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Introduction to Psychology now available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s innovative OCW Scholar format

Course is the sixth of seven courses MIT OCW will publish this year specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.
Professor John Gabrieli's neuroscience lab uses tools such as this fMRI scanner to study how the brain makes the mind.
Professor John Gabrieli's neuroscience lab uses tools such as this fMRI scanner to study how the brain makes the mind.
Photo courtesy of Kent Dayton

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) has released a new version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. This course presents a scientific overview of how the mind works, and applies that knowledge to contemporary debates around topics such as nature versus nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, the self and society.

“I hope site visitors come away with an appreciation of just how amazing people are,” says John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, who developed the course. “I hope the course makes you think about yourself and your friends in a different way than you ever did before.”

Gabrieli, a renowned expert in the field of learning and memory and a principal investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, has used brain-imaging technology combined with behavioral testing to map abstract concepts such as memory, thought and emotion to specific regions of the brain. Gabrieli’s research has significantly advanced our understanding of how learning and memory are organized in the mind. Some of his most recent research has provided insights into key aspects of autism, dyslexia and visual memory. Gabrieli has also received numerous awards for his teaching, including the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford University in 2001.

MIT’s original version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology from 2004 has received more than 650,000 visits. The new scholar version provides visitors to the OCW site with an even more robust learning experience.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. The Introduction to Psychology course provides a complete learning experience for independent learners, including lecture videos, reading assignments from a free online textbook and detailed notes from another book, interactive quizzes for each session, discussion content to elaborate key concepts, online resources for further study, review questions and exams with solution keys.

The first five of a planned 15 OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year. The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Seven OCW Scholar courses were published in 2012. Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Principles of Microeconomics, and Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were published earlier this year. Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Psychology, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming were published this past month. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

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