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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Negative Reinforcement University

by Alan Levine
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.8 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.9 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jul 25, 2005 by Psychology
Overview: Negative Reinforcement University (NRU) is an interactive environment for
learning about the concept of negative reinforcement and distinguishing this
concept from other types of operant conditioning. NRU features a game-like 3D
program that includes an experiential simulation, a lab to explore examples, and
a testing room.
Learning Goals: Negative Reinforcement University is intended to aid students in mastering
negative reinforcement, which is one of the more difficult concepts to teach and
learn in psychology.

Target Student Population: The target population is undergraduate college students, although high school
students could also benefit from it as well.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some familiarity with principles of learning theory and operant conditioning
would be helpful.
Type of Material: This material is a tutorial with test items. It contains text, animation, and
graphics.

Recommended Uses: The major use of this material is to teach students the concept of negative
reinforcement and to distinguish it from related operant conditioning concepts.
It would be useful for undergraduate introductory psychology, learning theories,
and undergraduate and graduate personality theories courses.
Technical Requirements: This material requires a web browser that supports frames, JavaScript, and
Shockwave.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is a fun, interesting, and clever learning object. It is well-written and
well-designed and appears to be an excellent way to learn about negative
reinforcement. The game format and "university" theme are effective and the
audio and visual effects are solid and help maintain interest. The help and
supplemental resources are also well-written. The test provides immediate
explanatory feedback with each item.
Concerns:

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths: As an aid in teaching the challenging concept of negative reinforcement, this
site is exceptional. It engages the viewer and challenges him/her to master the
topic.
Concerns: It takes the user a while to figure out where to go and how to work things.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The design of this learning object makes engagement and persistence among
students likely. The site is relatively intuitive; and with a bit of practice it
can be navigated quite easily. The content follows a logical progression from
its introduction to experiential simulation, to laboratory exercise and testing,
and on to Negative Reinforcement University diploma receipt.

Concerns: There is a lot going on. Students (and faculty) may spend some time "wandering
the halls" before they catch on to the way things work. There are lots of
instructions to learn and rules to follow.

Other Issues and Comments: