By Aaron S. Richmond, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver
Hello Graduate Students! I wanted to take this occasion to tell you that there are exciting changes coming to the Society of Teaching of Psychology’s (STP) flagship journal Teaching of Psychology (ToP) and I want you to be involved. But first, let me take this opportunity to thank Drew Christopher, the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, for his exemplary service to ToP and STP. He has helped shape our field and has guided graduate students (like me at the time) with a gentle, supportive, and constructive hand in the process of publishing their first work in ToP. His editorial style and guidance are responsible for instilling the passion of the science of teaching and learning to many of us. Thank you Drew, we will be forever in your debt.
Now, the exciting changes to ToP that you, as graduate students, can be a part of. First, we are integrating Open Science practices into ToP. You as an author in ToP (hint, hint) can now have your materials be open, your data be open, and include preregistration with each manuscript. Second, much like most medical journals, were moving to a structured abstract for both data and non-data driven articles. This will allow graduate students to better access, summarize, and cite the important work that is published in ToP because the structure will allow you to go directly to the results, or the method, or the educational implications. Third, we have reorganized the types of submission that you can submit to ToP. Specifically, we are now accepting manuscripts in one of four corners: Replication Corner, Proof of Concept Corner, Science of Teaching and Learning Corner, and the Scholarly Teacher Corner.
The Proof of Concept Corner will house promising pilot studies or small-scale studies. In this corner, we are looking for shorter articles that provide quantitative evidence for teaching and learning related interventions, establish associations in teaching of psychology variables, and/or to present descriptive data to purpose problems to solve. For graduate students, this is HUGE. It will allow you to develop the seed of an idea and get it published in a quality journal. You can then use this “proof of concept” as a rationale or evidence for a larger project like a grant proposal (hint, hint).
The Replication Corner will encourage graduate students and their collaborators not only to replicate findings from previously published studies, but to also have some novelty to their study (e.g., different type of institution, psychology subject matter, class size, additional measures). The beauty of this corner is that it does not require you, as an overextended graduate student, to reinvent the wheel.
The Science of Teaching & Learning Corner will be full-length articles that are data- or theory-driven, meta-analytic investigations, or conceptual position articles. Submissions to this section are meant to illuminate teaching of psychology topics with broad implications or importance to SoTL researchers.
Finally, the Scholarly Teacher Corner will be a forum for shorter articles that provide practical reviews, activities, and/or resources for teachers of psychology to directly use in their classroom or teaching responsibilities. They can be reflective essays, practical activities, nondata driven emerging ideas, subject specific (e.g., abnormal, developmental), how to incorporate a book into your course, research reviews that illuminate findings for teachers of psychology, translating new research, issues to consider, etc. This is another type of submission that is perfect for graduate students. Typically, you won’t need IRB review (halleluiah) to write up and review these materials. For more details about the changes to ToP follow this link.
Another change that is coming to ToP is our emphasis on involving graduate students. In the past, graduate students have not been officially involved (although they were welcome). Therefore, I’ve specifically reserved a seat on the editorial board for at least one graduate student that serves a 3-year term. I am pleased to announce that our first graduate student and GSTA member to serve as a Consulting Editor (not just an ad hoc reviewer) is Raechel Soicher from Oregon State University. Moreover, I highly encourage you to volunteer to become an ad hoc reviewer for ToP. By becoming an ad hoc reviewer, you are on the path to becoming a member of any editorial board. It is a great line in your Curriculum Vitae. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to leave you with a few ideas on how to create cultural shift of involving GSTA and graduate students with ToP and the field of science of teaching and learning in general. First, I want to create a mechanism by which you become more involved in the science of teaching and learning. STP is a community of teacher-scholars and scholarly teachers and the entire society starts with you. Meaning, many of us “seasoned” society members had someone who was passionate about STP, or teaching, or the science of teaching and learning that sparked a desire to be a part of this incredible community. Whether they modeled exemplary teaching, or they were incredible scholars, or whether they introduced us to STP—it started in graduate school and we are committed to this wonderfully supportive academic community. Consequently, I want to involve you in this outstanding field and especially through ToP. You may ask: How may we accomplish this task? My first idea is to suggest that you apply to be a part of STP’s SoTL Writing Workshop. Dr. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges is the Director of this program and (a) she is incredible, and (b) if you are accepted into the program you will be matched with a scholar in our field and be mentored for over 6 months on your project. You will then meet at STP’s Annual Conference on Teaching to participate in the workshop. I have mentored several graduate students in this program and it is in an amazing opportunity to learn how to become a scholar in the field and invariably get published and do great work. My second idea is to create a mentoring program for reviewing for ToP. I would like to establish and match graduate student reviewers with experienced Consulting Editors so that they could guide students through this somewhat “implicit procedural knowledge” process. In other words, there are weird social norms and templates used to review manuscripts that most students do not receive guidance or training on—they are just expected to know how to do it. Thus, having someone who has literally done 100s of reviews is extremely important.
I would like to leave you with an open invitation to contact me about what I have proposed, ToP, career advice, or whatever you would like. I welcome your thoughts and wishes.
Dr. Aaron S. Richmond is a professor of educational psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver and is the Editor-in-Chief of STP’s flagship journal Teaching of Psychology. In more than 85 publications involving over 50 undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Richmond has explored effective pedagogical approaches to instruction in both the k-12 and higher education setting. He is a passionate and accomplished teacher who loves to engage and mentor his students.
Contact Dr. Richmond via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@AaronSRichmond).