The use of communications and information technology (C&IT) in UK Psychology degree programmes

Trapp, Annie
University of York,

The use of communications and information technology (C&IT) is widespread in Psychology education at tertiary level in the UK. The diversity of use can be classified into three areas:
providing course content with, for example, simulation, tutorial and experiment software, web-based resources and lecture notes supporting the process of learning through online exercises, discussion boards and online formative assessment facilitating the management of course and departmental administration by providing course information on departmental websites, online assessment and communication with tutors and students.

In some instances the above are being combined into virtual learning environments using commercial software (for example, WebCT, Blackboard).

There have been a number of influences that have pushed C&IT up the educational agenda. Employers have an interest in graduates with good C&IT skills, the increasing numbers and diversity of students entering Higher Education necessitates the provision of more support, and the discipline of psychology itself requires sophisticated use of research tools.

However, much good practice related to the embedding of C&IT into psychology education is lost as new technologies become fashionable, the interests of the innovator shift or short-term funding for an innovative project ceases. As a consequence the uptake of C&IT is patchy across departments and there is a constant need to identify and disseminate information about successes and failures (both in the UK and overseas) to other psychology departments. This work is largely done by the Learning and Teaching Support Network for Psychology.