March 5, 2006

Laura's intake assignment: Psy 3902W

In Standing & Huber (2003), the extent to which undergraduate psychology courses reduce belief in “psychological myths� was tested.

A 20 question true/false myth belief questionnaire was administered to 94 undergraduates. Demographic (age, university year, gender) and educational information (number of psychological courses taken, major, and advanced methods course taken) was also collected.

Data is presented below. Note that high scores on the myth belief questionnaire indicate greater myth rejection.

Table 1
Predictors of Psychological Myth Belief Scores, with Means and Standard Deviations
r M SD
Myth belief questionnaire score (max 20) 12.91 2.88

Junior college psychology courses -.142 1.89 1.81
University psychology courses .272** 9.93 8.24
Total psychology courses .237* 11.82 8.37
Major .257** 70% psychology major;
30% other major
Advanced methods course .361** 18% had taken AM course;
82% had not taken
Overall grade .305** 74.20 8.61
Age .242** 21.74 3.07
University year .071 2.03 1.18
Gender -.034 22% male; 78% female

In the class time that remains (roughly 45 minutes):
a) Write 1 true/ false question that you think might appear on a “psychological myth� belief questionnaire.
b) Summarize the main findings of the study (based on the table data) in no more than 100 words.
c) Indicate one demographic or educational variable that the present study did not measure, but which you think might affect the findings.
d) Provide a justification for the impact of the variable you indicate, drawing on personal experience and/ or other psychological studies than you can recall.

This assignment is intended to help me assess your initial skills in thinking critically and communicating succinctly as a psychologist. This will help me better tailor lectures and assignments to the class. This assignment will count towards the participation component of your grade only.

February 27, 2006

Heather's Intake Assignment

I actually used an intake assignment similar to this on the first day of class this year. Pamela (I think - perhaps it was someone else) said something about moving beyond the "get to know you" idea. That actually is one of my goals in this assignment. I think that freshman comp is one of the few classes in which my students really get to know their instructors, and their instructors them. I want my students to feel comfortable coming to me with questions, and I find that knowing a bit more about them helps me to make that personal connection.

This assignment elicits a 5-paragraph type response - but that's also part of what I want. I don't specifically tell them to do that, but I think if they've been trained in Amercan-style essay writing, the prompt will lead them to organize that way. Many of my students don't typically follow a thesis-driven rhetorical style, and some may not even really be familiar with it. Of course I want them to get beyond that, but I think they do need to learn it - and it helps for me to see right off the bat how many of them are familiar with that pattern. Here's the assignment:

To give me a better sense of your strengths as writers, as well as the areas in which there is room for improvement, please complete the following assignment by Thursday, January 19th. As you write, think of me – your instructor – as your audience. Organize your answer as you would an essay for a standardized test, such as the TOEFL.

In 1 – 2 pages (typed, double-spaced, 12-point font), please respond to ONE of the following prompts. In addition to providing me with a sample of your writing, your response will help me get to know you a bit as an individual.

You will not be graded on the assignment, but I will respond with comments that should help as you work on future assignments in this course.

1. How are the expectations you had of the United States prior to coming here similar to or different from your experiences in the country?

2. What is your major, and how did you choose it? If you have not yet declared a major, what are some of the options you are considering, and why?

February 26, 2006

Steven's Intake Assingment

I was thinking of this as informal writing assingment given to them on the first day of class. It would give me a quick sense of their writing ability and also, hopefully, get them thinking about how they feel about the news. My experience is that most undergraduates feel very guilty about not being better informed, but is this really their fault?

Write for twenty minutes about your feelings about “the news.� You may focus on a particular news story that you’ve been following or that you’re interested in knowing more about. Alternately, you can write about your relationship with “the news.� What role has it played in your life? Do you read or watch it? If so, which news sources and how often? If not, feel free to write about why not. Please try your best to write in formal English, but do not worry too much about organization.

February 24, 2006

Edward Eiffler's Intake Assignment

Edward Eiffler
(This would be written in Spanish for class use. It would be handed out as a worksheet.)
This is a writing sample to determine your writing ability before the start of the semester. Please write at least 10 sentences for each of the following scenarios. You may use the back of the sheet if necessary.

1. Describe a memorable day from your last vacation. Use both the preterite and imperfect forms of the past tense.

2. Describe a typical day here at the University of Minnesota.

3. Write a letter to a foreign school at which you wish to study asking questions about the area and program.

Lisa's intake assignment

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February 23, 2006

Maru's intake assignment

The following assignment is designed for Language and Communication, a writing composition class for freshman in the Humanities, in a national university in Venezuela.

Usually in Venezuela the students don’t receive any kind of specific training for writing before start College; they are expected to learn this by themselves.

This particular intake is a personal transition between I used to do in my Venezuelan classes and what I’m learning here, in my PhD. It has elements that I suspect are linked with the way academic activity is conceived in my country (we “assume� that students have to know how to write, in despite of anyone cares about how they can learn)

I conceive this in-class assignment with time and word limit, because I want to see how concise-good writing can be my students, as opposite the idea good writing is long writing.

I, representing the “Humanities academic world�, am the audience of this assignment. Its purpose is clearly assessment of the student writing abilities and must be done individually.
Usually I don’t provide any criteria for success, except time and extension limits, but the students can use dictionaries.
Universidad de Los Andes. Venezuela
Language and Communication

First day in-class assignment

1) Explain in a 150 word essay what does “writing appropriately in college� means for you. Include any information or course that you have got in order to learn how to write in college.

2) List at least 3 resources that you use to obtain help when you write something for academic purposes

3) Summarize in few paragraphs your favorite movie (1)

(1) I realize that the underline segment is a manipulation that I used with my students in order to say: “Hey, we are in Humanities Community, and we are used to being involved in cultural activities such as seeing movies�. Additionally I have a hypothesis (and this is part of my interests in my PhD) that seeing movies is a facilitating activity for syntactical strategies

February 21, 2006

Gary's intake assignment

This is a revised version of what I brought to class last night -- I received some excellent feedback from Ann, Edward, and Pamela that, for a first assignment in the first semester of a first-year writing course, what I had was a bit much (and, somewhat unwittingly, I was encouraging students to write a five paragraph essay! Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...)


Intake Assignment - Marcia

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Intake Assignment - Ann

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