Well-being Modules for Use in Psychology Research Methods/Statistics Courses

Grant programExploring Well-being in Learning Environments: An Integrated Seminar Series and Grants Program

Grant recipientRachel Fouladi, Department of Psychology

Project team: Research assistant, TBD

Timeframe: January 2020 to April 2021

Funding: $5,000

Courses addressed

  • PSYC 391 – Selected Topics in Psychology (Well-being: Measurement & Modelling Challenges)
  • PSYC 210 – Intro to Data Analysis in Psychology

Description: For this project, I will test new teaching materials to promote real-life learning and personal development, two of the ten conditions for well-being in learning environments as identified by the SFU Health Promotion team.

Students often have negative attitudes towards research methods and statistics courses and the perceived lack of relevance of the course content. The purpose of this project is not to change attitudes toward statistics in general, but to increase interest and engagement in the course by changing the content to include health promotion information and activities.

With the introduction of this new content, I plan to incorporate health promotion modules based on health-related self-data collection by the students, and determine if student perception of the value of the course content changes when the data collected has direct relevance to their own health and well-being. By providing students with the opportunity to participate more actively, I hope they will be more willing to engage in behaviors and activities promoted in the class to support their learning and well-being in the future.

Questions addressed

  • How can well-being/health-related self-data be incorporated into an intro Psychology Research Methods/Statistics (RM/S) in a meaningful way that is pedagogically useful to students?
  • In this course, how do students perceive the acceptability of: 1) Learning Modules on Health Promotion, and 2) the collection of well-being/health-related self-data?
  • Comparing assignments which do and do not include HP modules: what are the differences in 1) student appreciation of the relevance of the assignments, and 2) student perception & value of instructors’ intention and use of pedagogical strategies to support well-being in learning environments?
  • To what extent and in what ways do students find these HP strategies novel and useful to their health and well-being or personal development? How likely are they to further participate in these strategies?

Knowledge sharing: I will share my teaching approach to promote personal development (including Health Promotion) in the context of high-stakes statistics courses to the SFU community through an upcoming Teaching Matters symposium in Spring 2020. Findings from the current project will be shared with faculty in my area (History, Quantitative, and Theoretical Psychology), and with others at SFU in a future conference sponsored by the ISTLD and the Center Educational Excellence.