Restructured Course Improves Learning

Feb 23, 2021

Higher education continually needs to innovate to recruit and retain its students while making education accessible to more people. Sometimes this involves new programming, scholarships and other resources. Other times, it is reimagining curriculum and standards.

Dr. Brooke Whisenhunt, professor of psychology at Missouri State University, shares how the intro to psychology course was restructured in 2012 to better educate students and improve learning outcomes.

It had 167 students in each of 18 sections – making it a lecture class with very little opportunity for feedback or other assessments. The pre- and post-tests proved that students were not succeeding in learning the material in the course.

This motivated Missouri State, and especially members of the psychology department, to propose a major change. The team worked for a year and a half to reimagine the general education psychology course. And while Whisenhunt notes that you might think some of the changes seem counter-intuitive, they have seen major improvements.