Most of the undergraduates at McMaster University will take introductory psychology at some point in their academic programs. In just over 10 years, this participation rate translates into over 50,000 students. As a course designer, the challenges are clear: how do you deliver a high quality educational experience to so many students, from a variety of academic backgrounds, and maintain an academically rigorous program that motivates deep learning?
The MacIntroPsych Blended Learning model combines interactive online resources with face-to-face class experiences. Online web modules deliver primary course content for self-paced learning while traditional lectures and small-group tutorials provide opportunities for hands-on participation and problem-based learning.
The development of this teaching program has benefitted from feedback from students, teaching assistants, and insights from applied cognitive psychology to make informed pedagogical decisions.
From a starting point in 2007 of low student satisfaction and variance in the quality of teaching and learning experiences, the MacIntroPsych program has matured into the flagship, first-year experience for students entering McMaster, maintaining consistently high student satisfaction and a reputation for test questions that stretch students to grow into life-long learners.