posted September 16, 1997

Profs Help Develop Web Site

Hope College psychologists Thomas Ludwig and David Myers are among the psychology educators and scholars instrumental in developing "The Psychology Place," a new subscription Web service launched by Peregrine Publishers earlier this month.

The site is designed as an on-line educational resource, and the third developed by Peregrine, which also offers "The Biology Place" and "The Chemistry Place." The site is located at www.psychplace.com, and is free to all visitors through Sunday, Nov. 30. During its first seven days of availability, the site handled nearly 25,000 page views from approximately 1,200 unique users.

"The Psychology Place" aims to provide resources to teachers and learning activities for students of introductory psychology worldwide. The Web site emphasizes inquiry-based learning, and is composed of original content, including research news updates, comprehensive teaching strategies, and investigative and collaborative learning activities that allow students around the world to compare their findings not only to each others' results, but often to the original research.

"Scientific American" is part-owner and partner in "The Psychology Place," and Ludwig is responsible for "The Scientific American Connection," a section within the site.

Myers is faculty coordinator for "The Psychology Place."

The faculty team that developed the site includes five authors of introductory psychology textbooks, including Myers; the current president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology; and various leaders in the development of new teaching media, including Ludwig.

Ludwig, a professor of psychology, has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1977. He has been active in adapting the computer and Internet for use in psychology education, and in 1990 won a national "Best Psychology Software" award in the EDUCOM/NCRIPTAL Higher Education Software Awards competition for his "PsychSim II: Interactive Graphic Simulation for Psychology."

Myers is the John Dirk Werkman Professor of Psychology at Hope, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1967. His introductory psychology text, "Psychology," is currently in its fifth edition. The several other books he has authored or co-authored include "Social Psychology," which is also in its fifth edition, and "The Pursuit of Happiness: Who is Happy--and Why."

Content on the site is developed for educators and students alike. Students will have access to all the resources on the service with the exception of special sections that are designed specifically for educators. Additionally, instructor's guides will accompany each learning activity.

Two features designed specifically with students in mind are "Psychology in Your Life" and "Thinking Critically." Via vignettes and short activities, "Psychology in Your Life" explores the world of psychology and its relevance to everyday life. Initial topics include Student Cheating, Road Rage and Internet Addiction. "Thinking Critically" is a monthly posting of activities meant to help students see how good critical thinking skills can and should be exercised every day of their lives.

"Guest Editorials" will feature prominent psychologists and authors, and members of "The Psychology Place" have the opportunity to participate in on-line discussions with such guests as well as with one another.

In addition to Ludwig and Myers, the psychology educators on the development team are: Mike Atkinson of the University of Western Ontario; Doug Bernstein of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Charlie Blair-Broeker of Cedar Falls High School in Iowa; Steve Davis ofEmporia State University; James Freeman of Denison University; Diane Halpern of California State University at San Bernardino; Karen Huffman of Palomar College; John Krantz of Hanover College; David Miller of the University of Connecticut; Nancy Felipe Russo of Arizona State University; Barbara Sarason of the University of Washington; Bill Southerly of Frostburg State University; and Noel Wescombe of Whitworth College.