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This is the first of three micro-courses that jointly constitute the OERu Introduction to Psychology I course. It provides an introduction to the history of psychology, the methods used by psychological scientists, and the biological basis of human behaviour. This micro-course is intended for students who are interested in gaining foundational knowledge about basic psychological processes, including those who wish to pursue a Baccalaureate degree in Psychology. It can also be useful to anyone interested in the Social Sciences and can contribute to a Bachelor of General Studies. 

What will I learn

By the end of this micro-course you will be able to:

  • Explain why using our intuition about everyday behaviour is insufficient for a complete understanding of the causes of behaviour
  • Describe the evolution of psychological science
  • Outline the basic schools of psychology and how each school has contributed to psychology
  • Distinguish between clinical psychology, counselling psychology, and psychiatry
  • Describe the principles of the scientific method and explain its importance in conducting and interpreting research
  • Differentiate the goals of descriptive, correlational, and experimental research designs and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Explain the goals of descriptive research and the statistical techniques used to interpret it
  • Summarize the uses of correlational research and describe why correlational research cannot be used to infer causality
  • Review the procedures of experimental research and explain how it can be used to draw causal inferences
  • Describe the structure and functions of the neuron
  • Describe the pathways of communication within and between neurons
  • List the major neurotransmitters and describe their functions
  • Explain the structure of the cerebral cortex (its hemispheres and lobes) and the function of each area of the cortex
  • Compare and contrast the techniques that scientists use to view and understand brain structures and functions 

What’s involved

  • Completing readings and watching videos
  • Completing elearning activities
  • Writing an exam (for learners taking the course for academic credit)

What pre-requisites should I have, if any?

Anyone is free to participate in this course; however, it is designed for those who meet Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s English Language Proficiency Requirement. In addition, an internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.)

What micro-courses are required for course credit?

At some point in the future, OERu-affiliated institutions may choose to offer this OERu micro-course for credit towards an undergraduate credential. Learners may also request prior-learning assessment from their institution based on completing this OERu micro-course. Learners will likely be required to complete three micro-courses to gain credit for Introduction to Psychology 1:

  1. Foundations of Psychological Science
  2. Evolution, Learning, & Sensation and Perception
  3. Consciousness, Thinking & Memory