Appendix F Setting Expectations at the First Class Meeting
AGENDA FOR FIRST CLASS MEETING--PSYCH 970
By Shelley Carson
During the first meeting, I try to set the tone for my expectations for the entire year. I want to get the
following points across:
Psychology is an incredibly interesting and worthy field of study.
Psych 970 is going to be a reading- and writing-intensive course, and I will expect a great deal
of effort from the students
If they are willing to make the effort, I will be there every step of the way to help them
through difficulties and to applaud them for their improvements and achievements
The Tutorial group is a team. We will all help each other.
My agenda usually looks like this:
Introduce myself and Basic intro to course (course goals)
Have students fill out Info sheet for me
· Name, email, phone, house
· why did they choose psychology as a concentration
· what courses in psych have they taken so far
· which was favorite and least favorite,
· what are their goals after graduation..(grad school,clinical work, etc,)
· what type of psych appeals to them...social, psychopathology, neuroscience, etc)
· what other courses are they taking this semester
· what are their outside activities
Go around the room and have students introduce themselves, telling about their interests out
side of psychology and their interests within psychology. Why are they psych concentrators?
What other courses are they taking this semester? I also let them know why I picked psycho-
logy and what my research interests are. (This introduction should take about 3-5 minutes per
student. Don't let anyone get away without saying something! Also, don't be judgmental about
their reasons for picking psych. Some students may have heard it was easy or they just didn't
know what else to choose. They should be congratulated for honesty if they actually tell you this)
Go over the syllabus, especially the assignments, thoroughly. How and where will they turn in
assignments? I have had my students turn in assignments via email attachments. This way they
don't need to make a special trip to WJH and neither do I! So I discuss how to complete attach-
Go over Levels of Analysis.
Discuss the difference between primary and secondary source readings and why primary
sources are important.
Discuss differences in what constitutes "evidence"in psychology versus evidence in the liber-
Have a good long question and answer period.
Sign study cards.
10 Save enough time to introduce your first Unit and the next week's readings. Describe them in
such a way that the students are eager to begin the readings. Be excited for your students!
They are about to embark on the most fascinating field of study in the world!
11 Remain available after class for individual questions
A TF's GUIDE TO TEACHING WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY