Overview of Teaching

My teaching goals are to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be able to understand and apply psychological research into their daily lives and careers. I also use technology to help students experience psychology when we can't provide direct experiences.


Current Courses

AN SC 496

Research on the Human Animal Bond

Research on the Human animal Bond is a fourth year seminar/lab for students in the the Companion and Performance Animal Health Sciences major in the eclectic Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutritional Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences. We are reading research on the human animal bond, learning about social sciences research methods, and are designing (and possibly conducting) research on the human animal bond. I am really excited about working with great students in the program as we work together to understand and research the human animal bond.


Science 100

Integrated Science

Science 100 is a unique full year (*27 course weights!) first year experience for students who are interested in Science. We use discovery learning and other innovative methods to provide a fabulous learning experience for students. Science 100 is also a laboratory for learning about teaching and learning in Science. Within a supportive environment, instructors can work on innovative methods and assignments. Check out these pictures from the Fall, 2010 field trip to Jasper National Park.


Psyco 104

Basic Psychological Processes

This is the first half of the Department's introductory psychology course sequence. Topics covered include psychological research methods, the adaptiveness of behaviour, the functioning of the brain and nervous system, sensation and perception, learning, memory, emotion and motivation. Important goals of the course are to inspire an interest in psychology and to help students acquire critical thinking skills so that they can clearly and objectively describe and explain psychological phenomena. I have just begun teaching this course using some of what we are learning in Science 100, including using iClickers (student response systems), writen exams (for 500 students you ask? With good rubrics, anything is possible!), and a citizenship project.


Psyco 423

Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology: Children and the Web

This courses is designed to help students apply what they have learned about cognitive and social development to understanding how children get along in the virtual world of the Web. This course challenges all of us to extend what we know about developmental psychology to infer how children interact with and learn from the Web. How do children who supposedly lack reversible thought understand the concept of the “Back” button? How do children recognize hate on the Web? How do they distinguish advertisement from entertainment? At the same time and we examine the development of children's critical appraisal of the Web, students have to develop their own critical appraisal skills. We exercise these skills in a laboratory component of the course – surfing and appraising different types of Web resources (we are the only class on campus with university permission to surf for porn!). The final project is to develop a resource to help children of different age groups develop critical appraisal skills. Students have developed very creative resources, ranging from games to magazines to an automated online tool for critically appraisal that we are using in ongoing research.







Department of Psychology – University of Alberta