Monday, January 15, 2018

Doing Psych: Survey Project

There are lots of calls for "doing psych" but not necessarily the ability due to ethical, time, resources, and financial constraints.

I began this survey project a few years ago when I had a Chromebook cart to use in class for several class periods.  My current school is 1:1 with Chromebooks and it makes the process a whole lot easier.

To expose students to creating surveys, obtaining data, and writing a summary and conclusions about the data gathered.

Equipment/Software: You'll need to be 1:1 with devices the kids can type on--computers, Chromebooks, computer lab all work. You also need access to Google for Education Tools for easiest implementation. My school is a google school--all students have gmail, google drive, and many other tools--they will need google forms/sheets, and google docs for this project.

You may need to teach students how to write survey questions, use google forms/sheets, and recognize bad/poor survey questions.

Process: As a teacher in this project, I provide some basic guidelines and then spend the rest of the time (potentially several days) walking around, checking screens, and asking questions. It is really hard work to constantly be checking student work in class.


1. Do Background Reading:

2. Choose survey topic--get teacher approval

3. Create 5-7 questions--must be closed-ended--include one open-ended question for feedback

4. Obtain feedback from at least 3 other groups and the teacher on how good your questions are--you are looking for feedback to improve the survey--do your questions make sense and help you answer the questions you have.

5. Turn in links to surveys (teacher should have own google form to collect survey links)

6. Every student anonymously takes everyone else's survey to gather data (you can use any/all your classes since data will be used only in your class--none of this will be published)

7. Do a write-up--Student pairs examine the data gathered
  • present the results in numbers form with each question
  • present the data in a graphics format (easily done within google sheets)
  • provide conclusions for each question
  • provide conclusions about the entire survey
8. Students then do a separate reflection on what they learned as a result of doing the project, from choosing a topic to making questions, to analyzing data. What did they learn? This is an important metacognitive piece.


Students may want to choose topics that are too difficult or too sensitive for your school district--use caution and care in allowing what might or might not get you into trouble.

Depending on your patience and your students' backgrounds, you may want to let them struggle with this. You may want to immediately direct students into specific questions--this is a situation by situation basis for me--it depends upon the student(s). Sometimes the struggle of my asking and them answering is worth it. I ask a lot of questions like, "what kind of responses does that question give you" and "you want information X--how does this question get you there?"

Postscript: I first did a version of this assignment back in the late 1980s with my honors sociology courses based upon the work of Paul Schreiner, the previous teacher. All the technological additions and ethical considerations are based upon experience and reading a variety of sources. For the good or the bad, this comes from my brain.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Social Psych Review Activity

A belated Happy Holidays and a bright and merry 2018 to you! We had a great holiday here in the frigid Midwest and I even got to visit a frigid New York City for the holidays and see a dear "Psychology Friend" (those are the best kind of friends, btw.)

George Arthur visits NYC!
Maria and I eat cupcakes at Grand Central!

But seriously, back to the topic at hand. One of the great things about teaching psychology and AP psychology at my high school (Kimberly High School in Kimberly, Wis.) is that I have a great colleague, Mike Heling, who has some pretty creative and unique activities and reviews. He comes up with some seriously good stuff. (Many of you know Mike from the AP reading. He says, "Hi" and that I can not post his picture here.)

Since we're on the semester block schedule, we're DONE with content and in full-blown review mode. The other day, Mike came up with this GREAT Social Psychology review that I wanted to share with you all. It was funny, fun, interactive, and a great practice for FRQ scenarios that may get tossed at kids on exam day.

I thought this was a great activity and my kids had a blast! Here's a Google Drive link to his activity! (Note: the terms you can use does not have to be this list - I merely copied a term list I had from a Learning Target/Term sheet I give out at the beginning of the chapter. You can pick and choose which terms you'd like for the review.)

Wishing you all the best in 2018.

-----Posted by Amy J. Ramponi

Saturday, January 6, 2018

APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Awards

Back in 1997, I met this quiet and humorous gentleman from Iowa named Charlie. He was one of the instructors at the Nebraska Wesleyan Psychology Teacher Institute. Little did I realize the impact he would have on my teaching career and the entire world of high school psychology. I now get to call him a friend.

Prior to October 2014, this award was named “APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Awards.” It is now called, the "APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award." You may not know Charlie, but you have likely been influenced by his approach to teaching, the activities he created or popularized, or may even use his textbook. In any case, there is this excellence in teaching award that is named after him.

There are a few items needed to apply, so get started now. No matter where you are in your career if you can get the materials together because you are an excellent psychology teacher, make the time and apply. This award is one of the high marks in anyone's teaching psychology career.

Make the time for this one--you won't regret it.

Details can be found here:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Clark Workshop is Back--Info Here

Recent Announcement from the APA regarding the Clark Workshop!

The APA Education Directorate, APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS), American Psychological Foundation and Clark University are pleased to announce the 14th annual APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers, to be held June 27-29, 2018, at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 2018 workshop presenters will include Jessica Flitter, of West Bend High School (West Bend, Wisconsin), and Scott Reed, of Hamilton High School (Chandler, Arizona). Regan Gurung, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay will give the keynote address entitled “To Boldly Go (Beyond Content): Teaching High School Psychology, Skills, and Learning.”

Faculty presenters from the Clark University psychology department will be announced by the spring. All interested high school psychology teachers are invited to apply; the workshop will be open to 25 teachers.

The deadline to apply is April 15, 2018. Participants will be selected by approximately May 1. Housing in the Clark campus dorms and materials will be provided for all participants.

There is no registration fee.

Participants will receive travel stipends of $150. For teachers in need of extra travel support, a limited number of travel scholarships of $250-$500 will be available as funding allows. Teachers with far distances to travel and/or need for additional travel support are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. Please indicate your need for scholarship funding in your application and provide an estimated budget of travel expenses. The maximum amount of financial aid any single participant will receive is $500.

For more information and to apply online, please visit

Please contact Yvonne Hill at ( with any questions.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Psych Show: Dr. Ali Mattu

If you are anything like me, you have gotten overwhelmed with the wealth of quality sources regarding psychology. Here is one more in case you have not already been exposed to it. Dr. Ali Mattu has appeared on our blog before with our highlighting his video on using the hands as a mnemonic (his most popular video). In this entry, we take a brief look some of the other episodes.

The Psych Show Channel YouTube Link

I have a few personal favorites since I am a bit of a Trekkie/Trekker (don't get all semantical on me) as well as a fan of practical psychology and diversity.

The reason I like these episodes is that they whet my appetite. There are not too long and pedantic as many videos on YouTube are. Nor are they ridiculous. They include humor where appropriate but take psychology seriously. I like the balance. Check them out. I suspect you'll like them.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn