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Online Psychology: Trial and Error in Course Development

Journal on Educational Psychology Volume 3, Number 2, ISSN 0973-8827


Online courses appear to be the future if colleges and universities choose to increase enrollments with students who need more flexibility in scheduling. The challenge has been to create a course that is rigorous with the limitations to physical presence of the instructor and the parameters inherent in technological delivery. This article relates the planning and execution of such a graduate psychology course in the area of lifespan development. The instructor decided a hybrid course, one that had elements of both online delivery and limited campus attendance, would be appropriate for the initial transition from physical attendance on campus to online delivery and interpersonal interaction. Important teachable moments for the instructor included creating community with 36 online students, number and breadth of assignments, and evaluation. Logistics, such as having students submit assignments online, correcting coursework, and returning documents to students with constructive comments, were some of the challenges to both instructor and students. The delivery infrastructure was Blackboard, and the instructor had attended training on the new features to streamline online teaching for both instructor and students. The successes, challenges, and summative decisions for future courses are shared.


Harman, M.J. (2009). Online Psychology: Trial and Error in Course Development. Journal on Educational Psychology, 3(2), 52-59. Retrieved October 20, 2020 from .

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