Psych 131: Academic Learning Skills

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The Psychology 131 course is designed to facilitate students' development of academic skills, behaviors, and attitudes. Content in this course helps students immediately, but also prepares students for academic success throughout their college career. Psych 131 is a one-credit seminar. Psych 131 uses "blended learning" strategies along with online references and activities managed through Canvas.  Other course features include:

  • Curriculum grounded in the science of learning.
  • Emphasis on team-based learning during in-class activities.
  • Small class sizes with capacities up to 30 students.

Four domains form the learning outcomes for Psych 131. Through active participation in this course and completion of required assignments, students will:

I. Goal Setting and Motivation

  1. Identify specific factors influencing personal motivation and success
  2. Articulate how to self-monitor learning and how to adjust study behaviors accordingly
  3. Learn strategies for creating short-term and long-term goals

II. Time Management and Planning

  1. Identify specific details of how time is currently spent
  2. Articulate priorities impacting use of time
  3. Learn specific time management strategies to achieve goals

III. Learning Strategies and Individual Differences

  1. Identify and understand learning preferences and strategies
  2. Articulate how personal preferences affect others when learning individually or in groups
  3. Develop strategies for academic success, including: thinking, note taking, testing, and reading

IV. Team-Based, Peer Group Interaction

  1. Identify appropriate/inappropriate ways of interacting with peer students in group or team-based, in-class interactions
  2. Articulate the value of working in groups and increase value of working with students who have diverse backgrounds and experiences
  3. Demonstrate the ability to balance multiple perspectives when working with others

Outcomes for specific course activities and assignments are determined by each instructor.

Why should students take Psych 131?

There are many reasons to take Psych 131 (better grades, confidence, improved study skills, etc) but listen to your peers. This is a sampling of what students said about Psych 131:

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Questions about Psych 131? 


I have learned a lot throughout this course and am so glad I have taken it. I am going to keep my book as a reference for the rest of my college career.

Students studying

Psychology 131 holds all the tools that a student may need during college to help them be successful. Personally, I have already found most of the material covered in this class to be useful in my studies during my second semester at Iowa State.

I loved going to class. The small class size and the atmosphere was always something I looked forward to. This is why I didn't miss a single class this entire semester!

Study group

To be honest, when I signed up for Psychology 131, I wasn't really sure as to what it would entail. I figured that I would be learning about stuff I basically already knew. I was completely thrown for a loop--I learned a lot of valuable information from this course that I would have never known otherwise.