (2691) to take an interest inventory to help with career decisions. They have online tools that you can use.

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Why take it? What is the relationship of this class to the real world?

In my opinion this is one of the most practical courses you will ever take. You will be tested and evaluated or test and evaluate others the rest of your life. This will happen whether or not you are aware of it. Examples:

Or you may be curious because:

This course will show you how to evaluate these experiences for fairness and appropriateness. Understanding the material will make testing less mysterious and perhaps less intimidating, possibly improving your performance on tests. With greater variety in the U.S. population, tests are only going to grow in importance as ways of making potentially better decisions. In my opinion you might as well understand how to judge the quality of the evaluations you will be experiencing.

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How much statistics will there be?

About 1/3rd to 1/2 of the semester has a statistical focus, although you may not realize that some is statistics because we'll be dealing with the concepts more than the formulas. We cover the statistics in the first part of the course. I generally try to cover early in the term the things that many students find stressful and save what is generally perceived as the most fun for last.

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Will I be able to use and administer psychological tests?

Yes, no, and it depends. Tests are very common. You probably have and will use and administer tests--but maybe not very well. This class should help you improve your use of the ordinary ones, or at least know when they are fluff. You are not allowed by law to use and administer certain classifications of tests-- school tests, some employment tests, some psychological tests (e.g., IQ tests). I'll give you examples of those when the time comes. Administration of those requires graduate training.

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What advice have other students given about the course?

I asked one class of students: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?

Following are their answers, unedited, but arranged by topic. Each bullet indicates a separate student.

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How can I effectively manage the instructor?

*Students were asked, "What can you tell the next bunch of student's about managing me? What should they do (or not do) to stay "in good status" with me?"

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What do I do if I feel too intimidated to ask questions?

One student wrote to me "I wish I didn't somehow feel intimidated by you, I felt uncomfortable in asking for help." I occasionally hear from some students that they feel this way. They usually add they don't know why because my general behavior is pleasant and friendly. I'm also at a loss to explain it. Perhaps it is because I am strongly associated with testing, measurement and evaluation and feelings of worry about being evaluated carry over to interactions with me. If you can separate me from the tests in your mind, that might help-- think of me as your tour guide in a strange country. I love to talk with students individually. I hope you will take that chance to chat.

Perhaps it is that I'm careful about my rules and reasons for them. They are there because I want you to succeed and the rules are ones that maximize your chances.

I can report that when students have gotten the courage to bring a problem to me, they typically report with some relief that I haven't eaten them and it has been a pleasant experience and I see them many times after that. I hope, if you feel intimidated, that you'll give me a chance. I love my material and want to share it with you. Sometimes that love comes across rather intensely-- don't worry, it isn't you. It's my excitement over an idea. If it helps, once upon a time I was an undergraduate sitting in a class confused about construct validity, worrying about the nature of the next exam, and trying to make sense of all the terms. As a matter of fact, I still often run into material that makes me scramble for a text or a consult with another faculty member. Life is continuous learning--we are all in the same boat, just on different topics.

Please address other questions to me in class or via E-Mail ( or by coming by my office during office hours (or making an appointment). Do use Psy 361 in the subject line and start by telling me the topic. If a question is important enough for you to drop by, it is important enough to schedule an appointment. I enjoy helping you. No question is too small.

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For the Internet version of the course, in particular

What if I am a complete novice about technology?

Most people feel like novices about some aspect of technology. If you are uncertain contact me before beginning the course explaining your hesitation and your technology experience. I will do my best to evaluate your technological skill level and advise you on whether to take the Internet or face-to-face version of the course. I want you to be successful. You do not need to be an expert or even average, but you do need to be able to easily work with e-mail, an Internet browser and have some word processing skills such as copying and pasting. If you have found this page you probably have the technology skills to complete the course. You may also want check out the information at our Distance Learning office (

If you are a novice, I recommend this article "Learning how to learn computers: General principles for the novice" (

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May I audit the Internet course?

I understand the hesitancy and uncertainty, the desire to get a toe wet, virtually. There are several reasons, however, why I do not accept audits:

  1. What does it mean to audit an Internet course? Unless you are actively posting comments, you are not "there." So how could you audit in the traditional sense of the word?
  2. On the Internet, the custom is to expect everyone with access to contribute to the discussion. Listening but not contributing is called "lurking" and it is considered rude to do beyond a brief orientation period to the group.
  3. Those taking the course for credit develop an intimacy among themselves that is disturbed by someone not committed to the group. They are uneasy when someone is lurking about.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, the most significant challenge for Internet students is learning how to manage their learning time. We know from psychological research that making a public commitment is critical in actually achieving a goal. Committing to the course by going through the registration process dramatically increases the likelihood of your completing the tasks.

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How do I register for the Internet course?

VERY IMPORTANT: I have noticed a tendency for people trying an Internet course for the first time to fail to figure in the time it takes to learn the material . Somehow, perhaps because there is not a set meeting time, they fall into the belief that the learning occurs without any time commitment.

More than a few people try to just add an Internet class to an already full schedule. THIS WILL NOT WORK! Particularly as you are first learning to allocate your time you are likely to spend more, not less, time on an Internet course than on a face-to-face class. As you grow skilled in time management you will find that the amount of time is identical to a face-to-face class, just distributed differently, typically more conveniently.

Others try to take an online class, any online class, to make the rest of their schedule "work". This is also a recipe for failure. If you are not committed to an online class you will avoid making it a priority and end up far behind and have to drop it. This then deprives someone else of taking the course who may need it to graduate.

Registrar's Office Registration

  1. You must be admitted to the university. See Admissions
  2. See the "Getting Started" information at our Distance Learning office (

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How much does the Internet version cost?

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How much credit would I earn for the Internet course?

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When and where does the Internet version of the class meet?

You choose the times that work best for you, other than exam times or scheduled personal appointments with the instructor. The class "meets" at your computer. Exams must be taken with a proctor, arranged well in advance of the exam date.

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What should I do after registering?


Psy 361
For My Students | Admin/Research | Psychology | WKU 

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All contents © since 1996 by Sally Kuhlenschmidt. Copy only with permission.
Website created: June 1996. Page Created: March 1999; Last Modified: August 12, 2014.