Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 14:58:08 -0500

From: Eric Klinger <>


Subject: Assessment in Psychology Discipline



Dian, here's my account of our assessment activities in the Psychology Discipline and their consequences over the past two years.


The Discipline Faculty and student rep discuss the program several times a year and very intensively when we prepare for a new course catalogue. Apart from normal assessments through tests and papers in individual courses, the discussion hinges on our experiences with student preparation for upper-division courses and for our capstone Empirical Investigations courses.


Those sources of evidence led last year to a major change in the structure of our introductory and methods courses. Under quarters we had kept a system of a single two-quarter introductory sequence followed by a one-quarter course in research methods in psychology. When we shifted to semesters, we decided to try a different system: two tracks of introductory. One was designed as a one-semester course for nonmajors; the other was designed as a two-semester combination of introductory material and research methods, both integrated into each semester. On the basis of two years of experience with this experiment, the results indicated that students were neither learning as much as we had hoped nor as happy as we wanted them to be, and so we have terminated that plan and installed a two semester sequence for majors consisting of a single introductory course and a separate follow-on course on research methods.


The Psychology Discipline has a policy of requiring that the papers produced by students in the Empirical Investigations courses be submitted in electronic form to a Psychology Discipline repository, which is reviewed periodically by Discipline faculty to assess quality of performance across the discipline. We plan to undertake such a review at the conclusion of this semester.


I hope that this statement constitutes a satisfactory response to your request for a description of assessment in the Psychology Discipline. Please assess!





Eric Klinger

Professor of Psychology

Division of Social Sciences

University of Minnesota, Morris

600 East 4th Street

Morris, MN 56267

(320) 589-6209 (office), -6117 (fax)

(612) 625-3547 (Mpls office, many Thursdays and Fridays)

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