WHO? You! Undergraduates, Graduates, and Professionals from BGSU or elsewhere.
WHAT? Each summer, I teach an online course that may be taken for undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education credit. The course always concerns a particular topic I am writing about or studying. The class is designed so that students read material that I am reading, add to it through their own work, and then discuss both types of information with me and with each other throughout the summer session. Thus, the course becomes an opportunity for me to learn more about a subject and for students to learn something about the process of research or scholarship, as well as the topic. This year the course will be on mindfulness and well-being with an emphasis on practical applications. The class is offered for 3 credits as PSYC 440, 1 graduate credit as PSYC 586, or as continuing education credits for professionals. Click here to see a draft of the syllabus for the course.
WHY? Convenience and Quality! Often people want to take a course during the summer because they have more time or because time is running out for meeting an educational requirement. Yet, summer schedules are often complicated by family, vacation or work commitments. Today, of course, it is possible to design an online course so that it can meet almost anyone's schedule, at almost anytime, no matter where they live or travel, providing they have access to the Internet: As long as you turn the work in on time, it does not matter what time of day you do it! Of course, quality is more important than convenience, which means that it is important to realize that not all classes can be taught well on the Web. Courses that seem to work best for me are those that deal with a topic to which people can relate based on experience, reading, and discussion. Therefore, I limit topics to those that seem to fit these criteria.
WHERE? On the Internet! The courses are set up in a series of steps, each of which has a deadline. Steps consist of assigned readings and activities that can be done either completely online or sent to me online. Each step is worth a number of points and the total points one earns determines a letter grade. The method of instruction and the content of the class is the same for undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education students, but the workload varies with the type of credit to be awarded.
WHEN? Summer: This year, the course runs during the first 5- week summer period.
HOW? Simply enroll through your MyBGSU account if you are already a student at BGSU. If you are not a BGSU student and want to become one, or if you want to enroll as a guest student, then call Ms. Vicki Hillis at 419-433-5560 Ext 20651and she will walk you through the process. Continuing education students should call Ms. Lori Peugoet at 419-433-5560, Ext 20617.
The following paragraphs describe research oriented online courses taught in the past. I was working on a book or article each time the course was offered so as to allow students, particularly undergraduates, to experience part of the research process.
- Positive Psychology. This five-week summer course focuses on what is known as "positive psychology" which is an emerging field in psychology today. Generally speaking, positive psychology is the study of human potential and includes such topics as optimal functioning, the "good life," and healthy social institutions. The class will examine the history of positive psychology, its interests and goals, as well as major findings the field has developed so far. We will also contrast this new form of positive psychology with the original one found in humanistic psychology.
- Zen and Psychotherapy: Integrating Traditional and Nontraditional Approaches. This course examines the relationship between traditional and nontraditional psychotherapies by using Zen as a case in point. The text material, which comes from a book that is co-authored by the instructor, is oriented toward various clinical topics and provides the basis for the course. Topics of interest include introducing the basic principles of Zen, showing how Zen can be applied in everyday life as well as in the standard clinical setting.
- Self-Esteem: Research, Theory, and Practice. The class aims at examining the psychology of self-esteem, current research on self-esteem, self-esteem problems, and how to enhance self-esteem. The class is based on the third edition of an upper-level book on the psychology of self-esteem that was written by the instructor, which gives you the opportunity to interact with the author of the course text. The book is divided into seven chapters which are the basis for the course and its activities.