Student Attitudes and Achievement After Enhancing the Experiential Component of an Undergraduate Developmental Psychology Course

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In two studies, I examined student responses to an increased emphasis on exiperiential actvites in a required underaduate developmental psychology course. For four experiential sections (n = 143), each class topic was related to a specific, real-world application. Four other sections (n = 187) were taught primarily by lecture, with one out-of-class observation assignment. The experiential sections rated the value of and interest in the subject matter higher and the courtesy and consideration of the instructor significantly more positively than did the lecture sections. Students in the two types of sections did not differ significantly in achievement. A follow-up study identified the origin of change in attitudes toward the course.