This site serves as a list of open research projects that users can opt to participate in. Material is divided by subject area for browsing. It contains links to "known experiments on the internet that are psychologically related."
Type of Material:
This site consists primarily of psychological research surveys and questionnaires. Some research findings are available, as well as a list of links to related resources.
As a repository of open research studies, this site may be useful as a tool to show what research is currently being done in subfields of psychology. Students could familiarize themselves with varying survey formats (e.g. qualitative and quantitative) and methods of obtaining informed consent. Researchers can use this site to gather participants for studies. It is also recommended for out-of-class assignments in which students are asked to participate (and potentially evaluate) research studies in psychology.
There are no technical requirements, as most surveys and questionnaires are web-based surveys.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major learning goal for this page is for psychology students to understand the research process by participating in psychological research studies.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate and graduate students in psychology and other social sciences can benefit from this site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
There are no pre-requisites for the site as a whole, but individual research studies sometimes have qualifications for participation. For example, in some studies, users must be at least 18 years old, or might need to have a certain marital status or level of education. These pre-requisites can usually be viewed on the informed consent page that comes up after clicking on a link to a study.
This is an excellent, valuable resource for psychology students and researchers. There are numerous research studies listed by topic in which one can participate. There are also links to articles about online survey construction and online research in general, as well as links to commercial sites with aides to conducting online research. There are also links to other research repository sites.
It is unclear what review process these studies go through before they are posted to the site. Consequently, there is a lot of variation in style and content quality between studies. Few researchers have shared their findings through this site; this marks an absence of information, creating a feeling of incompleteness.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site could be used effectively in a number of psychology courses. For example, students in topic courses (e.g., developmental, social, cognitive) could go to this site to participate in research in those areas. Students in both undergraduate and graduate research methods courses (especially if studying survey construction) could make use of this site. There is also a section where researchers can report the results of their studies, an advantage if students want to know more about the studies in which they participated.
Students may need a little more of an introduction to the page and what it consists of than is given. In other words, students with very little knowledge of research may not learn a great deal from participating in the online research studies unless prepared for the experience. One reviewer noted that, "For my Psychology 101 students, we cover research methods in class not long before they visit the site; I also send them to the site with a list of questions that they will need to answer for their papers (e.g., What was the name of the study? Who conducted the study? Was there an informed consent form? Was there any deception and a debriefing? Was the study descriptive, correlational, or experimental?)
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Research studies are grouped by topic, and a side navigation menu features a Table of Contents that can help users to jump directly to the content that is most appealing. Recently added studies can be viewed at the top of the page. The page is easy to use and is uncluttered.
There is no built-in functionality for searching, so users that want to look for something specific will need to use the web browser's search function (Ctrl + F). The recently added studies, though visible at the top of the page, must be accessed from their respective subject areas. Many closed studies and broken links are interspersed throughout the page.
Other Issues and Comments:
In addition to the standard issues related to using human subjects for research studies, the resources on this page may be susceptible to extra errors or manipulation. Subjects that should self-exclude from studies may choose to participate, damaging the integrity of of the research.
Users expecting consistency between studies may be disappointed or overwhelmed by the large variations in format and content between studies.
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