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Update on Education & Training Committee Progress on Goals for 2008-2009

January 21, 2009
Marcus W. Dickson, Chair

1. Deliver an evaluation and recommendation concerning group study abroad opportunities for SIOP to coordinate among U.S. graduate programs.

Actions to date:
♦ The Executive Committee recently approved the proposals from the Study Abroad Program Sub-Committee, chaired by Bill Attenweiler. The first study abroad opportunity is now available, and we are hoping to persuade SIOP’s website content developers to feature this program in an upcoming story. As other opportunities emerge, we hope to publicize them on the SIOP website.

2. Maintain and increase the SIOP Teaching Wiki website’s content (i.e., syllabi, in-class activities, and out-of-class projects).

Actions to date:
♦ Efforts led by wiki sub-committee chair Julie Lyon have led to substantial increases in the volume of content available on the wiki, and overall, the wiki is really beginning to take off.  The move to the WetPaint system for hosting the wiki has proven to be a great success, as we no longer deal with daily barrages of spam, with programs that automatically replace all of our content with advertising materials, or with loss of data if the system goes down. Currently, the wiki focuses primarily on teaching at the undergraduate level, but the committee is hopeful of adding additional materials focusing at the master’s and doctoral levels over the coming year.

3. Promote the SIOP Teaching Wiki website to potential users

Actions to date:
♦ A feature article on the SIOP webpage has helped to boost visits to the site, and many people from a variety of countries have now contributed syllabi, exercises, film clip recommendations, and a variety of other materials, mostly oriented around teaching I-O topics at the undergraduate level. The committee continues to publicize the wiki, and a roundtable proposal for the SIOP conference, entitled “Sharing teaching ideas among undergraduate I/O instructors” and chaired by Julie Lyon was accepted. The abstract for the session states: “The purpose of this session is to develop a community of undergraduate I/O instructors by sharing effective teaching strategies for common I/O topics. We will view the updated SIOP Wiki on Teaching Resources (http://siopwiki.wetpaint.com). Then, we will ask the audience to share teaching ideas to be placed on the Wiki.”

4. Assess the current state of education and training in consulting and business skills in US I-O master's and Ph.D. training programs, and to compare this with employers' perceptions of the preparedness of new I-O Ph.D.s in terms of the basic business and consulting skills.

Actions to date:
♦ This is a carry-over goal from last year. As a reminder, this project will include surveys of four constituent groups (1: employers of recently-graduated I-O degree-holders; 2: recently-graduated I-O degree-holders; 3: faculty in doctoral and master’s training programs; and 4: current students in doctoral and master’s training programs). A report is anticipated to be available for SIOP 2009. The sub-committee working on this goal presented preliminary data from pilot surveys at last year’s SIOP conference. Alexis Fink is now chairing this sub-committee, and has recruited several new members to round out the diversity of membership backgrounds. The sub-committee has reviewed the pilot data from last year, is revising the questionnaire in light of the pilot study results, and anticipates collecting data within the next couple of months.

5. (a) Re-develop the I-O Ambassadors Program so that it can begin to achieve the goals that were initially set for it. (b) Have Ambassador visits to local colleges, universities, and high schools begin in Spring, 2009. (c) Have an Ambassador “blitz” of New Orleans immediately before and during the SIOP 2009 Conference.

Actions:
♦ Jennifer Hughes has taken on the management and re-establishment of the SIOP Ambassador Program. She has put together additional materials for recruiting and communicating with volunteer ambassadors, and is developing procedures for managing the communications with potential sites and ambassadors. She has secured permission from Psi Chi to advertise the program through their listserv (not easy permission to get, either!), and we hope to have the system well enough in place to ask publicize it at the upcoming SIOP Conference.
♦ To date, no progress has been made on the “blitz” of Ambassadors in the New Orleans area during the SIOP conference. Our initially identified local New Orleans coordinator for the blitz backed out, and we are in the process of determining whether this is still a viable option for this SIOP Conference. We will need to correspond with the Conference Committee about this issue.

6. Develop materials for graduate students on research funding opportunities and strategies for acquiring research funding.

Actions to Date:
♦ Little progress has been made on this goal. Two initial members of the sub-committee have been recruited, but both are very junior, and in need a more senior person to chair the sub-committee. I anticipate having the committee established this year, in order to produce a resource during the coming year. I would also like to involve student affiliate members in this project – several have volunteered, and I need to discuss the process for their involvement with the SIOP office.

7. Design a home on the SIOP website for Education/Instruction-related materials, so that they can all be accessed from one central location (as well as from other appropriate locations within the website). For example, an instructor teaching Introductory Psychology could go to a single page on the SIOP site to find modules previously developed by E&T members, and while there would see information on the Ambassadors program and might decide to ask for an Ambassador visit. He or she might also then see the TIP articles about teaching I-O written by the Distinguished Contributions in Teaching Award recipients, and the link to the Teaching Aids WetPaint site, and thus find tremendous help in preparing for lecture(s) that incorporate I-O topics.

Actions to Date:
♦ Though progress has been made on this goal, we are not yet ready to bring a proposal to the SIOP website management team. We hope to do so within the next few weeks. We are currently getting feedback on the draft proposal from E&T members and other interested parties.

8. Pursue the acquisition of several hundred audience response system devices (“clickers”) for use at the SIOP Conference and other events. Session proposals could include requests to use clickers as part of their presentations, including in events like plenary sessions, debates, etc.

Actions to Date:
♦ The original intention of this goal was to seek out a company that would sponsor SIOP through the donation of clickers and base units for use at SIOP conferences. Executive Director Nershi was skeptical of the possibilities of identifying a company to make such a contribution, and in fact, contributions of equipment have not been forthcoming. However, discussions with i>Clicker have proven fruitful, in that this company is willing to loan up to 300 or 400 clickers and up to 10 base units at no cost for up to two conferences a year. Discussions with i>Clicker representatives are on-going to determine the sort of publicity the company would want in return, and other details of the arrangement. The i>Clicker hardware and software offer advantages in terms of simplicity of use over some of the other clicker systems SIOP has used, but the cost of simplicity is the inability to do cross-tabs or to break respondents down by demographics, as is possible with some other systems. The Executive Committee/Executive Board will ultimately decide whether the reduced cost of the loan of the i>Clicker system outweighs the flexibility of response analysis provided by other systems.

9. E&T has established an additional goal of publicizing the Introductory Psychology-oriented PowerPoint slides (that are already developed by previous E&T leadership and members) to textbook publishing companies for inclusion in their instructor ancillaries.

Actions to date:
♦ Initial conversations with Pearson/Prentice Hall have raised interest with the publishers about including reference to our materials in their instructor ancillary materials. Once we have a sense from this first publishing company of how best to approach the publishers about this, we will be contacting others.