Friday, March 28, 2014

The return of the return of AP Psych review

Two years ago I had a wacky idea: could we use Twitter to help students review for the AP Psych exam? I came up with the hashtag #appsychreview and started blogging and tweeting about it. Dozens of students posted questions, and even more impressively, more than a dozen AP Psych teachers - some of whom I didn't know - jumped in and answered questions. Last year even more questions were asked, and even more teachers stepped up to handle queries.

So this Monday marks five weeks until the AP Psych exam and the official return of #appsychreview. Having learned a few lessons over the past two years, I want to share some tips for both teachers and students. If you are spreading the word about #appsychreview in your classrooms or on the Internet, PLEASE send folks to this post instead of just saying "use this hashtag."

Use this URL:

1) Use #appsychreview to get help with questions you are struggling with. Maybe you can't tell the difference between, say, retrograde and anterograde amnesia. Well, we can help with that. Or you need a way to remember Erikson's eight stages, and so we can send you to see the great Dr. Britt.

2) DO NOT use #appsychreview for basic questions.  Questions like "Who is Piaget?" or "What was Milgram's experiment about?" are ones that will either be ignored or at best you'll be re-directed to the Wikipedia pages for that subject.

3) Be considerate. If you have a dozen questions, don't post them all. Before posting, look for similar questions on #appsychreview - believe it or not, you're not the first asking about hindsight bias. Then post a question or two. Someone will probably answer your question within 24 hours - and if you don't see a reply to your tweet by then, feel free to send your tweet to me (@highschoolpsych).

4) This is not an on-demand guaranteed service. People who currently teach or formerly taught AP Psych will answer your question as best they can. If you need more intensive help, there are plenty of AP Psych review books (such as Barron'sAP Psychology All Access, and D&S) and Michael Britt has review apps aplenty to choose from.

1) PLEASE DO NOT encourage your students to post questions for extra credit. One day last year we had more than 100 tweets in 15 minutes because a well-meaning teacher told his students they would get extra credit for doing so. This is a volunteer service of real teachers who are giving their time to help out students, not a bunch of automated robots.

2) The biggest question I get is: how do I know I can trust that my students will get the correct answer? The short answer is you can't - there's no guarantee. But in the two years we've done this, I've never seen anyone give incorrect information. Sure, some folks give explanations in different ways than I would, but that's to be expected. What's more impressive is the dozens of tweets that I've read where *I* learned a brand new way to explain something, or about a new resource because another teacher pointed to it in her answer. If you see an answer you think is wrong, let me know.

3) If you're answering a question, it helps greatly to give a link to a site or to an image which helps to explain the concept. For example, the amazing @mariavita1 gave this great answer to a question about the phi phenomenon by giving a few words and then a link to a site that more fully explained it.

4) How do you answer a question? Just reply to the question and be sure to keep #appsychreview in the tweet. There's no application process and no minimum number to answer - just jump in when you can and help!

Questions? Let me know in the comments or via e-mail (
--posted by Steve

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