If you are reading this, you’ve made it to the last blog post written for Psychology 3330 Social Cognition. This semester has been a wonderful and educational experience filled with colourful presentations, thoughtful and mesmerizing blog posts, and quizzical and constructive conversations in the comments section. The top three most important things this course has taught me are listed as follows:
1. Research is not a process that needs to take eighty four years. If you know what you are looking for, and you know what direction you would like to take a blog post, or a future essay perhaps, it is a good idea to plan the blog or essay out by academic sources, rather than ideas. Say you need four sources for a paper. Find a source that encompasses your topic as a whole. Maybe a meta analysis, maybe an educational article rather than an article with an experiment, maybe a long, well written lab report. The second step is to scroll to the bottom of this article to the references section. Click on a few of the references, and choose three more papers that can be used to supplement your paper and give it more bearing of truth. The more citations you use in your paper, the better it can be demonstrated that you thoroughly looked into the topic you are researching. The last step is to skim the articles found and use the information found as the skeleton of your essay or blog post. Then fill the rest of the paper in with original thoughts, a strong argument and position, a solution to the thesis you present, and a reference section with references that are cited properly. I can dedicate this process to getting good grades in this course this semester all the way along.
2. This course had many strengths and a handful of weaknesses. The strengths of this course were
A) the freedom to choose topics we were interested in
B) the use of presentations presented by our fellow students. We were able to teach each other certain topics that we were passionate about. That passion was contagious and it inspired intense and incredibly academic discussions following the presentation. The discussions were my favourite part of the course.
C) If you showed up and we’re willing to learn and teach, you did well in the course. Jesse was incredible with giving us every opportunity to make the most we could out of each class. How much or little effort you put into the class,discussions, and blogs showed through in the marks that were received every week.
3. As I mentioned, there were only a handful of weaknesses of this sort of course. Two of these are:
A) because there was no attendance mark, class participants only had to show up when they were presenting to relieve credit. I think a better system would be that you have to show off to get more than an A- in a blog. Part of this course is learning how to learn. If people don’t show up to learn, what is the point of the class?
B) the sources in the blogs should have been limited to newspaper articles, academic peer review papers, and other academic sources of information. All the information on the blog shouldn’t be coming from a handful of YouTube videos, or content found on non academic websites. It really seems like a slap in the face to the students who actually researched and contributed original thoughts in response to the research.
All in all, however, I am so happy with everything this course was written on. I am so grateful to have come across a professor who recognizes that traditional absorb and regurgitate education doesn’t work. Jesse Martin’s expertise in the best learning styles helped inspire the blogs, talks, and comments we do every single (or every other) week. I am grateful to Jesse for introducing me to the subject of social cognition in such an interesting way. With luck, I will be able to partake in future courses that Jesse teaches, as I think traditional education is a long way from using Jesse’s methods to teach their classes.