The Effects of the Introduction to Psychology Lab Program on Undergraduate Education

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Michael Livingston, Psychology


The effects of the Introduction to Psychology Lab Program were assessed at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. Former teaching interns (TI’s) were surveyed by mail to assess their experience of being a teaching intern for Introduction to Psychology labs. This survey focused on personal and academic gains of being a teaching intern, such as discussion skills and critical thinking skills. Such skills were measured by individual rating on a Likert scale. A second survey was given to students at the two colleges who have taken Introduction to Psychology in the past five semesters to assess the lab program from a student's perspective. The students were asked questions regarding their opinions about the lab and their overall experience. Two sets of statistical analyses were performed on the data using SPSS. The first set of analyses examined the overall experience of the teaching internship. The teaching internship had positive effects, such as an increase in self-confidence, on the former inters. The second set of analyses examined the Introduction to Psychology students' overall experience in lab and also found overall positive effects, such as being taught by a "peer." Results were discussed as they related to theory of effective college teaching and previous research on the effectiveness of using undergraduates as peer teachers.