We continue our series in which Associate Lecturers introduce modules they tutor. This week, Julia Willerton presents DE200 Investigating Psychology 2.
Hullo. I’m Julia Willerton, I’ve been tutoring Psychology modules with the Open University for 20 years and I’ve been an Associate Lecturer on DE200 since 2015. I also worked on the module when it was being developed.
What do you like about tutoring on DE200?
The most rewarding element for me as a tutor is to see the development of confidence and skills in students as they work through the module. Students are often tentative (to say the least) about their abilities to run statistical analyses and when they develop the confidence to do so, the sheer sense of achievement is great to see.
What do students find interesting about DE200?
The very broad range of topics means that students certainly don’t get bored and there is something for everyone in terms of interests. Topics are structured around common questions and include ‘Why do good people do bad things’, ‘Why do I feel this way ’ and ‘Are girls and boys born or made?’ We have some different methods of assessment from traditional essays including two project reports and an e-poster so students develop their abilities and confidence in different kinds of writing.
What’s the special importance of DE200 for a student working towards a psychology qualification?
This module provides grounding in the core areas for a psychology graduate. The methods teaching is great and this underpins the independent projects students will do in DE300.
What do some students find challenging?
Some students find the demands of the project work, particularly the use of SPSS, the statistical analysis tool, quite demanding in the early part of the module.
What’s your advice for students who are starting DE200?
Be systematic in your studies and follow the materials through step by step on the study calendar so you build up your skills and don’t get overwhelmed. Make the most use of the support available – we have a dedicated methods forum where students can get swift answers to methods related questions and don’t be afraid to ask your tutor for help if you need to with analysis for either of the projects. There is also a dedicated exam preparation forum which runs from the start of March – make the most of it.
When you have completed this module, there will be a great sense of achievement and you will have in place many of the core skills and core knowledge needed for a psychology graduate.