This column will focus on educational issues affecting post-secondary students. It will address a wide range of topics. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, along with any personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about.
COURSE ALERT : A new required course for a BA in psychology at AU is Psych375, the History of Psychology. This is an extremely interesting and valuable course, but it has one major failing that students should know about before registering. The final mark on the course is comprised of 30% on six unit quizzes and 70% on the final exam.
There is an option if you don’t wish to have 70% of your mark based on the final exam – you can write a biography from a select list of historical figures studied in the course that focuses on why this person’s contribution was important to the development of psychology. You can write the exam first, then choose whether you want to take the option of writing the biography and having the exam count for 35% and the biography 35%. The catch is, if you wait until the course end date to write the exam, its too late to opt for the biography. The exam itself is problematic. It consists of 60 multiple choice questions. They are not based on any of the study questions or quizzes. All of them are on relatively obscure areas of the coursework, and require that the student virtually know the textbook by memory.
My advice to students before taking Psych375 is
“¢ write the exam well before the course end-date to leave time to take the biography option if you need it
“¢ be prepared that even if you know the material very well from the quizzes, it will have no bearing on the exam.