One Minute Paper

MODULE TITLE: Introduction to Applied Psychology

Introduction to Applied Psychology is a large general elective module taken by approximately 520 students each year. It is run in both semesters, with half of the students in each offering. The module was designed to encourage students to think critically about the strengths and limitations of research findings in psychology and other human sciences.

A key goal of this module is to increase student engagement in class. This is supported through a series of small group-based in-class tasks and regular discussion of topics in the large group settings. The one minute paper was chosen to challenge students to think about the core concepts and key principals of psychology with the support of their peers.

The students were given one minute to complete a paper on their understanding of the core features of research. Each student wrote their answers on a sheet of paper. At the end of the allotted time, the sheet of paper was then passed on to another student, who was asked to review and identify the most pertinent elements of their class-mate’s definition. This in turn generated a wider class discussion of what students had highlighted as key features.  

The students reacted positively to the one minute paper. It allowed them to reflect on their understanding of the nature of research as applicable to the core concepts of psychology. Peer review and inter-student debate of the papers removed any potentially stressful ‘test’ element of the exercise and led to more open discussion. The paper was not scored or graded and this encouraged more lateral and creative thinking amongst the students. It challenged and was successful in encouraging students to engage with the concepts of research themselves and to engage with the large group in discussing these issues.