Psychology Department

Psychology Home

Learning Outside the Classroom (LOC)

In addition to their regular coursework, students enrolled in PSY 101 (Introductory Psychology) have "Learning Outside the Classroom" (LOC) requirements which involve research (LOC-R) and attending a psychologically relevant presentation on campus (LOC-P).

Beginning Fall 2010, most other psychology students now have an LOC-R requirement in each of their classes. Read the below for more details.

LOC-Research (LOC-R)

What is the requirement?

Research is the foundation of the information you learn in class and being an active participant in this arena allows you to better understand the field of psychology. Therefore, the Psychology Department has adopted a policy for its courses that requires students to interact with psychological research inside and outside of the classroom. You may satisfy the research requirement for this course in one of two ways:

(a) Give back to the research community by signing up to participate in studies being conducted by psychology peers and faculty members. Note, your actual participation - even after you show up for a study - is voluntary. 


(b) Students who do not wish to participate in studies or are unable to find studies with sign-up times that match their schedules, may complete an alternative research assignment (click here for details).

If you choose to participate in research studies, the number required varies by course. This table provides a summary:

 Course # of studies required   Notes
PSY 101 4 Intro students must also fill out the LOC-R Assignment Form for each study they do.
PSY 103 3  
PSY 104 3  
All other PSY courses 2 Two studies per class. Excludes 270, 960, 970 and the Advanced Labs
Advanced Lab 2 Adv Lab students will participate in studies conducted by PSY 104 students. PSY 104 students will recruit by bringing sign-up sheets to your classes instead of posting to the LOC board.

DEPARTMENTAL DUE DATE for all LOC-R credits:  2 weeks before the last day of classes.

Where and when do I sign up?

You can find studies which qualify for this requirement by looking on the Research Board just outside the Psychology Department Office (Moyer 227). Sign-up sheets are posted throughout the semester, but most studies are posted beginning mid-semester and ending about 3 weeks before the last day of classes.

How do I get credit for my participation?

You will provide evidence of your participation via the researcher's stamp on your Research Card. Your instructor will provide you with a card on the first day of classes, or you may pick one up in the Psychology Department Office (Moyer 227). Researchers will only stamp cards that have the participant's name, written in ink. Please bring your college ID to every study. For on-line studies, you will need to enter your name and e-mail address in the designated "LOC-Credit" area at the conclusion of the on-line study. If you are enrolled in multiple psychology classes, please note that a single study can only count toward the research requirement for one class. You should turn in your card to your instructor by the due date which is 2 weeks before the last day of classes.

PSY 101 students: PSY 101 students must also complete the LOC-R Assignment Form posted on the Psychology Department web page. This assignment will help beginning students reflect on the study and understand its place within the larger context of psychological research. Complete one assignment form for each study. We recommend that you complete the form immediately after the study is over in order to answer the questions while the study is fresh in your mind. PSY 101 students will not receive credit for a completed study without completing this assignment.

What if I lose my Research Card?

Students are responsible for keeping track of their Research Cards.  If lost, you can obtain a new card from the Psychology Office (Moyer 227; college ID will be required). You should then either contact the researchers of completed studies and have the new card stamped, or participate in new studies. If you cannot contact the researchers for the previously completed studies, or cannot remember or find out who the researchers were, you must sign-up for new studies or do the alternative assignment.

What is the alternative to signing-up for studies?

Students who do not wish to sign-up for studies, or who are unable to find studies with sign-up times that match their schedules, may complete an alternative LOC-Research assignment.

For PSY 101 students, the alternative assignment involves reading articles about famous psychological studies, and producing 2 page (typed, double-spaced) summaries and critical reflections on the studies. The articles you can choose from are in a book called 40 Studies that Changed Psychology. This book is on permanent reserve in Trexler Library, listed for the Psychology Department and/or Introductory Psychology - all sections. You will receive one research credit for each article summary. If your professor is using the 40 Studies reader as part of your course, then you must choose articles that are not already assigned to you.

Students in all other psychology classes should check with their instructor for information about the alternative LOC-R assignment.

LOC -Presentation Requirement for PSY 101 Students

Psychology Day features presentations by Research Methods, Advanced Lab, Independent Study and Internship students. The results of many of the studies that PSY 101 students participated in during the semester will be reported during Psychology Day. For the LOC-P requirement, PSY 101 students need to attend the keynote speaker presentation, at least two of the poster presentations (held during Common Hour) and at least two of the paper (oral) presentations. Psychology Day is held on the Tuesday of the final week of the semester, and typically begins with the posters during Common Hour, and the keynote speaker and paper presentations starting about 5:00pm and ending about 7:00pm.

To get credit for this requirement, you should fill out one LOC-P form for each of 2 poster presentations, and 2 talks. You should look over the forms before Psychology Day so you are prepared to gather the appropriate information.

If you have a schedule conflict and are unable to attend Psychology Day, you must discuss the conflict with your instructor at the beginning of the semester. Your instructor will provide you with an alternative assignment. If you miss the event without an approved excuse, you will not be given an alternative assignment and will not receive LOC-P credit.