About Me and This Blog

The Psychology Department is introducing the use of blogs to monitor how psychology majors are doing as they journey through the psychology major.  My blog, which you are currently reading, is an example of  how the blog will be used as an electronic portfolio of student academic activities and reflections.

Students are asked to review the major goals of the psychology major as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) – what it is that students should be getting out of the major- and to provide some examples of where they have achieved these goals.  The examples can be papers and assignments that they already completed.  Students can also write brief pieces (posts) about psychology-related topics relevant to the goals.  When a student uploads an assignment or writes a piece for their blog the student must chose 1 of the 9 goal categories (see the “categories” column on the right side) that the piece relates to. It is possible that a piece relates to more than one goal so more than one goal can be selected for a piece, but selecting multiple categories should not be overdone.  Generally it is best to select the most appropriate category.

The blogs can be made accessible for anyone to read or can be password protected.  How much a student puts into their blog is dependent on the student’s interest and passion for the psychology major and where they see themselves going after graduation.  The psychology department plans to look at the blogs to get a better idea of what the majors are experiencing and how well the department is providing the goals that have been recommended by the APA.  If you are a Psychology major your participation in this Blog/ePortfolio project is most greatly appreciated by the department, by the university, and, I am sure, by your fellow classmates.

Now a bit about me.

I am a full time faculty member of the Psychology Department at Seton Hall University.  I arrived at SHU in 1989  and have seen considerable changes take place in the psychology department over the years. When I am in the classroom I teach students at different ends of a  continuum. In my Introductory Psychology class I teach primarily freshman, most of whom are taking a psychology course for the first time.  In my graduate courses I teach master’s students who have thought a lot about psychology and are considering making it a profession and vocation. The graduate courses that I teach are “Behavioral Neuroscience” and  “Conditioning and Behavior”.  I consider myself a behavioral neuroscientist.  When I am in the lab I study learning and behavior in rats (of course it would be rats, with mazes too!).  In the last few years I have been collaborating with Dr. Sulie Chang of the Institute on NeuroImmune Pharmacology at SHU to study the behavior of HIV-1 transgenic rats.  These rats  are genetically engineered to have most of the HIV virus genes inserted into their own genome (We don’t do this, we buy them this way). What they don’t have are the genes that the virus needs to spread so these rats are not infectious. What HIV genes these rats do have is enough to have an impact on their brain  causing some learning deficits and changes in how they respond to drugs of abuse. Our goal is to learn more about how the virus affects the brain and behavior.  We  hope that what we learn can be applied to the treatment of  humans infected with the virus. We also hope to get a better understanding of how the immune system and the nervous system interact with each other to affect behavior.

Michael Vigorito, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Psychology, Seton Hall University

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The text below is what students see on this page when they enter their blog for the first time. 

This is the main portfolio page. After reading the rest of the content on this page you can edit the page to include information about yourself so readers know a little about you. The other pages (links listed under the page title) provide information about the B.A. and B.S. psychology major. You may keep the page that describes your major and delete the page that does not apply to you. You will identify the courses that you complete successfully in the major by highlighting the course title in red; Introductory Psychology is already highlighted for you. There is also a page for a resume. See that page for more information on creating a resume. You can create some additional personal pages if you like, but don’t overdo it.  Other pages also exist in this portfolio template and can be accessed by clicking on the links under Categories.  But before you do that continue reading to learn more about the categories that are listed.

How to Post and Edit Pages in Your WordPress ePortfolio Blog

For instructions on posting documents, reflections and other items see the post here http://blogs.shu.edu/vigorimi/category/wordpress-eportfolio-blog-instructions/

Posting Your Reflections & Assignments as Goal Categories.

The American Psychological Association (APA) identified 5 categories of goals and outcomes for the undergraduate psychology major. Goals are general statements about what students should experience and achieve while completing the psychology major. These APA student goals are listed in this portfolio on the right side of the page under Categories.

You will be posting some of your course assignments and reflections on your experiences in the major in this ePortfolio blog.  When you post an item you will choose the relevant category goal that your item addresses. Each category is actually a separate page. For example, each time a post is added to the “Knowledge Base” category the post is added to the “Knowledge Base” page.   In this way you will be building a record of how your experiences correspond to each of the 5 goals of the psychology major. Makes sense?  If not, don’t despair, it will all make sense as you read more and begin to work on your ePortfolio.

To summarize: any time that you post a reflection or document from a course you must choose a category from one of the 5 APA goals listed as categories. If you do not choose one of the 5 goals you will be asked to revise your ePortfolio until all uncategorized goals are identified as belonging to one of the 5 APA student goals.

To learn more about what a goal covers click on any of the goals in the categories list.  A post that lists specific outcomes has already been added to each of the category pages .  An outcome is a description of what students need to do to demonstrate that they achieved the goal.  For example, to demonstrate that you achieved a “Knowledge Base” goal you can post an assignment or reflection showing that you are able to  describe key psychological concepts and principles, which is the first student learning outcome listed for the “Knowledge Base”  goal.

If you are curious and would like to learn more about APA’s Student learning goals and outcomes you can find more detailed information here: http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/about/psymajor-guidelines.pdf