PL3243 (Sem 2, AY2015/16)

By: Yunjie
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2015/16
PL3243

Lecturer: Prof Stuart Derbyshire

Lecturer Review: Prof demands students to have more thought than from just memorising and regurgitating the contents of the course. (for more on content, read the next section). His style is rather different from other lecturers, which are more fact-focused. He is knowledgeable in the area, especially in the area of Pain, and will question us beyond textbook content to make us think more.
I really liked the content and his style, but I was intimidated by the exams. I think he has a specific style of writing he prefers so it’s not easy to score even if you have all the facts.That is my hypothesis, so you can sign up for this mod and test it out for yourself ūüėČ
Good mod, definitely recommended! But it’s not easy.

Module Review: 
CONTENT WAS AMAZING, to me. We were taught about neural correlates of all our senses, from sight (which was around 40% of the course), to touch, to hear, to smell, to taste. I never enjoyed biology-related topics but this module was very interesting and insightful. It made me understand more about our senses and how we see the world. Even such a simple thing like vision involves so many different types of cells, processes, and interactions. TLDR: it was very interesting, and will be interesting for you if you like
understanding the “why”s and “how”s of our brains and
senses.
If you’ve heard of Prof Derbyshire before, you’ll know he is rather philosophical and can be demanding in challenging you to think, going beyond just understanding the facts of what has been taught. This isn’t a module where you can¬†slack and breeze through, but if you put in the effort, I think it will be a fulfilling and engaging one ūüôā
Mid-terms – 30% (short answers, and essays with choices)
Finals – 50% (short answers, and essays with choices)
Class part – 20%

PL3257 (Sem 2, AY2015/16)

By: Yunjie
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2015/16
PL3257 – Clinical Psychology

Lecturer: Dr Sharon & Dr Kenji

Lecturer Review: Lecture style is based on a lot of real life experiences and stories that they have from working in the industry, so everything was really insightful and up to date. I liked the practical aspect to the content that was taught, instead of just memorising facts. They didn’t really cover textbook content (they used their own lecture slides which didn’t overlap entirely with the textbook), so all textbook content was up to us to read –
was kind of dry because it’s all the technical parts. But this memorising facts part comes with almost every other psych module so it was still okay. Their stories from their occupation and the practical advice about clinical psychology (beyond the textbook) were really the highlight and most interesting parts of the module to me!
If you want an insight into the industry, this is a must take module. ūüôā The lecturers are also really friendly in answering questions.
Sharon is more gentle and has a very empathetic aura, while Kenji is more funny and sceptical in his opinions. Both together gives a balanced style to the whole module.

Module Review: 
CA paper – 25% (take-home essay)
Finals – 60% (MCQs, but not as easy as you think. If I remembered right it was 5 options, with options that combine previous options e.g. Option D: “A, B, C are correct”)
Class part – 15%

PL3234 (Sem 2, AY2016/17)

By: Hoo Xun Yi
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2016/17
PL3234

Lecturer: Dr Nina Powell

Lecturer Review: Nina was a clear speaking and accommodating lecturer. Although she can sometimes run through content quickly, she is especially clear in her delivery and often paces her lecture quite well. She adopted the flipped classroom approach this time around, complementing face-to-face lectures with online lectures beforehand. Her online lectures were good but unfortunately had no transcript, making it very difficult to revise without watching the lecture again.

Module Review: Content was very manageable. A lot of content had been cut down to the really important bits for the online lecture, while the face-to-face lecture helped to reinforce the points raised by the online lecture as well as provide other information. Despite the textbook being a supplementary reading, there was almost no need for it.
Examinations were pretty standard, some MCQs, and a 6-choose-5 short essay segment. Nothing too difficult and nothing out of the ordinary. The questions were almost all (if not all) fact-based.

PL3250 (Sem 1, AY2015/16)

By: Grace
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2015/16
PL3250 – Human Performance

Lecturer: Dr Maria Kozhevnikov

Lecturer Review: Maria was friendly and helpful to questions in class, and would clarify our doubts. Tutorials were also good as she encourages us to participate actively in class by asking questions to prompt group discussion and getting people to come to the board to answer the questions. She also goes through questions from the quizzes so we can understand the concepts that were tested. Maria goes through lectures really fast, sometimes 80 slides in one lecture and she just speeds through them. The content is rather simple since most are a repeat of cognitive psychology. New concepts beyond that taught during cognitive psychology was useful and interesting, but those that are just repeating cog psych content are quite boring.

Module Review: Content was interesting but most of the content from the
first half of the semester is content from Cognitive
Psychology (PL3233) so it wasn’t that engaging. The more
engaging topics were topics like human-computer interfaces,
history of virtual reality, models of attention, and navigation.
——-
Quiz 1 – 25% – Week 5 (whatever has been taught)
Quiz 2 – 25% – Week 11 (whatever has been taught and not
tested yet)
Finals – 40% – Everything learnt
Class participation – 10%
——-
The 2 quizzes (50% in total) were all MCQs and I felt that this was a lack of effort on the lecturer’s part in coming up with more comprehensive questions that can test our knowledge and understanding of the course. For Quiz 2, there were so many typos in the questions and some questions were poorly set because the phrasing was unclear, and the 4 options to choose from could all be right answers since the question was broad.
For the finals, 50% of the paper was a repeat of the finals paper from the previous year’s finals as well. It was good in a way for students because we could just copy off our prepared scripts (it was open book and we could bring in¬†anything) so those who tried the past year papers could score better than those who didn’t. The¬†final was still interesting and made me think beyond just the concepts taught in class, but also to project into the future trends and the applications of what we have learnt.
Overall, I think the module could be more rigorous and show more effort in teaching on the lecture’s part. The content could be really interesting if she elaborated more and taught more advanced level syllabus instead of repeating so much of what was taught in cog psych. I just took cog psych the previous sem so although it was a revision, it was less engaging.

 

PL3236 (Sem 2, AY2016/17)

By: Tan Shao An Daniel
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2016/17
PL3236

Lecturer: Dr Oliver Suendermann

Lecturer Review: New lecturer, so not very familiar with the Asian style of student behavior and wasn’t really able to get a good control over students. Still, he was very enthusiastic about the topic and so had a lot to say (although occasionally going overtime). Improved greatly over the course of the Semester and at the end was a pretty decent lecturer, although by then a lot of the students had drawn their impressions and made their decision to listen or not.

Module Review: 
Module overall was pretty okay. Very content heavy, very extensive and so very tiring to study for. Examination format was decently difficult, although there could be fewer questions. Content overall could have been managed and summarised better, especially in lectures, since tutorials were mainly for presentation sake.

PL3281C (Sem 1, AY2016/17)

By: Damien Chan
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2016/17
PL3281C

Lecturer: Dr Melvin Yap

Lecturer Review: Sharp and serious, but not scary or intimidating. Quite deadpan so you have to pay attention to hear any jokes. But Prof Yap cares a lot for students taking this module. In fact, he sets up a learning environment where you won’t be afraid to ask questions or clarify concepts, especially since the field is pretty esoteric; nothing in PL3233 or other cog mods will prepare you for it. Even friends who took PL3237 said the lab mod is a lot more technical. Also, Prof Yap is one of the biggest names in psycholing worldwide right now so you are in good hands.

Module Review: 
The research done in this lab mod is through lexical decision task. In case you haven’t done an LDT RP before, basically you just decide if a string of letters is a word or not and you
press the corresponding key. A simple paradigm when you’re a participant but a whole new world when you’re the researcher.
The first half of the mod will be tough. Because you’ll be required to do readings that introduce the basic processes in psycholing and that means 100 pages of theoretical
frameworks and another 50 pages of one specific part of reading processes (e.g. morphology, semantics, etc). Prof Yap will assign readings to different pairs/trios in the class to present, so if you get super lost while doing the reading (AND I GUARANTEE IT WILL HAPPEN if you’re new to psycholing) just try your best and ask the presenters/Prof
Yap any questions in that week. Of course the theory is very important when your group needs to plan your experiment and you need to know what are the variables and how to manipulate them.
After Week 5 all the readings will end and you will start on designing your experiment. The second half of the mod will be the actual doing (i.e. research proposal, doing up the EPrime, summoning and bribing friends to do your experiment, SPSS, report writing etc). In between, there’s¬†also a midterm that will test all the theoretical knowledge so if you think you can anyhow smoke and just rely on other
people’s presentations you are wrong.
Taking this mod will be good if you’ve thought about how that “I got a dig bick / You that read wrong” thread works, or if you’re interested in how words can prime thoughts and sounds / how thoughts and sounds can prime words. Also because this mod is heavy-duty at the beginning but gets lighter in the second half (the only major shag part will be
report writing), it’s a good balance to have with your other mods (which generally get heavier in the second half of the
sem).

PL3244 (Sem 1, AY2017/18)

By: Hoo Xun Yi
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2017/18
PL3244

Lecturer: DR Lee Li Neng

Lecturer Review: Probably one of the more down-to-earth and energetic professors around (maybe due to his youth), he tends to
engage the class with his fun personality and love of answering questions before raising some of his own. He often gets you to think more than what is required which makes his lecture not as stale and more relevant than just reading the textbook. And of course, he is known for making his slides funny through the use of outdated memes.

Module Review: 
The content was manageable, there was a textbook that was required but probably not needed for a pass if you make your own notes during lecture. The textbook does, however, have a lot more content than what he can cover during class but would be at best, semi-heavy in terms of workload (a few days should be enough to work through the entire textbook). Tutorials had fun content with pretty cool tutors but the structure of some of the tutorials made it very useless (at least one tutorial was a total top-down approach without any participation). Exams were open ended this time round instead of MCQ which made it more important to study evaluative content rather than minor details.

PL3244 (Sem 1, AY2016/17)

By: Damien Chan
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2016/17
PL3244

Lecturer: Prof Lee Lineng

Lecturer Review: Lineng is a lecturer who will immediately make you feel very comfortable. Prior to this sem he had been a tutor for years (I had him as my tutor for 1101 in 2014 and Intro to Clin in 2015) and he’s found what works well, so as a lecturer he instinctively knows how to deliver content and the best way to make it accessible. Personally I find him very engaging and super friendly, but I’ve also heard some people saying that he’s boring and tends to repeat much of the textbook / doesn’t elaborate a lot on his slides.
But here’s a protip to people taking any of Lineng’s mods in future: he’s *huge* on critical thinking and problem solving and has the philosophy that by now, having gone through the whole school system thingy for at least 12 years and having been studying psych for at least a year, content absorption shouldn’t be a huge issue. The content (outlined in the next section) is very easily digestible and is just a build-up of PL3234. That is why he focuses more on how you approach your studies in the psych major: How do you read articles? Where do you get articles from? How do you critically evaluate the things you’re learning? How do you present proposals and findings? Can you identify strengths and weaknesses of other people’s proposals and findings?¬†etcetcetc.
SO if you’re starting to find him boring and repetitive, don’t be content. Maximise the things you can learn from Lineng. After reading the textbook and listening to the lecture did you have any questions? Put them all in in that retrieval summary he makes you do. And you’ll find that he will¬†shape his teaching according to the quality of feedback (in terms of questions asked, for example) that is given.
Despite being a Lineng bias I do have a single complaint: he needs to update his memes.

Module Review: 
In this semester assessment consisted of a group project presentation, a midterm and finals. We had to choose between a research proposal (my group did fear of failure x creativity) and an application project proposal (something that can be implemented in real populations). Pretty standard stuff.
As far as content goes it’s similar to PL3234, except instead of babies it’s adolescents. Biological, cognitive,¬†socioemotional¬†and moral development; family, peers, schools and romance. Can one la not very difficult plus we were all adolescents at one point so very easily relatable.
Finals had MCQ and some short answer questions.
Textbook used as of 2017 is “Adolescence” by John Santrock, 16th e. There *are* PDFs of it floating around so um you know what to do la hor. You’ll have to read the whole book, so try to source for the textbook and get a headstart if you need to!

PL3232 (Sem 1, AY2017/18)

By: Tan Shao An Daniel
Module taken in Sem 1, AY2017/18
PL3232

Lecturer: Dr Camilo Libedinsky

Lecturer Review: One of the best uses of Flipped Classroom system I’ve seen; having interactive quizzes in class and e-lectures OTOT is a great format and is something that he does very well.

Module Review: 
Content is not particularly heavy and the examination isn’t very tough either, although it doesn’t really count for that much. Focus more on your class quizzes (actually study, because the questions aren’t easy) and also try to revise your study info on a weekly basis. There’s a lot of terms and you can get lost in the plethora.

PL3551 (Sem 2, AY2014/15)

By: Qiu
Module taken in Sem 2, AY2014/15
FASS Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP)

Supervisor: Dr Jia Lile

Characteristics of UROP:
– You need to look at available projects and ask if the professor will let you come on board the project.
– Project idea is conceptualised by the professor
– You need to conduct experiment and collect data
– Depending on the time left after data collection, you might or might not get to analyse the data
– You need to write a full length report (with expected results and analysis if you cannot finish the project) and some reflections
– The whole process begins when semester starts
*Does not count for some courses that require an independent study (like USP), because it is not considered to be independent enough

Module Review: All in all UROP is less independent than ISM/IRP, but it is a good option to consider if you want some experience conceptualizing and designing experiments, waiting for ethics body to approve, conducting experiments and collecting data.

My experience with UROP is that I thoroughly liked it. Not because it was smooth-sailing (nothing is lol) or easy to do. I liked it because I think the experience is really valuable. Also there is no lecture-tutorial system so it is quite flexible. It depends on how often your supervisor wants to meet up, and when your experiments are conducted. For me, I met my supervisor for about 1h every week, and towards the end of the semester my partner and I would go to the lab about 2-3h every week to conduct experiments. In addition, small things like going to the lab to conduct experiments and filling in forms for ethics body seems very minor but are actually things that are good to know. I think the biggest take away from this was I learnt how to use an experiment software called MediaLab.

Actually, I chose UROP because I thought it would be a great way to prepare for honors thesis. It was good to get a feel of some of the problems that can arise throughout the whole process of a project. You’ll learn that you need to start very early in order to get the ethics body’s approval, get used to participants’ bad attendance, and what to do when the computer dies on you and your files are inside. These are all valuable tips you might need when doing thesis. My advice is, if you want the full experience, you can try for ISM/IRP because you will have to go through the whole deal. However, if you think that is too taxing, then you can consider UROP where the hard part of thinking of project topic is already done for you, and that you might or might not need to analyse results. Of course, depending on your professor, you can choose to follow up with the professor to know how the results turned out to be, whether there are significant results or not. In some cases, the professor might encourage you to take ISM/IRP the next semester under him/her again, and improve on the project.