How to Use the Online Study Guide

A. To Access the Online Study Guide: 

  • Click the textbook photo on our home page.
  • This will take you to the "Online Learning Center" (OLC) for our textbook.
  • Then, in the top left dark blue area there is a window that says "Choose a Chapter." After you select a chapter, you will see links to several resources appear,such as multiple choice questions, true-false questions, study questions, and flashcards.

B. Advice on Using the Study Guide.

1. Although I recommend using the study guide, it is optional.

2. DO NOT use the study guide as a substitute for the textbook. This approach doesn't work. Your first priority is to finish and study the textbook chapters and class notes. Then you can use the practice tests in the OLC study guide to assess your knowlege, along with the practice tests that I will make available from a past 101 class of mine.

4. If you take the multiple choice and true-false practice tests, then be sure to score you test carefully. For multiple choice items, compute the percentage of items that you correctly answered, and use the syllabus grading scale to see what grade corresponds to that percentage. Remember, for true-false items, anything around 50% means you're doing no better than chance guessing. For true-false, I'd say that getting 95% or more correct is excellent, 90% very good, and 85% is good.

NOTE: The books' co-author (Ronald Smith) and I wrote the online learning objectives and study questions and also the Test Yourself questions that appear in each chapter of the textbook. WE DID NOT WRITE any of the other materials that appear in the online study guide (e.g., the multiple choice, true false, flashcard items). These were written by other people.

5. In general, the study guide most heavily tests your knowledge of factual information and "key terms," often asking for straightforward definitions of concepts. THIS IS A GOOD FIRST STEP, examinations generally include a greater percentage of "applying your knowledge" types of questions. That is, rather than asking you to merely memorize a definition or concept (or fact), I'm more interested in measuring whether you really understand the meaning of that term or concept. Compare the following two questions:

Sample Question #1. Eighty female college students participate in an experiment. Using random assignment, each student is placed either in a very hot room or a room of normal temperature. Each student then is given 30 minutes to solve the same set of math problems. The experimenter then calculates the number of problems that each student has solved correctly. In this experiment the independent variable is:
a. the number of participants in the study (80).
b. the temperature of the room (hot or normal)
c. the amount of time each participant has to solve the problems (30 minutes)
d. the number of math problems that each participants solves correctly

Sample Question #2. In an experiment, the factor manipulated by the experimenter is called the:
a. confounding variable.
b. dependent variable
c. independent variable
d. empirical variable

Although both types of questions occur on my exams, question #1 assesses understanding at a deeper level: If all you have done is memorize a definition of "independent variable" without really understanding what it means, you will have trouble answering the first type of question.

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