Training Materials Co-Created by University of Richmond Psychology Professor Influence Learning Worldwide

Online Resources Especially Beneficial for Teaching in Pandemic Environment
October 1, 2020

Cindy Bukach headshotUNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ Cindy Bukach, the MacEldin Trawick Endowed Professor of Psychology and an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience, is leading a team who recently launched a suite of training materials designed to help faculty across the world teach psychophysiology to undergraduate students.

Psychophysiology refers to the way the mind and body interact, and a key component to the field of study is electrophysiology, a direct measure of brain activity recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp.

“This method is challenging to teach to undergraduates in normal circumstances, and faces even greater challenges during the pandemic when data collection is not possible and many faculty have to teach remotely,” Bukach said. “The concepts underlying electrophysiology are complex. The math is a little more complicated; there’s some physics involved, and there have traditionally been limited materials available for undergrads with most resources being geared to grad students or faculty.”

Through the NSF-funded PURSUE project (Preparing Undergraduates for Research in STEM-related fields Using Electrophysiology), Bukach and her collaborators, Jane Couperus from Hampshire College now visiting at Mount Holyoke and Catherine Reed from Claremont-McKenna College, have launched their suite of open access materials on their website — — that includes introductory lecture modules, lab modules, datasets, animations, tutorial videos, interactive simulations, and other resources. 

Bukach and her team recently presented their work at a webinar hosted by the Society for Psychophysiological Research. The researchers have also received a Level 2 collaborative NSF grant for about $2 million to continue development of materials for a full-semester course using inclusive pedagogy strategies and to facilitate implementation by training instructors how to adapt these materials for their individual contexts.