The article contains a study of an Introduction to psychology course conducted by Jennifer Simonds, Ellen Behrens, and Jessica Holzbauer. The study was conducted in Westminster College which is in Salt Lake City, Utah State. Jennifer Simonds and Ellen Behrens are both Ph.D. holders and professors at the Westminster College. Jessica Holzbauer is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Utah. The article is currently written in the year 2017. It is published under the International Journal of Teaching and learning in Higher Education a publisher of professional journals. The work is peer-reviewed written by professionals focused in depth on the introduction to psychology course and published and distributed by the International Journal of Teaching and learning in Higher Education who are the journal editors in this case. The article has the format of a peer-reviewed publication with subheadings. It is a scholarly journal which is focused on the Academic discipline of Psychology.
II. The Introduction
Research on the competency-based learning is well reviewed with the learning advantages, the feedback system involved, challenges encountered and aims of the project are well elaborated. All the important aspects of the course in the study including the badges and grades, content coverage and project types, online and classroom course designs and the student and instructor outcomes well described in detail on the case study. The researchers involved have good knowledge and prior experience in the field of study hence are more suitable to review the course. Tables providing the course content are provided which enables the evaluation of differences between the methods of teaching approach. The students who are the samples have some of their reviews on the competency-based learning included in the study not only the authors reviews. The research is therefore reviewed well. Appropriate citations on the research work are provided with in-text citations and reference materials given to support the information provided in the work. The purpose of the project is to illustrate in detail the development and implementation processes of two sections involved in two sections of competency-based learning in the Introduction to psychology course where one section is the classroom section and the other online class (Files.eric.ed.gov, 2019). The author has ensured that the purpose of this study has been achieved. The authors have as well ensured the work has satisfied the purpose of the project. The hypothesis questions are clearly pointed out and then in order are expounded in detail based on the introduction part.
III. The Method Section
The nature of the subject is specified in detail whereby two sections were selected, online and classroom where samples were selected. Twenty-four students from the classroom section and eleven students from the online class were sampled and subjected to an assessment. The samples provide a basis for the evaluation of both classes on the matter. The design of the study allows for the testing of the hypothesis based on all the perspectives that are as a student and as an instructor in order to provide the given student and instructor recommendations about competency-based learning. After providing the relevant information on the subject, student reflections and instructor experiences are provided in order to evaluate the effects of competency-based learning on the learning process. The design provides a platform to come up with the results of the study. There are no methodological issues in the article. The article does not have a repetition of information the readers have knowledge on. The samples are not homogeneous and therefore the feasibility of the hypothesis is intact. The questions in the hypothesis do not require any tough choices and thus researchers can properly expound on them. The information provided is sufficient to allow for a replication of the study for a case on a different subject as long as it is based on Competency-Based Learning. The samples and information provided in this study lay a guide for further studies to be carried out as stated in the implications for the future research section of the study.
IV. The Results Section
The statistically significant effect supports the hypotheses presented. Action is required for a change meaning it is not dependent on chance. The differences reported by the students are large whereby it requires them to change their studying methods. The variables in the research included the mode of study whether online or classroom where the number of students in both classes is provided. The other variable is using Competency-based Learning or the traditional higher education method. The tables provide the number of minimum badges to pass a course. All the required statistical data required was provided to conduct the research. The data in the tables and texts is accurate and matches each other with no contradictions. A table providing information to some of the aspects like a guide for the course content is provided.
V. The Discussion Section
According to the students the Competency-based learning proves to be more efficient and more value-adding which proves that the conclusions deduced are true. The methods used in competency-based learning were confirmed to be more beneficial to the students as they compared what they would have learned using traditional higher learning methods. The grading methods as well proved to improve the quality of the education gained by the students. The conclusions matched the results that the students will report according to the research. The implications of the results of the study are wide but are all revolving around the methods of dissemination of academics covering both the students and instructors. The author when discussing the implications of the results talks about instructor preparation, the hybrid format in online classes, accountability of the quality of content learning, projects that enable mastering of the competency learning and how the results are applicable in other fields. Other fields that might be directly impacted by the results of this study include student perception on the learning methods, perception of faculty towards competency-based learning and the transfer of the learning method to future academics and professional fields. The results match well with the existing theory that competency-based learning is more effective in the higher education system as results implicate better quality of learning and evaluation. The author pointed out other related areas of study for future research including student perception on the learning methods, perception of faculty towards competency-based learning and the transfer of the learning method to future academics and professional fields (Files.eric.ed.gov, 2019). The current study lays out basic groundwork for the above-mentioned researches to be carried out considering their relationship in the resultants.
Files.eric.ed.gov. (2019). A Case Study of an Introduction to Psychology Course. [online] Available at: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1146155.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2019].
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