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Distance Learning in Psychology: Organizing, Managing, and Mentoring

Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology,


To help meet the needs of adult students who find it difficult to attend classes regularly on campus, New York's Iona College developed video distance learning courses in psychology that combine independent reading, guided study, video program viewing, and faculty mentoring to provide a challenging learning experience for students. Video courses are offered in introductory, abnormal, and developmental psychology, as well as statistics, while all the videos include location shooting; real case studies; commentary from teachers, researchers, and clinicians; and animated graphics. For each course, the faculty mentors choose from several texts and study guides suggested by the creators of the video series. The study guides typically provide a lesson overview, lesson objectives and focus questions, related case studies, interactive questions, self-tests, a glossary, and a reading list. In offering video courses, it is important that a detailed syllabus be provided that includes specific strategies for approaching the course. Assignments include questions on case studies, research projects on students' own questions, reaction/research papers, and complete examinations. The mentoring process used with the courses emphasizes the need for regular student-faculty contact that encourages interactive, exploratory, questioning behavior, and feedback. Although some educators and students dislike the video format, advantages include increased one-on-one contact between students and faculty mentors, lower student costs, and the ability to accommodate students' schedules. (TGI)


Oswald, P.A. (1996). Distance Learning in Psychology: Organizing, Managing, and Mentoring. Presented at Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology 1996. Retrieved October 14, 2019 from .

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