Teaching

My teaching experience within psychology is relatively broad.  I have lectured and tutored in learning, perception, biopsychology, social psychology, cognition, evolutionary psychology, research methods and statistics.


I currently teach PSY201 Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology and PSY307 Cognition.


The benefit of teaching across a range of subjects is that it forces you to keep up to date with current perspectives and opinions from a variety of fields that are not immediately related to your own research.  This provides me with unique insights into psychological theory and its applications that I would otherwise not have and it is one reason my research has diversified the way it has.


- Enseigner, c'est apprendre duex fois. -Joseph Joubert



OLT National Teaching Citation 2013

In 2013 I won a National Teaching Citation from the Office for Learning and Teaching. I was awarded a citation in the Early Career Category for:


"For the development of engaging, expertise-based resources and curricula that make complex theory accessible and relevant to undergraduate psychology students."

As well as coming with a handshake from the lovely Dr James Arvanitakis, the Citation also came with a cool $10K - which will help keep the research side of things ticking over!

Best. Exam. Answers. Ever.

Sometimes students provide me with the most wonderful answers to exam questions...


And other times they provide answers that are contenders for "Best. Exam. Answer. Ever".  


My favourite one of all time is from 2010:

Question: What are the 'naturalistic fallacy' and the 'moralistic fallacy', and explain how these beliefs have influenced research into the evolutionary origins of human behaviour?


Answer: The naturalistic fallacy is the idea that humans do what we do because we evolved that way, so it's OK. So if I want to eat vegemite straight from the jar it's fine because my ancestors did it. Why use a spoon when I can just use my fingers? It's less washing up. The moralistic fallacy is the idea that we shouldn't attribute human behaviour to our evolved past, as this would mean it would allow anyone to do anything they wanted. Like throw away 4 marks in a test. I don't really know the answer well enough to BS my way out of this one, but if I keep writing, hopefully the cute girl next to me will think I'm smart, and I might just impress her enough so she'll talk to me. Either that, or I wait for my uber-cool suspender pants to come back from the dry cleaner. Then she'll really be impressed.

There is an also an honourable mention for this one from 2011:


Question: Correlational studies cannot identify cause-and-effect relationships. Explain this statement by providing 3 possible cause and effect scenarios that would be consistent with the following finding: A significant negative correlation between scores on a life-satisfaction survey and number of visits to the doctor in the last 12 months.


Answer:"...it could be that these people really don't like their jobs and therefore are always faking an illness to get out of work, and so it is their job that leads to low life satisfaction not illness. There could be people who are very lonely and fake illness to get attention, therefore see the doctor a lot. Or women who are dissatisfied with their partner and seeing their doctor for a shag :)


Keep 'em coming - it makes marking bearable!