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ERIC Number: EJ1092134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Student Research in an Introductory Psychology Course: Outcomes of Two Experiential Learning Projects and Implications for Instruction of Human Subjects Research
Downey, Christina A.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v13 n2 p21-37 2013
The present study describes student learning and personal outcomes associated with learning research methods in introductory psychology, via one of two semester-long projects: one involving performing naturalistic observation of the behavior of community members, and the other involving performing a 60-minute interview of local veterans regarding a psychological concept (incorporating features of service-learning). Both projects taught the same basic research concepts. Among students completing the observational project (n = 38), strong Time 1 scores on a research methods quiz declined slightly by Time 2 assessment; interest in aggregating and interpreting data declined; and personal attitudes about community service did not change over the course of the semester. Among students completing the service-learning project (n = 41), quiz scores and interest in research did not change, and attitudes about community service changed in some ways over time (depending on student age). It is concluded that encouraging original scholarly inquiry among introductory-level students can have various academic and personal benefits to students, but that service-learning elements in such projects may increase their attractiveness to students. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A