The resource is a 13-question quiz in which respondents are given multiple-choice questions highlighting the biographical and theoretical background of a famous psychologist and asked to select the correct "who am I?" response from a 4-item list. At the conclusion of the quiz, respondents are given the correct answers along with a link to the biography of each correct answer. The questions range from Easy (4 questions) to Expert (13 questions) with a total of 5 possible levels of expertise from which users may select. Easy-level questions address basic theorists first covered in Introductory Psychology, and Expert-level questions focus on theorists likely not discussed until the last year of study in undergraduate psychology. The quiz resides on About.com and is part of a much larger website (http://psychology.about.com/) that includes a broad description of psychology.
The goal of the activity is to match famous psychologists with the correct theoretical and biographical background. The activity is designed as a test of knowledge (it does not provide any initial instruction), but does provide additional explanatory feedback at the end.
• Students will be able to evaluate their conceptual knowledge of theorists in the field of psychology, including 13 possible theorists from across the sub-disciplines of the field.
Target Student Population:
The questions are specific and detailed, so extensive knowledge of the history of psychology is required to answer the questions correctly. While the quiz might be appropriate for an advanced high school population, upper-level undergraduate psychology majors and minors would likely most benefit from using this quiz as a resource.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
• Only basic computer usage skills are needed for accessing and completing this quiz and for viewing and evaluating its results.
• One needs prerequisite knowledge in the history of psychology (including both theoretical and biographical understanding of key theorists) in order to perform well on this quiz, likely exceeding most schools depth of study on theorists in solely introductory psychology courses.
Type of Material:
HTML-based quiz with reference links (i.e., online quiz)
While the number of quiz questions is limited (13), the range of theorists targeted is quite wide; as such, this quiz would not be appropriate for most courses. However, the questions are interesting, thought-provoking and relevant. Possible uses follow.
1. This quiz would be an excellent resource to make available online to undergraduate psychology students studying Theories of Psychology, as well as for additional upper-level psychology undergraduate courses (such as a History and Systems course) in which these theorists are taught. In particular, it may be useful to allow students to complete the quiz as a self-evaluation prior to an examination.
2. The quiz also could be used as a point of discussion to get students thinking about the range of key figures in psychology prior to beginning a course; in this manner, one would not expect that the students are actually able to correctly answer the questions but rather that the questions would serve as a means of stimulating interest about upcoming course content.
• Users must have Internet access; no downloads or plug-ins are required.
• The quiz was successfully tested on a PC (Windows 7) with IE and Google Chrome 25.
Evaluation and Observation
• The questions are interesting, informative and well-written. The content is accurate and succinct, and it is presented in an engaging fashion. The resource links at the end of the quiz provide good comprehensive information overviewing the key theorists highlighted in this activity.
• There are very few questions. A user can choose to take a portion of the questions, but the full question set is only 13 questions. The limited number of theorists targeted makes it challenging to identify appropriate uses in the classroom where the coverage of the quiz would align with course coverage.
• Depending upon the manner in which this material was presented across different schools, it is possible that some of the hints presented will be "unknowns" to students completing this quiz (e.g., some of the more personal details on these theorists may be "unknowns").
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• The quiz questions are engaging and thought-provoking.
• This online quiz would be an excellent supplemental resource to provide to students in an upper-level undergraduate rank, prior to completion of final examinations at the culmination of a program as a major or minor in psychology, or specifically within a class on theories and theorists in the field of psychology. The framing of the questions may be useful and applied in a large number of possible applications, including self-check, expounding on the theorists in writing exercises and research activities, class group work projects, and much more.
• The content coverage of the quiz is simultaneously wide and shallow, thus making its use in the classroom challenging. The best use of this quiz might be as a fun way to begin discussions in a History/Systems course because it promotes critical thinking about the relationship of the theorists’ biographies to their academic contributions.
• This particular quiz does not list prerequisite knowledge that might be useful for students to know prior to completing the evaluation, though information pertinent to this quiz is made available through external weblinks. It would be useful to provide direct links to additional details on About.com when students answer incorrectly.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• The quiz is intuitive, easy-to-use and requires no technological sophistication. All links were functional at the time of the review.
• The ability of the user to select multiple levels of expertise is a nice feature available in this online quiz. The colors and fonts used are appealing and easy to read, and the overall look and feel of the site is of standard appeal for a non-academic website interface. Link-outs to additional related content at the bottom and sides of the site, a standard for About.com, are nice features.
Other Issues and Comments:
The quiz is fascinating and thought-provoking. As an entertainment quiz for the general public, it is a fun resource (this might be exactly what it is designed for). As an educational resource for classroom use, value and relevance will be strongly dependent upon instructor creativity and guidance.