Featured class: Psyc 101

The class

Psyc 101 is an introductory psychology class taught by two Redditors: Series_of_Accidents, who has an M.A. in Psychology from Appalachian State University (verified here), and Comicspedia, who has a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (verified here). The class consists of a series of thirty lectures, each of which is a video lecture (all lecture slides are available online, along with notes on each slide) and a discussion post on /r/IntroPsych. As of this writing, there are over 1,000 students subscribed on the UReddit website and nearly 1,400 subscribers to the subreddit.

There are too many topics to list here, but the class begins with a general introduction to psychology and goes on to include topics including behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology, conditioning, memory,  drugs and consciousness, social influence, psychological disorders, and more.

The class presupposes no background in psychology and covers quite a bit of interesting material in a very accessible manner, and the teachers are available for discussion; we encourage anyone with an interest in psychology to visit the class page and check out the comprehensive set of lectures offered by these two teachers.

Commentary

Psyc 101 is a great example of what can come of opening a platform to allow anyone to teach. These two teachers are not drawing a salary for this class despite their credentials (graduate and doctoral degrees) and have made all this material (30 lectures!) available out of their own interest in and passion for their fields. Accordingly, that passion shows in their well executed lectures. As anyone that has tried to put together a single lecture knows, this is a lot of work – and there’s thirty of them.

The only aspect of this class that could be significantly improved is due to the minimalism of the UReddit platform. The video lectures are hosted on YouTube, the class page is on UReddit, and the discussion threads are on Reddit. This means that there are three different places for students to place comments or questions, and none of these places is integrated into a larger community.

Again, this is due to weakness in the architecture of UReddit. The UReddit team has a prototype of a new platform that seeks to offer everything an online community built around free sharing of knowledge could need by integrating lecture streaming, video hosting and annotation, and a discussion area (as well as fully-featured course management software) into a single place in order to make the process of teaching more streamlined and better organized. However, we need some support to get our prototype into public beta; if you are interested in learning more about what we have in mind and potentially in helping us bring it to life for classes such as Psyc 101 to benefit from, we invite you to check out our Kickstarter campaign.

 A thank you

It’s obvious that a lot of work and passion went into all this great work. Thank you, Series_of_Accidents and Comicspedia, for sharing your knowledge with us!

This entry was posted in Features. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>