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Open Access Publications from the University of California

History in ten minutes: Two activities for promoting learning about the history of comparative psychology

  • Author(s): Washburn, David A.;
  • Rudiman, G. Gracya;
  • Salamanca, J. Antonio;
  • Whitham, Will
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The history of psychology is fascinating, and replete with important content for students to learn. The scholars and events that highlight the history of comparative psychology is no less compelling. However, there are many challenges in teaching the field’s history in a way that is engaging, inclusive, and comprehensive. One strategy for addressing these issues is to develop and employ a library of student-generated electronic tutorials that allow the introduction of under-represented groups and under-discussed contributors. In the present paper, we report the effectiveness of this strategy compared to several other class activities. Learning-outcome and student-evaluation data indicate that information introduced exclusively in these “Ten Minute of History” e-tutorials and academic ancestry presentations is learned to degrees at least comparable to those topics and contributors discussed in traditional lectures and readings. Without contending that these instructional activities are either particularly novel or uniquely suited to this particular course, the data reported here are encouraging for instructors who are facing obstacles to active learning and student engagement in a stand-alone course on psychology’s history broadly, or comparative psychology more specifically.

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