Missouri State University
Psychology Department Blog

Want students to do better in school? Don’t focus on grades

Studying in PSU

“Talk to your neighbor.” It’s a common phrase in Taylor Smith’s classes at Missouri State University.

As a graduate teaching assistant, Smith collaborates with multiple classes in the department of psychology. If you sit in on one of them, you won’t see the traditional lecture style of teaching you might expect. Instead, Smith’s classes are full of chatter and activity.

“I believe students should focus more on content than what they need to do to receive an A,” said Smith. “I want students to interact with the material.”

Taylor SmithMeaningful discussions

As a student, Smith noticed some of her peers struggled to absorb course content because it was not engaging enough. To combat this challenge, Smith works to build a safe and inviting atmosphere for class discussion and interaction.

“Small group activities give quieter students a chance to voice their own thoughts and insight,” said Smith. “Additionally, they allow students to work out their thoughts before they share them with the whole class.”

Smith’s style has paid off for both her students and herself. This year, she received the Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award from Missouri State’s Graduate College and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools.

“My approach pushes students to interact with their peers in a meaningful way by using examples from their own life,” said Smith. “Awarding participation credit to students when they contribute, instead of focusing on right or wrong responses, encourages deeper learning and understanding.”

For more information, contact Smith.

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Hill Hall Renovation

Please make note of the following information!

Hill Hall will begin a major renovation beginning on June 1, 2017. The Psychology Department will be relocating to the Glen Isle campus location, and will remain there through the end of the Summer 2018 term.

Almost all of the Psychology courses offered will be scheduled in the Glen Isle location – please be sure to check the location of your scheduled courses so you have ample time to commute (whether by personal vehicle or the Glen Isle Bear Line Shuttle service).

Hill Hall Renovation

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Psychology Club / Psi Chi / Advocates 4 Disabilities / NAMI on Campus Collection Drive

Psychology Club / Psi Chi / Advocates 4 Disabilities / NAMI on Campus Collection Drive (HILL 101, HILL 109, ALUM 502) thru Spring Semester 2017

Items needed:
Canned foods (easy open lids)
Canned/prepackaged fruit
Ramen noodles
Coffee creamer (non-liquid)
Coffee filters
Other nonperishable food items

*All food items should be easy to open, nonperishable, and easy to cook in a microwave.



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