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Go at your own pace
7 Sessions / 3 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Psychology, Emotions, Human Behavior, Brain, Mental Health, Sensation & Perception
Starts Oct 28, 2021

Introduction to Psychology Part 1

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Enrollment for this course has closed. But you can enroll in a future offering (please select)

Enrollment has closed

Go at your own pace
7 Sessions / 3 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Psychology, Emotions, Human Behavior, Brain, Mental Health, Sensation & Perception
Course Description

In this course, you will learn about the foundations of human behavior. Part 1 covers the fundamentals, including contributions of the brain, sensation and perception, emotions and development. Part 2 covers learning, mental health, memory, our social world and more. As you engage in the study of how people behave, think and feel, you will use digital tools in projects to investigate and communicate your learning.

This course is an instance of creative education. Psychology courses typically use lectures and tutorials to focus on key concepts, the history of psychology and the scientific methods used in psychological research. This course takes a different approach. It harnesses the creative and collaborative power of project-based learning using a series of digital projects which are scaffolded to create a coherent understanding of this important field of study. Each project is set up using Digital Intro to explain and frame the work students undertake alone or in small groups.

All of you will be bringing different backgrounds, skills, abilities, cultures, and perspectives. We want to fully embrace this vast resource to maximize growth and learning for each of us. Our collective wisdom will spark all sorts of beautiful and transformative experiences in ways we cannot even see coming!


Lessons will be delivered through a series of video presentations aimed at teaching you about the field of psychology and preparing you conceptually for approaching a series of digital projects.

Projects will allow you to engage with the course concepts in ways that offer deeper learning. You will have opportunities to investigate for insight, design for change, advocate for influence, teach to learn, and make learning stick.

Our approach to mastery learning will support you in moving forward at your own pace based on your command of psychology content and completion of projects that allow you to communicate your understanding and insights.

Class sessions will include team collaboration and instructor and mentor support aimed at helping you make consistent and meaningful progress.

Each week, you will give and receive feedback, help, and encouragement.

By building a portfolio, you will have the opportunity to showcase your work and learning.

Opportunities for reflection are also woven into the course giving you the chance to give your learning meaning and value.

Digital Intro

The Digital Intro initiative is transforming introductory courses into active, project-based experiences. Our projects expose students to a wide range of digital skills as they learn traditional disciplinary content. Within our digital “Introduction to Psychology” course, students explore concepts and content in the field of psychology through video storytelling, programming, data visualization, web development, design and more. This novel curriculum solidifies new content knowledge, exposes students to modern digital tools and provides the opportunity to create tangible learning artefacts.


Special thanks to:

  • Hero Hendrick-Baker, Smith College (class of '22), the presenter in the project videos
  • Harrison Tan, Wesleyan University (class of '21), the narrator in the videos.

Cover Art from University of Michigan Health Lab published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.


This course is in adaptive mode and starts Oct 28, 2021. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: First Day
2 lessons
1. Birth of Psychology
2. Project: Elevator Pitch
Session 2: The Brain and Behavior
The role of the brain plays in behavior
2 lessons
1. Lesson: The Brain and Behavior
2. Project: The Brain through Visual Mnemonics
Session 3: Sensation and Perception: Vision
Sensation and perception in the context of vision
2 lessons
1. Lesson: Sensation and Perception
2. Project: Stock Footage
Session 4: Sensation and Perception: Sound
Sensation and perception in the context of sound
1 lessons
1. Project: Narrator Voice Preference
Session 5: Emotion: Perception
How emotions are perceived
2 lessons
1. Lesson: Emotion
2. Project: Exploratory Data Analysis
Session 6: Emotion: Experiences
Our experience of emotions
Session 7: Development
Physical, cognitive, social, and moral development
2 lessons
1. Lesson: Development
2. Project: Development through Childhood Stories
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Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors And Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

Technology Notes

Lessons and project instruction videos are available each week on the learning management platform. We recommend viewing the videos in full screen to get the best experience. 

You will also need a computer, access to the internet, and sound, graphic and video editing software.

Video uploads are limited to 250 MB can be difficult sometimes. Here is a free video compressor that might be useful. https://www.freeconvert.com/video-compressor/download

Additional Information

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets designed for teaching and learning. They are open to everyone and can be used, revised, re-mixed, improved and redistributed freely. A commitment to OER creates expanded access to learning and has the potential to contribute to greater equity and inclusion. We are 100% committed to OER both in the content we provide to students and in the contributions that this community will make to expanding OER. By enrolling in this course, you consent to your work becoming an OER. This includes media with your likeness, image, and/or voice as well as the projects, images, video, and audio recordings that you create for the class. We expect that the OER archives that we will generate will serve as an important resource for future learners.

Please note that if you include one or more people from outside of the course in any of your video or audio projects, ideally, you should do so in a way that they are not individually recognizable (e.g. from a distance, legs only, etc.). If people are recognizable, the video or audio must come from a public space where there is no expectation of privacy. If you interview someone, let them know you are working on a class project that will become an open educational resource, freely available on-line. Provide them with the opportunity to decline participation.