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Jenny Baker
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Two Years of the Getting I-O Into Intro Textbooks (GIT SIOP) Task Force

Nicholas P. Salter, Hofstra University; and Joseph A. Allen, University of Utah

We are now at the 2-year anniversary of the Getting I-O Into Intro Textbooks (GIT) Task Force. As you may know, at the 2018 SIOP Conference then-SIOP President Talya Bauer launched this effort with the charge to work toward increasing coverage of I-O content in Intro to Psychology textbooks and awareness of I-O among early psychology learners. Many SIOPers know this has been an issue many have tried to tackle for years. This includes efforts to present at conferences, encouraging members to give talks at local high schools and community colleges, many efforts to build resources and share them, and so on. GIT built on this previous work while directing concentrated effort on the issue through a variety of means, including all the original tasks/goals from President Bauer, and new ones encouraged by now SIOP President Georgia Chao. Last year, we published a TIP article chronicling what we accomplished in our first year. Given that President Chao renewed the task force charter for one more year, we feel that now is a good time to reflect on what we did in our second year.

Our Impact on Textbooks and Intro Classes

The big question of how GIT is doing really comes down to this: Is there more I-O in intro classes than before? In January of 2020, we highlighted our progress on this in the GIT blog; we have seen a lot of positive momentum in this area!

After spending a lot of time creating and collating resources, a letter was sent to Intro Psych textbook authors and publishers last fall detailing the resources available to them—and to encourage them to add more I-O to their textbooks. The response was all positive. Many of them agreed that I-O is an under-represented topic within intro textbooks (one author said it was a “shortcoming of the books that are out and around”). Some of the responses were from authors who were really interested and excited about the resources we offered them (one author called it “enormously helpful” and an “impressive accomplishment”). One author even mentioned the possibility for change in textbook content in the future saying, “I use I-O as an example of how textbooks can change over time . . . sometimes by growing a whole new branch when a new area becomes so important.”

Some authors reported that they hope to use this material in the next revision of their textbooks. In fact, we just heard back from one textbook in particular that is doing this! Specifically, we heard back from a contact at Wiley publishers that three Intro Psych textbooks (Psychology Around Us, Psychology in Action, and Real World Psychology) would be using materials either directly taken from the GIT resources or adapted from them. This came about because of a conversation started after they received the letter from our committee. In other words, these books are incorporating I-O because of the work of GIT!

But, before we pat our collective selves on the back and declare the work is done, this is just the beginning. We hope to see more I-O in more intro textbooks in the coming years!

Other Ways GIT Is Making an Impact

GIT has been very busy thinking about other ways of promoting I-O for intro classes, and we’ve seen progress in many of those areas.

In September of 2019, GIT unveiled three new videos to advertise SIOP. These videos featured SIOP members talking about I-O: what it is, what they do, and what can be done with it. You can check out the videos here:

These videos can be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, instructors can use these videos to introduce our field to students who don’t yet know about I-O but want to learn about it. But we don’t have to limit ourselves just to students; these videos can be used to help convey what our field is to others including colleagues and organizations—even friends and family! Please share these videos on your social media and with any who might be interested.

GIT’s cause of spreading the word about I-O psychology got some notice in December when SIOP member Clemente Diaz won an award at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology 4th Annual Twitter Poster Conference! Check it out here. The big takeaway as to why intro instructors don't include I-O in their classes is because it isn’t in the textbook, which is the primary goal of GIT! Let’s hope that as progress continues to be made in getting more I-O into intro textbooks, we'll see more intro instructors choosing to cover the topic!

In March of 2020 when Covid-19 caused so much of higher education to move to virtual classes, GIT worked closely with members of the SIOP Education and Training Committee to develop a set of tools for transitioning classes online, including a resource guide, a webinar, and a set of virtual office hours. The Online Teaching Survival Guide collated best practices for teaching online that can be used by all instructors—whether they are teaching Intro Psych, I-O Psych, or anything else.

Further, to help all our friends (and all SIOP membership) find all these resources for introductory psychology, the GIT SIOP Team created a new URL. Although we love SIOP.org, the new URL is much more keyword friendly and links directly to the teaching tools under the educators tab on the SIOP website. Here’s the URL: www.teachiopsych.com. Click it and suddenly you’re on the SIOP.org educators page, ready to explore these amazing resources. Please share it with your friends, search it out on Google, and post it on social media. Only together will GIT be successful and help younger learners at least be aware and know that I-O psychology is an option for their future!

What’s Next for GIT?

As previously mentioned, SIOP President Georgia Chao recently recharged this task force to carry on the work. Thus, GIT will continue to work to spread awareness about I-O psychology in intro classes! On a personal note, I (Nick Salter) will be stepping down as the GIT blog writer; consistent readers know I have been writing here from the start. After 2 years of this work, I am passing on the torch to Ben Butina who is going to do an awesome job of maintaining the blog and spreading the word. But the work of GIT will continue!

One project on the near horizon: Members of GIT are designing a quasi-experiment to see if telling Intro Psych instructors about the resources we offer will cause them to then use the materials and incorporate I-O into their classes. We will begin collecting data this summer and plan to collect for at least a year. We will of course keep you all posted here on the GIT blog and hope to share preliminary results at our next SIOP conference.

Besides that, we are of course always open to people’s suggestions! So, if any SIOP member has any thoughts as to how GIT’s mission can be pushed forward, feel free to reach out any GIT member!

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