Lesson Idea: Introduction to Psychology JEOPARDY

tdixon Revision and Exam Preparation 5 Comments

The content of this jeopardy is based on Chapter One of “IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide” At the end of a unit or after a few topics where there’s lots of content to review, I LOVE making a Jeopardy game for students to play in small groups. In my experience jeopardylabs has the easiest and most effective software to use. Here’s …

How to learn anything in three simple steps!

tdixon Assessment (IB), Revision and Exam Preparation, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

I devised this three-step approach to learning for my students last year during exam revision. Find what you need to know Find your knowledge gaps Fill your knowledge gaps This approach helps me articulate to my students the process of learning, which also helps me discuss their progress during assigned revision times. The language of this post is how I would …

There’s no difference between “evaluate” and “discuss.”

tdixon Assessment (IB), Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation 6 Comments

Before I explain why an evaluation and a discussion in a student’s IB Psychology exam answer would look exactly the same, I should first mention that Christos Halkiopoulos was aware of this long before I was and has been saying this for quite some time. It was only recently when I gave this some more thought that I realized I …

Teaching Tip: Research Methods

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When I first started teaching IB Psychology I followed the syllabus pretty much as it was laid out in the guide, beginning with the biological level of analysis. I even taught the LOs as they appear as well. But after a couple of years I realized that teaching the ethics, principles and research methods first in a unit (as they …

5 reasons why I think “depth” is better than “breadth” in IB Psychology.

tdixon Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

When planning to teach (or study) individual topics in the new IB Psychology course, you might find yourself faced with the question: do I go for depth or breadth?  For example, should you teach (or learn) three effects of hormones on behaviour, or just one? The new course has supposedly been designed to allow the choice of either approach. However,  in …

Example Essay: Technological Techniques

tdixon Assessment (IB), Biological Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

I’ve been playing around a bit with scaffolding for essay writing, and from what I’ve found, a general guideline for essay structure is as follows: Introduction Core argument  Supporting evidence (min. 2 x studies). Counter argument Conclusion  Of course, this is just a template and sometimes the structure varies. For example, you might have one study supporting the core argument …

Sample SARs: Memory Reliability

tdixon Assessment (IB), Cognitive Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

Here are two versions of the same sample answer from this year’s (May, 2017) IB Psychology exam. The question was: Describe one study investigating memory reliability. The annotated short answer response (SAR) shows you the answer, plus my comments as to why I think this is a mediocre response. Then we have this second excellent annotated example SAR, which does a better …

Why we rarely use the word “prove” in psychology…

tdixon Assessment (IB), Revision and Exam Preparation 1 Comment

If you’re reading this it’s probably because your teacher has sent you here after you’ve gone and written something like, “this study proves that…” in your psychology writing. While you may be able to use the word “prove” in the natural sciences and other subjects, this post will help you to understand why as a psychologist you may never use this word …

So you want to assess ecological validity?

tdixon Assessment (IB), General Interest, Revision and Exam Preparation 7 Comments

If you’re reading this it’s probably because your teacher has sent you here after reading something in your essay along the lines of, “this experiment was a laboratory experiment and so it lacks ecological validity.” This throwaway sentence makes teachers and examiners groan (and not award you any marks, just so you know). So I’m here to help show you how to …

Biological Approach: Sample Exam Questions

tdixon Assessment (IB), Biological Psychology, Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

With the new curriculum and the loss of the LOs, many teachers may be wondering about what the exam questions will be like. The answer is: much like the old ones. If you look at all the topics in the biological approach they are all related to the understanding of how variables can influence behaviour. The exam questions will reflect …