Factors Influencing Methods of Course Selection: Does Providing Course Information Influence Student Interest?
Henderson, Brandon M. L.
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The psychology curriculum has been reviewed by a number of professional bodies to develop curriculum models and goals/outcomes for psychology programs. The focus on psychology as a science based in the liberal arts has remained consistent. Students need to be prepared in a variety of skill areas, including research methods and statistics. The American Psychological Association (APA, 2007, 2013) as a guideline for research methods and statistics coursework has suggested early enrollment, within the first two years of study. However, students may be reluctant to enroll in research methods or statistics courses due to low personal interest. The current study examined student interest in psychology courses when presented with different types of course information. Participants included 102 (20 male and 82 female) undergraduate students at a midsized midwestern community college. No significant difference in course interest was found when examining mean response scores across the three course information conditions: course description only (condition 1), course title only (condition 2), and course title with description (condition 3). Future research should examine course and future enrollment interest for both community colleges and universities using catalog information from a variety of institutions.