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

 

Psy 361: Questions from Students


Do you have examples of papers?

Examples of papers students produced for me are available in the Blackboard website (http://ecourses.wku.edu/).

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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 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. However, I reserve the right to use short answer or essay if I feel the class needs that experience. 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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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 which you will need to include in your portfolio (see on-line information for direct links). 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.

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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 testing and evaluating others the rest of your life. This will happen whether or not you are aware of it. Examples: 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.

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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). If a question is important enough for you to drop bye, it is important enough to schedule an important. I enjoy helping you. No question is too small.

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

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Website created: June 1996. Page Created: March 1999; Last Modified: January 17, 2007.