What is OpenPSYC?

OpenPSYC is a free online resource for students in Introduction to Psychology courses. Use the links on the right to learn more about the site, visit a course module or search by keyword.

The Truth About Learning

Before you get too far into this course, or into any course for that matter, we need to address a fundamental truth about learning.  To do that, let's first imagine that you have been selected for the chance to win $100,000 during the halftime break of a home basketball game that takes place in five weeks.  You will get one shot from half court - and with all those fans watching you can expect to feel a bit nervous in the moment.

Before you start thinking about how you will spend all that cash you need to actually make the shot.  So what is your plan?
A) Spend 30 minutes each day taking practice shots, starting out closer to the hoop and gradually making your way to half court. 
B) Wait until the night before the game, stay up all night shooting from half court and drink a bucket of coffee to wake yourself up.
Would you recommend that our athletic teams stop regular daily practices and just "cram" all night the day before an important game?  Of course not, because to get good at something you have to practice it regularly.  The same is true for learning -- you are training your brain to hold and use information.

To truly learn and perform well in a course you need to practice regularly the same way that you would practice a sport, a musical instrument, or anything else you want to be good at.  It's not about studying for many hours at a time, it's about studying smart.  Practice demonstrating your learning a little bit every day and you will have no problem making that shot on game day!