Frequently Asked Questions from Students
For the Internet version in particular:
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- It is an elective for Psychology majors and a requirement for Psychological Science majors. I recommend that you have completed the research methods and statistics courses before taking this course. That gives you a grounding in scientific thinking that will help. If you are planning on a doctoral program in clinical or school psychology the course will be important in preparing you for the courses you will take in graduate school.
Examples of papers students
produced for me are available in the Blackboard
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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 (http://people.wku.edu/sally.kuhlenschmidt/study.htm) and for
exam-taking tips (http://people.wku.edu/sally.kuhlenschmidt/examtkg.htm).
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See course syllabus.
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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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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:
- Marketing agencies want
to know your preferences and websites track your choices. (Facebook and Google for example.)
- Employers want to know
- You have to decide what
resources a client or customer needs,
- Your child has been tested
at school with a new test.
Or you may be curious because:
- You encounter exams frequently.
- You have to take a standardized
- You expect to be evaluated
when you want to get a job or to keep a job.
- You must evaluate employees
and potential employees and want to understand effective assessment.
- You expect your children
will be evaluated in school.
- You are planning on going
to graduate school in clinical or school psychology.
- You are concerned about
some of the claims made about tests and you want to evaluate them for yourself.
- You wonder
what various psychological tests, such as the inkblot test, really mean.
- It is required for your
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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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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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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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.
- I wouldn't miss any class
if possible--lecture is heavily weighted.;
- I would take it during
a semester when I could focus more on the material. Keeping up with the reading
& lecture would make the class more interesting.;
- Attend every lecture
because once you miss it is hard to catch up.;
- Miss fewer classes.
- Attend more, but basically,
I would have dropped the major because I realized that I don't care much for
- Bring a tapecorder to
- Perhaps outline the chapters.;
- Study more for the 1st
- Study more in a distributed
- Study different S[?];
- Study harder.;
- Have more discipline.;
- I'd take this class in
the fall, when my concentration levels are higher. I suffer from ADHD and
have a terrible time concentrating.;
- Study harder
- Take much better class
notes, the text is very dry. Most test questions are from the notes. [I have
changed the textbook since then-sk]
- Probably try to read
the book more and maybe start preparing for tests like a week, at least, in
- Read the book no matter
how boring it is.; [Again, I've switched texts since then.]
- Read the book more closely;
- Keep up with the text
- Read the chapters to
correspond w/lecture & not wait till the last minute to read;
- I would read the text
more thoroughly, it will really help your test scores.;
- There is so much reading
to do that planning time to do it is essential for doing well on the tests.
So, keep up or you'll really fall behind.
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- Be careful choosing your
partners for group assignments. Take thourough [sic] notes in this class.
- My portfolio and group
- Do your portfolio early,
i.e., work on it throughout the semester. *Choose a good group for the group
- Beware of group projects!
Choose group members carefully!;
- I would have spent more
time on the portfolio.
*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?"
- You should participate,
come to class, and complete things on time.;
- Turn things in on time!
- Get assignments in on
time, don't be afraid of email, and use common sense.;
- Turn in assignments on
time, and show up for class regularly.;
- Do your work and turn
it in on time.;
- Interact more with you.
Ask many questions.;
- It is important to talk
with professor on a regural [sic] basis--I regret I was hesitant about it.;
- Show effort;
- Show up relatively often
and ask questions.;
- Come to class and ask
questions if you do not understand something.;
- Be yourself, tell the
truth she understands;
- Ask direct questions.
Sometimes you are a little vague;
- Talk to you outside of
class and feel free to ask for help;
- Come to class & ask
- Do their work and not
talk or read the paper in class.;
- Take good notes. Ask
questions and listen. Go get help if needed.;
- Pay attention in class.;
- Just try your best and
put forth an effort. Everything else should go smoothly.
- Let her know that you
are interested! Make sure and check grammar and spelling on papers!
- Be very careful with
your writing. She is fairly harsh in grading papers.
- Don't ask about any assignment
without first checking the packet in the Resource Center.;
- I wouldn't tell them
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- Start off in good standing
& stay there!
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
(http://people.wku.edu/sally.kuhlenschmidt/contact.htm) 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
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 (http://www.wku.edu/dl/).
If you are a novice, I recommend
this article "Learning
how to learn computers: General principles for the novice" (http://www.wku.edu/teaching/tnt/lrncom.php).
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
- You must be admitted
to the university. See Admissions http://www.wku.edu/atwku/admissions.php)
- See the "Getting Started" information at our Distance Learning office (http://www.wku.edu/dl/).
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- Check university policy.
- If you are faculty or
staff at an eligible Kentucky university, the state faculty staff tuition
scholarship program will cover the cost.
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- The course is a three
credit hour undergraduate level course.
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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- Order/buy your textbook.
- Create a folder or binder
for the class in which to keep various materials.
- Select a regular hour,
three or more times per week, to check the class pages beginning with the
first day of the semester. Expect to revise that time as you learn how to
manage your time. Disperse your hours throughout the week--spaced practice is more effective than clustered.
- Check Blackboard on the first day of the semester for which you register. At that time
(and not before):
- Print a copy of the
class policies and schedule for your folder.
- Carefully read the syllabus, topic schedule and look for assignments that are due in the first two weeks.
the author with comments or questions about this site by following the directions
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contents © since 1996 by Sally Kuhlenschmidt. Copy only with permission.
created: June 1996. Page Created:
March 1999; Last Modified: August 12, 2014.