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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Psychological Tutorials and Demonstrations

by John Krantz
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Nov 18, 2006 by Psychology
Overview: This site is a collection of links to tutorials and demonstrations on various topics in psychology. It is maintained by experimental psychologist John Krantz, PhD, Hanover College Psychology Department.
Learning Goals: There are 11 categories of tutorials/demonstrations. These are: artificial intelligence, biopsychology/physiopsychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, critical thinking, developmental psychology, general collections, learning, research methods and statistics, sensation and perception, and social psychology.
Target Student Population: The target populations are psychology students, both undergraduate and graduate.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: In general, no prerequiste knowledge or skills are needed. However, the sites vary in complexity and not all will be appropriate for all psychology students at all levels. Discussion of a topic in class as preparation for some of the sites is probably necessary.
Type of Material: This site is a collection of links to psychological tutorials and demonstrations.
Recommended Uses: The links can be used as course supplements. The materials can provide students with additional information and demonstrations of topics covered in class.
Technical Requirements: A variety of programs have been utilized to create the tutorials and demonstrations linked from this site. A few of these are Shockwave, Flash, Quicktime, and Java. Some require certain browser versions.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The quality of the tutorials and demonstrations is excellent. The sites included in this collection appear to be well-chosen.
Concerns: It is unclear how these particular sites were selected and why they were included in the collection. An overview of the selection criteria would be helpful for the user. In addition, several of the categories have only 1-2 entries.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This collection can be somewhat of a time-saver for instructors, particularly if they are teaching sensation and perception as there are many resources for this topic.
Concerns: Although the site claims to have tutorials and demonstrations representing multiple areas of psychology, in truth, most of the links on the deal with sensation and perception. At the time that the site was reviewed, there was only one link each for artificial intelligence and clinical psychology. Two other concerns have to do with copyright issues and access. On at least one of the tutorials to which the site links, the author states that the tutorials were created for use in a particular class and are not to be used by those not in that course. On another site (Athabasca University), a login and password are required to access the material.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The site is easily navigated.
Concerns: My only concern about ease of use is that, almost certainly, there will be students without all the programs or versions of the programs necessary to make the tutorials/demonstrations run smoothly. Instructors would be wise to check the tutorials thoroughly before sending students to use them and to make sure that students know how to access downloads of requisite software.