Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

ECP Corner

This blog contains submissions from STP's Early Career Psychology (ECP) Committee to the ECP Corner column in STP News from January 2020 to the present.  The ECP Corner first appeared in the November 2016 issue of the newsletter, which was then called ToPNEWS-Online.  You can read ECP Corner columns from November 2016 through December 2019 in past issues of ToPNEWS-Online here.

Submit questions to ‘Ask an ECP’

For their monthly column, the ECP Committee wants to research and answer questions that mean the most to you. If you have a question, fill out this simple form and your question may be featured in an upcoming column.

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  • 03 Mar 2024 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mid-Course Pivot

    For those on the semester schedule, March can signify the half-way point in the semester. At this stage, you may have a better feel for your students and how your class is unfolding. Hopefully, things are going well, and your carefully planned classes are proceeding smoothly. However, we recognize this may not be the case. Perhaps you’ve received feedback from students indicating that your learning goals aren’t being reached, or maybe you’re recognizing that your current students aren’t engaging in activities the same ways as prior classes. These may be signs to make a pivot.

    Mid-semester pivots can range in size and can occur for both positive and negative reasons. Regardless of the reason or amount of change, pivoting can feel daunting. Yet it is normal for instructors (especially early career!) to make changes mid-course. Below, members of the ECP committee share the times they have needed to make a mid-semester pivot.   

    Amanda: I teach an introduction to open science course, which is typically a small class for upper class students. In one unit, students were learning about reproducibility, and had an assignment to reproduce the analyses from a paper of their choosing. I had told students they could use any analysis software they wanted, provided they were comfortable enough to use it on their own. Most of the students opted to use R, as it was similar to the example I had shown in class. However, as I found out in their weekly reflections, they did not have the R background to accomplish this task and were becoming anxious. Rather than continuing with our syllabus-scheduled content, I decided to use the next class to discuss the concerns students had, explain some of the key pieces they would need (e.g. changing the data’s file path to match their computer), and we ended up having a nice discussion about what to look for when trying to reproduce analyses. Though we did not cover the next topic in as much detail, I think our detour helped students learn more about research workflows.

    Vishal: This semester, I am teaching a graduate level course called Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior. In our program, faculty administer a brief survey during Week 6 (out of 16) for an early feedback check-in on how the class is going. This semester is my second time teaching the class, so I worked on making a lot of changes from last year to this year. While I felt good about these changes, the early feedback check-in gave me a sense about how students felt. One common theme that they expressed was that the integration of research articles into the class felt a little more daunting than they thought, but this is a very important part of graduate training. To respond to this, I started developing reading guides and asking more review questions in class, so that I can get a real-time sense of how students are taking in the (somewhat denser) readings. I think that this has helped the students engage with the readings more and understand them better.

    Dina: Early in my teaching of a course on Positive Psychology, I got feedback from students that the amount of material they needed to know well enough to apply for the midterm exam was overwhelming, and their performance suffered as a result. I thus gave students the chance to explain all the right answers to the questions they got wrong to improve both their learning and their grade by earning partial credit back.  This pivot was so successful that I now use this recursive assessment approach for most big assignments because it noticeably reduces students’ test anxiety and improves their performance. I have also learned to have 2 midterms to reduce the amount of material assessed in each, and typically drop the lowest score to reduce test anxiety.

    Maria: I teach a third-year course called Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination. Recently, we had a class topic on Racism and one of the students was really interested in the colorblindness vs. the multiculturalism ideology. Although this is a great topic, we were not directly covering these ideologies in the class. I rave what I called the "Cliffs Notes'' in class about the history of the colorblindness approach. It was at some point believed to be a good approach. I then summarized that the literature has generally been in favor of the multiculturalism approach and added that there are caveats to the multiculturalism approach as well which have been overlooked until recently. I also told students that this is a larger discussion and that I would be happy to have a more in-depth chat one on one after class. After that class, I posted a couple of references for the entire class in the supplementary section for folks interested in reading more about what I briefly mentioned in class yesterday. I think this was an effective method at moving the class along while validating the students' curiosity and letting them know that they have been heard. I even had several other students in the course reach out to me about the resources I posted expressing their excitement about the materials (even though none of them were personally the student that originally posed the question in class)!

  • 04 Feb 2024 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The new (calendar) year is underway and moving quick! At this time, many ECPs often think about ways to make the year better than the last, set some goals, and try to learn more along the way. One thing that can help us as we seek to accomplish our goals is to leverage our networks. However, as an ECP, it can sometimes be difficult to find opportunities to connect and funds to offset travel. The good news is that there are tons of opportunities for networking and funding, so hopefully this month’s column can help the ECP community meet each other more!

    First, the ACT: Online conference is rapidly approaching, and there is a great schedule of events, speakers, and posters, some of which are by fellow ECPs! If you’re considering making any changes to improve your assignments or syllabi, the 2023 ECP Committee will have a presentation recapping our workshop from ACT: Portland in an asynchronous format.

    Second, outside of ACT, there are great regional conferences, where you can network with colleagues and meet other ECPs. Some of our ECP Committee will be at the SWPA in San Antonio and MPA Conference in Chicago this year. There are other psychological conferences, regional, national, and international, that feature STP programming, too! If you are interested in virtual options, we will also have a summer Hackathon and other events throughout the year. Each of these events will include networking opportunities for us to connect with others.

    We know that attending in person events can be challenging without funds. February can be a good time to think about external funding options. Thankfully, there are several opportunities that cater to ECPs. For example, both STP (up to $500) and Psi Chi (up to $1500) have travel grants that help offset costs of attending conferences. Both of these grants have multiple deadlines throughout the year.

    Be sure to check out the ECP updates on Twitter/X and our website! We will be posting more updates regarding conferences, meet-ups, travel awards, and much more. We would also love to hear from you! Have you published a teaching paper lately? Are you presenting at any teaching conference coming up this year? Are you looking to develop any collaborations? Would you like to be part of an ECP member spotlight? If yes, we want to hear from you! E-mail us at, and we can highlight your teaching and conference wins on our social media!

    As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out to any ECP member or contact us through Twitter/X or e-mail, listed below.
  • 02 Jan 2024 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Amanda Woodward, Chair of the Early Career Psychology Committee

    Happy New Year! As the new year unfolds, setting intentions can be helpful to guide the work we do and how we go about it. As your ECP Committee, our intentions are to work together to address the needs of ECPs affiliated with STP, and we are ready to hit the ground running! In 2024, we are looking forward to continuing some of our traditional programming and diving into some new projects. We’re hoping to support you as you navigate your teaching career and to highlight some of the great things that ECPs are doing. To that end, one of our goals is to feature the teaching articles written by ECPs and to promote ECP friendly events. If you would like us to highlight the work you are doing, please email us at

    What else can you expect from us in 2024? Beyond sharing teaching tips and resources in this monthly column, we’ll be hosting virtual and in person events. You can look forward to a virtual hackathon in the summer and in person networking events at ACT 2024. We hope to create other events and resources to address the needs of ECPs. If you have a question or topic you’d like us to address, please use this short google form andwe may address it in a future article.

    Is one of your intentions to learn more about teaching? Don’t forget that online ACT content will be available in February! This can be a great way to learn effective teaching strategies, resources to reflect on your career, and to network with others. More information can be found on the ACT webpage. Wishing you all a great new year!


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee:

    Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

    Maria Iankilevitch, Ph.D.

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

    Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

    Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

  • 05 Dec 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Courtney Gosnell, Chair of the Early Career Psychology Committee

    As we wrap up 2023, I want to thank our ECPs for making 2023 a great year! Our committee hosted our first-ever Hackathon this past summer allowing teachers to exchange tips and suggestions for Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, and Statistics! At ACT, we coordinated dinners and socials and offered the workshop, “Rethinking Course Syllabi & Assignments: How To Generate Engaging, Equitable, and Transparent Student Materials.” And, behind the scenes, we are working to compile resources from past teaching conferences in a paper that will help future ECPs navigate their career paths. Throughout it all, we got the opportunity to network and engage with amazing ECPs, learn from them, and help them where we could.

    My time on the committee is coming to an end, and I’m so grateful for my fellow committee members and all of the STP ECPs who have made serving on this committee such an amazing experience! But, as I head out, we are excited to announce our new ECP committee chair will be Amanda Woodward. Amanda has served on the committee for the past two years and is excited to take the lead for next year. In addition, we have a new ECP Committee Member who will be joining us: Maria Iankilevitch from the University of Victoria! We are excited to welcome her to our committee and know she will make an impact on our ECP team!

    As the year comes to a close, we wish you all speedy grading, (mainly) positive teaching evaluations, and the enjoyment of a well-deserved break with friends and family! Have a great holiday season and happy new year!

    We are looking forward to interacting with more teaching enthusiasts at ACT: Online in February and at the next ACT in Louisville next October!

    Your STP Early Career Psychology Committee:

    Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

    Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

    Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

  • 01 Nov 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2023 year has certainly flown by, and it is hard to believe that ACT was already a month ago! Our October ECP Corner recapped the workshop we hosted, “Rethinking Course Syllabi & Assignments: How To Generate Engaging, Equitable, and Transparent Student Materials.” A copy of our presentation and an accompanying worksheet can be found in this Google Drive folder.

    In addition to the workshop, the ECP Committee hosted an ECP Poster competition, a Friday night dinner with American Psychological Association Publishing, our annual Speed Mentoring Event, and a social hour for everyone to kick back and enjoy as the conference came to a close.

    It was exciting to see such a big presence of ECPs presenting posters at the Social Hour and Poster Session on Friday night. The ECP Committee went around and judged every poster that had a first-author ECP in a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) or a teaching innovations category. In each category, we are awarding a $200 prize for first-place winners and $100 for second-place winners.

    Our first category included SoTL posters that involved an experiment with new data collection. We are excited to present two prizes! In first place, we have Daniel Storage from the University of Denver who presented “A Brief Intervention to Improve Perceived Self-Efficacy in Introduction to Statistics.” In second place, we have Jenna Zucker from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville who presented “Co-Curricular Book Club as a Means for Fostering Academic Skills.”

    Our second category included teaching innovation posters that shared valuable information about something with important implications in teaching. In first place, we have Michele Wellsby from Mount Royal University, who presented “Truth or Lie: Using Mentimeter in the Classroom Enhances Student Learning and Engagement.” In second place, we have Chelsea Robertson from West Liberty University who presented, “Creating a Trauma-Informed Syllabus.”

    After the conference came to a close, we hosted our annual Speed Mentoring Event, where graduate students and early career psychologists had the opportunity to receive speed mentoring and meet up to five mentors in a two-hour window. This year, we were fortunate enough to have 12 amazing mentors, making the event a huge success! Thank you again to all of our awesome mentors: Janet Peters, Ho Huynh, Dave Kreiner, Sue Frantz, Ellen Carpenter, Kiersten Gaughman, Erika Fulton, Molly Metz, Jane Halonen, Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, Todd Joseph, and Ashley Waggoner Denton!

    Finally, the Saturday night ended with an awesome social hour, sponsored by the ECP Committee. It is always great to have opportunities to connect with others that are involved in STP and excited to continue looking for ways to grow and learn with and from others.

    We are looking forward to interacting with more teaching enthusiasts at ACT: Online in February and at the next ACT in Louisville next October!

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee:

    Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

    Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

    Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

  • 01 Oct 2023 12:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    There has been a growing trend in higher ed to increase transparency and equity in our courses. The term has already started, but what are some things that I can do now to improve transparency in my courses?


    Overwhelmed, but Want to Make a Difference

    What a great question. If you made it to ACT this year, the ECP committee gave a workshop to address some of these issues. But for those who missed it, here is a snapshot of the different ways we can increase transparency and equity by making small changes to our existing syllabi and assignments! Here are three of the major ideas or frameworks that are big right now.

    First, is the TILT model, or Transparency in Teaching and Learning. The principle of TILT is to provide students with context for the WHY and HOW of their learning experiences. When writing assignments, the TILT model suggests formatting your instructions to include a discussion of the purpose of the assignment, what the task for the assignment is, and the criteria for grading. The PURPOSE of the assignment can include skills practiced, knowledge gained, relevance to other course components, and long-term relevance to students’ lives. The TASK part is the traditional instructions for an assignment but should also describe how students should complete the requirements (actions to do or avoid). In the CRITERIA section, providing a clear rubric, checklist, and examples to clarify what the end product should look like and how it will be assessed. The main idea of TILT is to learn to see your course assignments and syllabus from the perspective of the student. While you can’t necessarily apply the PURPOSE-TASK-CRITERIA formatting to a syllabus, you can still apply the goals of TILT to your syllabi. For example, provide transparency by providing context to course policies, use student-friendly language, explain how different components of the course work together, and add links and resources your students might benefit from. Using a question-based syllabus is one way to help point students to the right places within the syllabus to find what they need to know.

    Second, is the IDEA framework, or a focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. By understanding IDEA concepts, you create a better environment for students to feel as though they belong which facilitates their learning. When crafting your syllabi consider policies that are family-friendly, schedules that consider non-Christian religious holidays (e.g., Diwali, Ramadan), opportunities for communication, readings from diverse researchers, and balancing course assignments to assess different strengths. For example, the Hindu festival of Diwali is normally in October or November each year. Check the date and adjust your schedule to allow appropriate time for students to observe the festival. When assigning readings, consider the author's background and when possible, provide readings from under-represented groups, then briefly share appropriate context when introducing the readings in class. A key resource for implementing IDEA in syllabi can be found here.

    Third, is the emphasis on the skills students gain in our courses. The Skillful Psychology Student (APA) is a great resource for identifying the skills psychology students get across our curriculums. You can add an area in your syllabus to acknowledge these skills and discuss how your particular course content and/or assignments contribute to these skills. This section of the syllabus should also encourage students to incorporate these skills into their resumes. You can similarly explicitly identify the skills learned or developed with individual assignments. This provides students with the opportunity to use their coursework as examples they can refer to in interviews, on resumes, or in a portfolio. A course wrap-up assignment can be used allowing students to reflect on the skills they gained during the term and how those skills were refined. By highlighting the skills students are learning in our classes, we are making the relevancy of the courses to future careers clear, which can improve student motivation.

    These frameworks have separate focuses, but ultimately the goals are the same, to provide students with a clear understanding of what they are getting out of our classes and a sense of ownership and belonging in their education. While a complete overhaul of a course can better allow us to do this for our students, we can make small changes now to our syllabi and assignments to acknowledge students’ diverse backgrounds, experiences, and goals.

    Find out more by checking out our resources from this Workshop.

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee:

    Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

    Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

    Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

  • 01 Sep 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    The new school year is underway, and ACT on-site in Portland inches closer day-by-day! I have never attended ACT, and I am very excited to connect with other teachers and psychology enthusiasts in October. What should I keep in mind when getting ready to attend the conference? Where can I find ECP members and events during the conference?


    A New ACT Attendee

    Dear A New ACT Attendee,

    It is indeed exciting that ACT in Portland is only a month away now! There will be other new attendees, like yourself, and even others that are looking forward to meeting old friends and making new friends. ACT is always a welcoming and friendly conference that uses a variety of approaches (poster session, shorter workshops, longer workshops, PIEs) to foster an educational and meaningful environment. No matter who we are, there is always a lot to enjoy, soak in, and learn throughout the conference. The fun will actually continue after Portland during the online conference, tentatively scheduled for February 12-16, 2024. Keep an eye out for further updates to come!

    The ACT Committee has shared a tentative schedule and program for the on-site part of the conference. Below are some additional details about events that the ECP Committee will be hosting throughout the conference.

    To get things started, there will be a Welcome Reception on Thursday, where you can meet new and returning attendees. Your ECP committee will be there, so feel free to say hi!

    The first day of the conference will be Friday, October 6. After the day’s sessions are done, there will be an Early Career Psychology dinner, where we can get to know each other and debrief on the first full day. You can sign-up to join us at the conference registration table, and a meeting and dinner location will be decided closer to the conference. This can be a fun way to just relax with others, enjoy some good food, and chat!

    On our final conference day, Saturday, October 7, we’ll have quite a few events! Starting early, from 8:30-10:30 am, we will be hosting a two-hour workshop titled, “Rethinking Course Syllabi and Assignments: How to Generate Engaging, Equitable, and Transparent Student Materials.” This workshop includes both discussion time and work time, so feel free to bring any working copies of syllabi and assignments that you are looking to update!

    We will also host a Speed Mentoring session from 5:30-7:30 pm (after the main conference ends). This is a nice way to connect with multiple mentors and get insight into your professional development and teaching questions. In advance of the conference, we will send out surveys for those interested in being a mentor or mentee. Additional details will be shared in mid-September.

    Are you interested in being a MENTOR? Sign up here with this link by September 15!

    Are you interested in being a MENTEE? Sign up here with this link by September 25!

    After this session, we will have an ECP social hour, to celebrate a successful conference and offer one last networking event. We hope to see you there!

    Want to connect with us before ACT or find updates leading up to the conference? You can find ECP and STP through any of the outlets below!

  • 01 Aug 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Summer is flying away, but there’s still time to do some “summer reading” in preparation for the upcoming academic year. Here are some of the newest research-based books on teaching that we’d recommend reading.

    First, in this book written by and for college educators, our very own Viji Sathy and Kelly Hogan give helpful tips on how to make ALL students feel included and welcome in the classroom by providing more structure in both course design and student interactions. Inclusive Teaching, goes beyond theory, offering pragmatic approaches to amplify diverse voices across various scenarios: from conducting impactful office hours that students actually attend to effectively providing instructions for group discussions and projects and fostering effective communication with students in general. If you're an educator seeking to create a more welcoming and supportive space for ALL your students, this engaging book will be an indispensable resource in your path towards inclusive excellence in teaching.

    Similarly, Reconnect: Building School Culture for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging helps educators cultivate a sense of belonging and connection at school despite the sharp decline in students’ engagement and mental health since the pandemic. (If you’d like to familiarize yourself with trauma-informed teaching in light of the collective trauma of the pandemic, check out Trauma-Responsive Pedagogy: Teaching for Healing and Transformation.) In Reconnect, Doug Lemov (of Teach Like a Champion fame) and his coauthors, Hilary Lewis, Darryl Williams, and Denarius Frazier, focus on what belonging can look like and sound like—while students are learning.

    Moreover, in the well-written book Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge, insightful Sara Rose Cavanagh also equips educators with the research-based tools needed to create a nurturing and inclusive learning environment where compassion and challenge intersect harmoniously to positively impact students even if they are struggling with their mental health.

    In a similar vein, Cultivating Kindness: An Educator’s Guide by John-Tyler Binfet is a highly recommended read. This book offers practical strategies and evidence-based insights for creating a nurturing and compassionate classroom environment in which all students can succeed and thrive. By incorporating kindness practices, educators can foster positive relationships with their students and also promote their social-emotional development and overall well-being. With real-world examples and research, Binfet empowers teachers to inspire a culture of kindness to positively impact their students' academic and emotional growth.

    Finally, if you’re feeling too burnt out to even think about reading any of these books, please know that you are NOT alone, as burnout is only becoming more rampant among teachers. If you can’t take a sabbatical for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, at least skimming this guide could offer a helpful start in tackling teacher burnout: Surviving Teacher Burnout: A Weekly Guide to Build Relationships, Deal with Emotional Exhaustion, and Stay Inspired in the Classroom by Amy L. Eva.

    If you prefer electronic resources, STP has a variety of e-books on scholarship of teaching and learning, various teaching techniques, and theories of teaching. Some e-books were even written specifically for early career instructors. The E-xcellence in Teaching Blog also offers quick reads on many teaching topics.

  • 27 Jun 2023 1:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June marked the start of summer break (for many of us!). Whether you wrapped up your semester a few weeks ago or you’re looking ahead to summer after completing a quarter, summer offers a time for us to rest, relax, and reflect after a long academic year. Here, we will offer some ideas on how to make the most of your summer to prepare for fall. 

    ·         Relax and Recharge! We all have different commitments during the summer. Some are teaching summer courses and diving into research projects while others have no academic time commitments or are somewhere in between. Regardless of what your summer looks like, it’s important to take time to rest. Taking time to relax improves our overall well-being and our productivity. Whether your version of relaxing is sleeping in, working on hobbies, or spending more time with friends and family, taking the time to rest and have fun can help us return to campus ready to tackle the next term without burning out. 

    ·         Summer Reading. One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to read a good book in the sunshine. If you, like me, find joy in reading by the pool, but want to learn more about teaching, consider combining the two! There are countless teaching books on many topics you may be interested in. If you want recommendations, the STP Facebook page can be a good resource to ask the hivemind! The first teaching book on my list is Inclusive Teaching by Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy.

    If you prefer online resources, STP has a variety of e-books on scholarship of teaching and learning, various teaching techniques, and theories of teaching. There are even books written specifically for early career instructors. The E-xcellence in Teaching Blog also offers quick reads on many topics.   

    ·         Reflecting on Course Design. Now that the end of the prior term has passed, you may have more space to reflect on the courses you’ve taught. Taking the time to reflect on your teaching and your prior classes can set you up for a successful fall. If you’ve taught before, these reflections may include revisiting student evaluations to find common themes and may also involve considering what you think went well or what could be improved. If you haven’t taught before, you may reflect on your goals as an instructor and what you want students in your future class take away from your course. 

    ·         Consider Your Own Career Goals. Summer may provide space for you to consider longer-term career goals. You may take this time to create an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) or reflect on your progress toward career goals. If you are stuck, consider applying for the STP mentorship program toward the end of the summer, where Early Career members can be matched with a mentor to help them develop and achieve career goals. 

    Making the most of summer will mean different things to different people. For some, it will mean taking a large step back from teaching responsibilities to focus on other aspects of our lives. For others, it may mean using our work time to revamp a course or to focus on other aspects of our jobs. We hope the above give you points to consider and that you use summer to recharge and prepare in whatever ways make the most sense for you!

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee:

    Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

    Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

    Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

  • 04 Apr 2023 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    Spring break is behind us now, and I always think about how April is a marathon to the end of the semester. It’s insightful but overwhelming thinking about all the things that have gone well, and not so well, during the semester. Do others feel this way too? How do I approach this home stretch to the semester?


    A Tired Teacher

    Dear A Tired Teacher,

    Yes! Others most definitely feel this way, too. Last month, we talked about mid-semester evaluations to see how students feel about our class. Based on what students said, and thinking about the semester as a whole, we may feel happy with some parts and not as happy with other parts. It can often be helpful to share these thoughts with others and know that we are not alone. One of many approaches to do this is called Roses and Thorns, where we can share the best part of the semester and the worst part of the semester so far. Here is what some of our early career psychologists have reflected on this month!


    Rose: My Research Methods in Social Psychology students have been working remarkably well on their group research projects this semester using publicly available datasets instead of collecting their own data like I’ve done in the past. Despite initial anxiety about statistics, many students were actually excited to see if their hypotheses were supported by the data they’re examining, which was so great to see! I may have even succeeded in making research methods and stats “Not Awful” (thanks, Jess Hartnett!) because my methods course for the Fall is already full with a long waitlist, which isn’t typical.

    Thorn: I had students in my Science of Happiness seminar (mostly seniors) work in small groups to lead class discussion on a course topic of their choice this semester, which hasn’t been going as well as I’d hoped. I really regret not requiring lesson plans to be submitted 1-2 weeks in advance because many seemed to prepare their class discussions at the last minute, and it showed. I hope doing so and implementing a confidential evaluation of group work will help prevent social loafing and ensure better student-led class discussions in the future.


    Rose: My Experimental Psychology students are working really well in their groups this semester and seem excited to be finishing up and presenting their projects! Sometimes students in this class struggle to find motivation or are impacted by difficult group dynamics—so it has been really nice to have groups working positively and productively as we approach their final presentations!

    Thorn: In addition to teaching, I also advise first-year students (whom I had as students in our Introduction to University Life course in the Fall). It has been particularly hard this year to get them to sign up for meeting times (And then show up for those meetings once they sign up!). I’m still trying to find the best way to help them develop skills related to time management/meeting etiquette.


    Rose: I adjunct at a two-year institution, and I am teaching general psychology this term. The students are super engaged each class period, and I always have a blast hearing their great questions and connections to real life. It makes me feel more and more excited to step into the classroom each day and meet with them.

    Thorn: I have a new prep this semester for a graduate course. Sometimes, it feels like this one has more things going wrong than right, but I keep telling myself that it’s still okay! I am thankful for the students in the class voicing what they do and do not enjoy about the class, though, so that we can make the class better for all of us.

    In addition to acknowledging, reflecting on, and learning from roses and thorns about the semester, it could be a good way to collect informal feedback from students, too! Some instructors have done this at random points throughout the semester as a way to check in on students. April is a marathon full of exciting times, too. Good luck to everyone as another semester winds down!

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