Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Author: William Ashton
Posted date: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:28:49 AM EDT
Last modified date: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:28:49 AM EDT

Dear Class, 

I student emailed me saying that they were unclear about the wiki talk assignment and asked me to check their work on wikipedia.

The real purpose of the Wiki Talk assignment is to get each student on wikipedia and have them begin to learn how to use it. If you are so unsure of what you have done on wikipedia that you need me to check it, then you haven’t met the goals of the assignment because you don’t know what you are doing on wikipedia.

There are many things you should do for a class which are not connected to a grade. For example, in the instructions to the wiki project I give you an outline:

1. Create a wiki account and familiarize yourself with Wikipedia

and you’ll notice that no grade is connected to this work. Have you carefully gone through each of these pages and feel confident about the content of these pages and the methods that they introduce? I think that once you do you will have a very clear understanding of what I require for the wiki talk assignment.

As long as you think in terms of what you need to do for a grade rather than what you need to learn to do then you will have difficulties with all of your classes.

Also, this student said that different students have different ideas of what the wiki talk requires. We are going to run into this problem (different answers to the same thing) next week in the research methods assignment. I’ll ask the groups for one set (the best) of answers and you’ll need to decide between several students’ answers.

I have pressed you to articulate your thoughts in the study skills discussion because that’s how you can discover who is correct or who has the best answer. Students must articulate and explain their reasoning behind their answer to a top 10 question or their reasoning behind the way they think they should do the wiki assignment. With a person’s assumptions articulated it’s possible to follow their thought process and check their thinking along each step. The difference between a good answer and a bad answer can usually be found in carefully examining each step in the construction of that answer. Usually, in a bad answer, one of the steps is wrong.

What I’ve just described to you is the most important thing I can teach you. I know most York students cannot do this.


About William Ashton

I'm an associate professor in the Behavioral Sciences Department and the Director of the York College Honors Program. I'm a social psychologist and currently my research project is in attribution theory, blame and sexual assault. I teach Social Psych, I/O Psych, Organizational Behavior and Research Methods.
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