By Wendy King and Jamison Miller

One of our most-adopted OER courses is Introduction to Psychology. Since introducing it in 2017, we’ve received excellent feedback about its interactivity, the richness of the content, and how well it engages students.

Now this great course is even better! We’ve added more of the pieces students and faculty love to see: interactive learning activities and applied examples.

Many Ways to Learn More

Read on for more information about the improvements. Here are other ways you can explore the new-and-improved course:

  • Attend a webinar: Intro to Psych – Latest & Greatest. On 3/20 at 3 pm ET we’re hosting a webinar to show-and-tell about the improvements and answer any questions. Register here.  
  • Visit Lumen’s public catalog. Use this link to view  complete course content.
  • Get Lumen’s Introduction to Psychology in your LMS. Complete this form or send a note to, and we’ll help you get everything set up. Once it’s in your LMS, you can go through your regular course setup process to customize materials for how you like to teach.   
  • Check out an overview of course updates in this Google Slides presentation.

What’s New? More “Psych in Real Life”

Acting on feedback from faculty members that they’d like to see more material to help students develop research-oriented, experimental thinking, we’ve added eight new “Psych in Real Life” activities. These features invite students to apply psychology concepts they are learning in the context of current field research. Students have the opportunity to test their understanding of experimental design, hypothesize about research results, and develop critical thinking skills as they reflect on what the research reveals.

Four new instructor assignments correspond with the “Psych in Real Life” activities, giving instructors the opportunity to further engage with students about what they’re learning.

Use these links to visit the new Psych in Real Life features:

Targeted Feedback for Way Better Assessments

We’re adding targeted feedback to every single question in the course, meaning that when students answer a self-check or a quiz question, they will receive feedback tailored to their response. If they answer a question correctly, targeted feedback will validate why their answer is correct. If they answer incorrectly, targeted feedback will explain their mistake and redirect their thinking towards a better path.

Learning science research tells us targeted feedback is one of the most effective tools we can offer students to strengthen learning, and we are thrilled to be able to add this important dimension to the course.

All multiple-choice questions are also getting an additional answer choice, resulting in assessments with four answer options for each question. These changes will automatically appear in the course in April 2019.

And There’s More: New Assignments

Can’t get enough of the new Introduction to Psychology course? Trying to figure out if it’s a good fit for you and your students? Here are more resources to help you evaluate the improvements:

  • Browse new assignments designed around Psych in Real Life features. You can customize each openly-licensed assignment. Use them as-is to assess individual work, or flip your classroom by adapting them to be collaborative group activities. (Hint: If you have trouble with the links below, use this form to request faculty resources access to see the following assignments.)

Assignment: Perception and Illusions: Students learn about Martin Doherty’s research article, “The context sensitivity of visual size perception varies across cultures,” then examine an illusion, hypothesizing whether or not it would show cultural effects.

Assignment: Thinking and Intelligence—The Paradox of Choice: Examine research by Sheena Iyengar about decision-making

Assignment: Personality—Blirtatiousness: Use the Blirtatiousness Psych in Real Life example to examine types of validity

Assignment: Growth Mindsets and the Control Condition: Take a deeper look at some of the experimentation used in Carol Dweck’s research about Growth Mindsets

Aiming for Continuous Improvement

Of all the great things to love about OER, probably our favorite is its flexibility, allowing us to make timely, targeted improvements to strengthen learning for everyone using our course materials.

If you’ve been teaching or evaluating Lumen’s Introduction to Psychology course and you have feedback to share, we’d love to hear from you: send a message to If you have materials you’d like to contribute for others to use with this OER course, please tell us about them using this form.

Request Any Lumen Course!

To review and adopt the new Introduction to Psychology or any other Lumen course, take these steps:

  1. Check out the course materials in our public catalog
  2. Use the “Try This Course” button on any course detail page to tell us which course(s) you’re interested in … OR send a note to to request a Lumen course.

To start teaching with Lumen course materials, you’ll need to take the easy step of importing a new cartridge into your LMS. After that, you can go through your regular course setup steps to customize the materials to fit your syllabus and how you teach your course.


Image Attribution: “Psychology Thoughts.” Provided by: Pixabay. Located at: Content Type: CC Licensed Content, Shared Previously. License: CC0: No Rights Reserved.