This learning material is a 17-minute YouTube video presentation by K.D. Borcoman of the University of Alaska. Developed for a specific class in Spring 2012, the video describes the basics of writing a research-focused paper in the field of psychology.
Type of Material:
• The video would make a nice supplement to a class lecture on writing a relatively short research paper. It would additionally benefit students struggling to find research ideas.
• The video would prove a useful resource to list in a class syllabus or to add as a link in a course’s learning management system.
Two reviewers successfully viewed the video presentation using both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will: a) understand the steps involved in writing a research paper for a psychology class; b) understand how to find ideas for developing such a paper.
Target Student Population:
The presentation is beneficial for high school through college age students, especially those relatively new to writing papers or struggling with research ideas. It may prove especially useful for undergraduate students at the beginning of their psychology degree programs.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Only basic computer navigation skills would be needed to successfully use the video. However, it would be beneficial to have written formal papers prior to using this video, or to at least have had a lecture on such.
• The content is helpful, clear, and to the point. It is presented in a video/tutorial format that is useful for students unfamiliar with the concept of writing a paper that requires research. It also does a nice job of providing specific examples of psychology experiments and topics that would benefit students in lower level classes in the field of psychology.
• Overall, the video offers a well-constructed, brief overview covering psychology research papers.
• The video includes references.
• A critical missing area is a reference to the use of the APA format for writing style. The video aims to support students in writing a good paper as opposed to specifically writing an APA format paper. However, given that APA is standard format for psychology, it would be best to reference APA specifically. For example, the video uses the term "bibliography," but APA calls for a "reference page."
• The video does not list additional resources on writing research papers. This would be helpful to students who are new to writing research papers, and instructors will likely want to supplement the video accordingly.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• Covering potential ideas for reference papers is very helpful as students struggle with research ideas. The examples of studies/papers that may be useful to write are a particularly beneficial feature of the video.
• The general overview of the critical elements of research writing also is an excellent feature.
The video is designed as a basic overview and does not address more advanced topics in research paper writing. Of course, the video was created for a particular class; however, because it is on YouTube, it would have been helpful for viewers to know what class (or at least the level) the presentation is targeting.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• The video is very easy to follow. The speaker talks quickly, but there is (mostly accurate) closed captioning available.
Other Issues and Comments:
The video would be useful for students new to the field of psychology and also to those who are unfamiliar with writing in academic/scientific disciplines. The video is informative and helpful, and it provides a strong overview of the process of creating a research paper
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