Work-Based Learning (WBL) Pro

Work-Based Learning Project (WBL): Research-Based and Field Experience

Work-Based Learning (WBL) allows students to apply classroom content in professional settings while gaining real-world experiences. These opportunities will provide you with a deeper, more engaging and relevant learning environment. This semester, I will be offering the following WBL activity in order to provide you with the opportunity to explore career options in the field of psychology and sociology.

Opportunities for students to participate in unpaid and paid research projects (e.g. in sciences, social sciences, media studies) and field experiences (e.g. in environmental sciences) that extend classroom learning. Research-based and field experiences teach skills that are difficult to teach or learn in classrooms (e.g. the importance of calibrating instruments or the importance of safety procedures), demystify and enhance motivation for learning research skills or exploring the natural world, support critical thinking in the collection and use of data, and provide opportunities to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to the real world outside of school. (COR A)

Research-Based and Field Experience; Students in social psychology courses are often required to serve as participants in psychological studies. In order to earn full credit for this project, you must do all of the following:

*participate as a research subject for a minimum of 5 hours (one study or multiple studies may fulfill these hours)

*conduct an interview with the principle investigator or the research assistant that is overseeing the study. If you participate in more than one study, choose one person to interview. The interview must be summarized using a minimum of 250 words and include why the individual became involved in this area of research and what they enjoy most/least about doing research

*submit a 4-5 paged written summary of your experiences that will include each of the following:

  • a screenshot of each consent form that is required prior to your participation with your signature
  • a summary of the interview you conducted that meets the minimum 250 words requirement
  • a description of each study or studies including who was being studied and why
  • your thoughts about research
  • the ethical guidelines you discovered and how significant you found them to be
  • the overall purpose of the study and the potential findings
  • the overall impact of this study or studies on the scientific disciplines of psychology or sociology

This requirement serves two purposes. First, this experience provides students with direct exposure to psychological research. The descriptions of psychological research that appear in textbooks and scientific journals necessarily omit a great deal of information about what research is like. Serving as a research participant should thus complement what students learn in their psychology/sociology course by giving them a ”behind the scenes” look at research. The second purpose of psychological research is the acquisition of knowledge. A great deal of what we know about human behavior is based on studies conducted at universities. Without research participants, we simply wouldn’t know very much about psychology. All students are required to participate in a minimum of five hours of psychological studies, either in person or online. Studies can be found all throughout San Diego county at research institutions, hospitals, mental health facilities, etc. A few helpful links can be found below: (Links to an external site.) (department of psychology—undergraduate research) (Links to an external site.) (matches you with relevant studies taking place) (Links to an external site.) (department of psychiatry; school of medicine) (Links to an external site.) (behavioral health services)

Please note that online studies can also be located at many major universities throughout the United States for both paid and unpaid participation. Both in-person and virtual participation as a research subject are acceptable.

You will have the entire semester to complete this project, however, you will want to begin planning early to locate the number of studies/hours to fulfill your obligation. Take the time to locate a research study or series of studies, participate as a research subject (either paid or unpaid), conduct a short interview with the principle investigator(s) about how this study came to fruition and write and submit your final paper addressing the requirements stated above.

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