Spring Update on Psychology WID Project: Development of Experiential Laboratory Components in General Psychology

An update from project leads Selma Hamdani, Maire-Pierre Gosselin (absent from picture), and Madeleine Côté (Psychology).

The purpose of our project, as we detailed in our preliminary report, is to develop a series of laboratories that would be used in the General Psychology course.   These labs would be composed of several elements, many of which would involve written components and would culminate in a written reflection. The labs would focus on the scientific process while engaging the students in course content, data collection and analysis.

An interview with a focus group comprised of former General Psychology students was conducted in February. The results of this exercise informed us that students enjoyed the breath of topics encountered in our introductory course, but were surprised by the focus on scientific methodology in the field of psychology.  Students were definitely enthusiastic about the idea of labs.

We reviewed a wide range of scholarly resources related to lab instruction in introductory psychology courses, including

In April we conducted another interview with a focus group of teachers who currently teach General Psychology. Again, the responses were encouraging for our initiative. Teachers also voiced their support for a science-based, methodology-based introduction to labs for Gen Psych students.

We are currently in the process of designing four new labs for General Psychology.  The Psychology WID team has given itself a mandate of creating complete and clear lab protocols that can be used as is,  yet will also be flexible enough to be customized to each teacher’s specific course content.  The labs will have clear grading schemes and offer grading rubric templates available for teachers to use.

The next step will involve interviewing psychology researchers at Montreal universities who are currently conducting original work in a range of different sub-fields. These interviews will be used in the pre-lab classes, with an aim to introducing students to the real-life perspectives of researchers, their personal journeys into the topics and problems of contemporary psychology, and their ways of thinking about experiment design.

In the Fall 2019 semester, the Psychology WID team will be piloting and refining these new lab activities and resources.  We plan to share our results with our fellow teachers within the Psychology department and any other interested parties.


WID Spring Institute 2019 – Connect & Collaborate: Dawson Faculty Initiatives

May 21, 1.30-3.30pm – CoLab 3F.43

This year’s WID Spring Institute will be devoted to an afternoon of brainstorming and planning with WID’s sister Dawson initiatives DALC, SALTISE, UDL and E-Learning.  2019-20 will mark WID’s tenth year of activities, and this year’s Institute offers an opportunity to pause, reflect and innovate:  Collectively, what progress have we made in offering Dawson teachers evidence-based approaches to improving teaching and learning?  What new directions and collaborative projects would we like to pursue over the next ten?  If you’ve been a Fellow in any one of these initiatives, join us on May 21 for a interactive afternoon of ideas and possibilities.  RSVP to Ian MacKenzie by May 17.

Insitute Agenda

a. Brainstorming: What have we accomplished? Where are we going next?

b. Inkshedding: Refining insights, identifying priorities

c. Prototyping: Innovating new structures and strategies

Jeff Gandell – Writing Fellows Facilitator Fall 2019

Jeffrey Gandell will take over facilitation of the Faculty Writing Fellows from Ian MacKenzie for Fall 2019.  Jeff is a WID Writing Fellow (2012), has co-directed a WID department project (2016), and has facilitated at WID Spring Institutes and workshops on several occasions over the years.  Along with his work as a DALC and UDL Fellow, Jeff is currently the faculty coordinator of the Dawson Theatre Collective.  Outside Dawson, Jeff is a playwright and actor, with multiple Fringe productions to his credit.

“I am thrilled to be facilitating the Fall 2019 Writing Fellows. Participating in the Fellows program in 2012 started me on a journey that has completely revolutionized the way I think about education, writing, and the role of the college teacher. I can’t wait to revisit the material, and work closely with the new cohort to dream up new and exciting ways to make a difference in our students’ lives.

Check out the details on how to apply for the F19-W20 Writing Fellows.