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    I need help as to whether the assessments listed below would be appropriate to measure the students' performance based on these learning objectives for these two chapters in a syllabus. If not, can you help me with more appropriate assessments? Also, can you tell if the rationales for the assessments are grounded in instructional theory and learning theory? Also, do the assignments align with my learning objectives? This syllabus is for a tentative Introduction to Psychology course. Two of the chapter in the book is about a) Neuroscience and b) Sensation and Perception. The information for the course is below.

    A) The rationale for the Neuroscience chapter is that students will identify and understand brain parts and their function in relation to one's nervous system. The objective for this chapter is that students will a) label and identify parts of the brain and b) understand the brain and its functions in relations to the nervous system. There will be in-class discussion as to what is happening inside one's brain when nervousness or other emotions occurs. The class will then be given handouts of the brain to identify, label and explain their connection to our emotions, etc.

    B) The rationale for the chapter on Sensation and Perception is that student will understand how the brain relates to one's emotional state, sensation and perception. The objective of this chapter is that the students will a) understand the physical world relationship to the psychological world and b) understand the role that sensation and perception play in critical thinking. The student will be given a set of picture for assessment of their perception of them. This paper will be due in one week. Once the papers are turned in there will also be an in-class discussion concerning them and how they relate to critical thinking.

    Also, upon the completion of these two chapters, there will be an exam given on them.

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    (A) A study of neuroscience is related to the functions and divisions of the brain, and the major role the brain plays in regulating cognitive processes. The brain is the organ in our bodies that most directly controls our thoughts, emotions and motivations, and determines how we interact with the world around us (Sternberg, 2006). According to Sternberg, cognitive psychologists use various methods to study how people think and learn that includes experiments, psychobiological techniques, self-reports, case studies, naturalistic observations, and computer simulations and artificial intelligence. From this premise, Cognitive neuroscience is the field of study linking the brain and other aspects of the nervous system, particularly the brain relative to cognitive processing and ultimately to behavior. In addition, neuroscience research is focused on studying brain disorders that impair cognitive functioning including disorders such as strokes, brain tumors, and head injuries as all benefit from studies on neuroscience (Pinel, 2006).

    Neuronal research revolutionized the study of learning and memory in demonstrating its usefulness for the diagnosis of some learning disabilities. Thus, primarily neuronal studies have been focused on learning processes. For example, Dunne, Zapf, Hamer, Folz, Kauser, & Fischer (2006) conducted a study to assess the performance related to students' test-taking, and the effectiveness of clinical courses as a learning environment. The investigation included: (a) proximity of the course to the students test taking, (b) the students' learning styles, and (c) their self-motivation for learning in relation to how well they performed. Students were given a 2-week course in otolaryngology (medical treatment of diseases related to ears, nose, throat, head, and neck) with a high level of patient-related teaching, and a 2-week course in neurology (medical treatment of the nervous system) with a low level of patient related teaching.

    The students then took a multiple-choice test patient-related teaching. All students took multiple-choice end-of-term exams to assess their knowledge in both subjects. Performance success was correlated with the type of learning style (as assessed with the LIST questionnaire) and with motivation for learning (as assessed with the Study Interest questionnaire). Results showed that motivation was not the primary factor for learning for students. However, a strong correlation existed between the use of strategic and deep learning styles and success on the exam. In addition, according to Dunne et al (2006), the duration of the time between a clinical courses with little practical teaching played a significant role in the performance on the exam, which they assert does not happen with high practical teaching. The results suggests a better opportunity for medical students to learn is with minimal teaching, and more experience with patients.

    (B) Perception is organized information about the environment in which we live. It refers to our awareness or understanding of the environment. This awareness comes through our senses, and it happens because as human beings we are equipped to sense, organize and then interpret what we have organized into workable information (Wilson & Snapp-Childs, 2010). According to Sternberg (2006), the prerequisites for the perception of objects begins early in life and is based on sensory information that come from neural cells that are specialized to receive information. As he explains, in the phenomenon of sensory adaptation, receptor cells adapt to consistent stimulation by ceasing to fire until after there is a change in the stimulation: (p. 115). Sensations are experienced through vision, hearing, taste, smell and or touch.

    As an example, perceptual learning involves long lasting and dynamic changes to the human perceptual system that is designed to improve one's ability to respond to the environment (Wilson & Snapp-Childs (2010). According to Wilson & Snapp-Childs, when an individual is able to see, feel, hear, taste and smell, sensations come together, and these sensory experiences are organized in a way that makes concepts comprehensible. As it relates to performance, research studies are presented that shows a strong relationship between physical performance and cognitive performance (Pinel, 2006). For example, walking ability is cited as a significant predictors of cognitive performance. In his study, Kreiner (2009) examined problem-based activities to apply knowledge to the real world via a sensation and perception course. Students rated how effective the activities helped them learn, and provided them with the ability to apply their knowledge of sensation and perception to real-world issues. For instance, students studies the following activities:

    - Vision as it relates to nighttime construction
    - Object perfection to advise astronauts on perceptual issues in exploring the planets
    - Auditory system as it related to developing a presentation to discuss sensor cells on the topic of presbycusis (age-related sensorineural hearing loss).
    - Chemical assessment to provide a list of concepts that could be initiated in lessons on task perception for professional classes

    After performing the tasks, students completed a self-assessment from why they provided a rating from o (not at all effective) to 4 (commonly affective). The assessment ratings were responses to the question," How effective do you feel the activities were in helping you to learn about sensation and perception?" (Kreiner, 2009, p.295). Although, the students were able to rate their ability to apply knowledge of sensory and perception considerably higher than when they entered the course; problem-based learning encouraged learning and provided a teaching (instructional) way of showing students how to develop critical thinking.


    Dünne, A. A., Zapf, S., Hamer, H. M., Folz, B. J., Käuser, G., & Fischer, M. R. G. (2006). Teaching and assessment in otolaryngology and neurology: Does the timing of clinical courses matter? European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 263 (11), 1023-1030.

    Kreiner, D. S (2009). Problem-based group activities for teaching sensation and perception. Teaching of Psychology, 36 (4), 1023-1-30.

    Pinel, John P.J. (2006). Biopsychology (6th ed.) Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

    Sternberg, R. J. (2006). Cognitive psychology (4th ed.).Belmont, CA: Thomas/Wadsworth Learning.

    Wilson, A., Snapp-Childs, W. & Geoffrey, P. (2010). Perceptual learning immediately yields new stable motor conditions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(6), 1508-1514.

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