Technology and the Teaching of Psychology: Uses of a World Wide Web

Lutsky, Neil
Carleton College Northfield,

What impact is the world wide web having on the teaching of psychology? I will address two facets of this impact: first, the ways in which technology may change what we teach in basic psychology courses, and second, the ways in which technology may enhance the means and resources available to us to teach psychology. In the first regard, I will consider how the Internet and web are changing the phenomena psychologists study, such as interpersonal relationships (e.g., McKenna & Bargh, 2000). In the second regard, I will identify ways in which teachers of psychology are using web resources from around the world and also describe local web modules I have developed. This local application provides instructors with a means of giving introductory students experience as psychological scientists. I will describe the modules and present the results of an empirical assessment of their educational effects. The evidence I will report shows that student involvement in web-based research modules strengthened students' background in psychological science and beliefs about how scientific a field psychology is. Larger prospects for more worldly wide uses of web technology in the teaching of psychology will also be raised.