Awards

Awards January 2018

At the January 2018 NITOP, three participant posters were presented with awards at the closing session on January 6, 2018. The Frank Costin Memorial Award for Excellence (including a certificate and a complimentary registration at a future NITOP conference), for the poster judged by Institute faculty as best promoting quality teaching methods, was presented to Carolyn Brown-Kramer for her poster entitled “Learning How to Learn: Encouraging Students to Adopt Effective Learning Strategies Using an Empirical Paper Assignment in Introduction to Psychology.” The Doug Bernstein Award (a certificate and a complimentary registration at a future NITOP conference), for the poster judged by the NITOP conference committee as the most humorous, creative, or original, or as making the strongest contribution to the teaching of introductory psychology, was presented to Kimberly M. Baker and Terry F. Pettyjohn II for their poster entitled “The Effect of Physical or Psychological Pep Rallies on Introductory Psychology Test Scores.” The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (a certificate and a complimentary registration at a future NITOP conference) was given for the poster judged to be the most outstanding in terms of (a) the importance of the research question addressed, (b) the soundness of the research methodology employed, (c) the use of appropriate qualitative and/or statistical analyses, and (d) the clarity with which the implications of the research findings for teaching and learning are expressed. In 2018, this award was presented to Laura Pickens for her poster entitled “When Is the Best Time to Give a Moodle Quiz? An Exploration of Quiz Timing Strategies and Their Impact on Student Success.” The abstracts of these posters follow.

FRANK COSTIN MEMORIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

Learning How to Learn: Encouraging Students to Adopt Effective Learning Strategies Using an Empirical Paper Assignment in Introductory Psychology

Carolyn Brown-Kramer
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
email: cbrownkramer2@unl.edu

How can instructors draw on the rich empirical literature on effective learning strategies to convince students to adopt those strategies in their own studies? Some work suggests that simply describing effective strategies in class may not be sufficient to change students’ study habits (Balch, 2001; Chew, 2005). In-class demonstrations (e.g., Chew, 2010) and videos (e.g., Chew, 2013) are more effective, but they are necessarily brief and may not require students to apply the strategies to themselves. The present study explored the effects of assigning students to examine a learning technique in much more depth.

Students in a large Introduction to Psychology course completed a term paper assignment in which they read one of four randomly assigned journal articles that presented an empirical test of a learning strategy, and then wrote a paper summarizing and critiquing the research and applying its findings to their own learning techniques. The study used a pre-post design assessing students’ study habits at the beginning and end of the semester to determine whether the term paper assignment was effective at changing those habits. I compared results across levels of academic preparedness to see whether the assignment was more effective for certain categories of students, and compared overall course performance across conditions to see whether certain articles were more effective than others. Because the study was conducted in Fall 2017, detailed results will be presented in the poster.

DOUG BERNSTEIN AWARD

The Effect of Physical or Psychological Pep Rallies on Introductory Psychology Test Scores

Kimberly M. Baker and Terry F. Pettijohn II
Coastal Carolina University
email: kbaker@coastal.edu; tpettijo@coastal.edu

Most undergraduate courses in psychology use tests to assess students’ understanding and knowledge of course concepts. Some students may suffer from test anxiety or just have a general feeling of nervousness on test day. Psychology students (N=98) enrolled in three different Introductory Psychology courses were assigned to a control condition (N=37), the interlude condition (N=31), or to a self-talk condition (N=30). The micro test pep rally conditions were administered before tests 2, 3, and 4 over the course of the semester. The interlude/dance group scored lower on average than the positive self-talk group and the control group, but this difference was not significant.

THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING AWARD

When Is the Best Time to Give a Moodle Quiz? An Exploration of Quiz Timing Strategies and Their Impact on Student Success

CLaura Pickens
Thiel College
email: lpickens@thiel.edu

A Course Management System (CMS) such as Moodle can be used to deliver assessments to students, particularly in the form of quizzes (Uribe-Tirado, Melgar-Estrada, & Bornacelly-Castro, 2007). CMS quizzes can be a useful tool for students to test their level of knowledge, and be delivered following parameters which the instructors can adjust, including open/close dates for students to have access to the quiz in relation to the presentation of in-class materiall. The goal of this research was to investigate the impact of the timing of Moodle quizzes (in relation to class content) on students’ preparation for class, their understanding of the unit material, and to understand the impact (if any) of the timing of quiz delivery on unit exams and quiz grades. Students across three sections of General Psychology were all exposed to four Moodle quiz timing conditions across four units of the course using a Latin-square design to control for internal validity concerns related to the subjects enrolled in each section of the course, time of day of lecture, and chapter material covered for each unit for a given quiz assessment condition. At the end of each exam, students completed a questionnaire related to their quiz condition from that unit of material. Quantitative data highlighting the effect of quiz timing conditions on quiz/exam performance, as well as qualitative data highlighting class preparation/study habits, perceived success in the course, comprehension of the material, and subjective self-report of their impression of the Moodle quizzes will be presented.