Office HoursPeopleSpiegeloog 400: Psychology & Writing

Office Hours: Sharon Klinkenberg

By January 13, 2020 March 13th, 2020 No Comments

Sharon Klinkenberg is a senior lecturer at the UvA, in the Psychological Methods department. He is one of the lecturers for the course on scientific and statistical reasoning. His research focuses on ways to utilise computer gaming and digital platforms for teaching. He is probably best known for his hand in the creation of Math garden – an online platform for children to practice their mathematics skills.

Sharon Klinkenberg is a senior lecturer at the UvA, in the Psychological Methods department. He is one of the lecturers for the course on scientific and statistical reasoning. His research focuses on ways to utilise computer gaming and digital platforms for teaching. He is probably best known for his hand in the creation of Math garden – an online platform for children to practice their mathematics skills.

                                                                                                     R2D2

‘I love Lego and my son loves it too, which is why it’s nice that we built this R2D2 together. The beautiful thing with Lego is that you can use basic building blocks to create anything. I have had this figure for years and I took it all the way to work, luckily it managed to survive the trip. I have always been fascinated by R2D2 as it roams the galaxy but is unable to speak. It just bleeps. Compare this to your smartphone: you can speak to it and it will respond. So, it is a fascinating concept, to create a robot in a movie that has a personality but doesn’t speak. I challenge the readers to look up the reason why R2D2 doesn’t speak English or any language (and to watch Star Wars if you’ve yet to see it).’

SURF Educational Award

‘This is the Dutch education award trophy that I won last year and I’m quite proud of it. The nomination was mostly for the second-year course, Scientific and Statistical Reasoning (SSR), because the course is not just about the lectures. It’s about integrating teaching with the weekly assignments. Thinking about didactics for your digital assignment and how it can be integrated into the learning goals is not something that is done very often in courses. In addition, we use the online data to identify students lagging behind and try to remediate them during the course instead of having them drop out. This award is meaningful because it serves as an acknowledgement of our teaching method, which helps to raise awareness about a technique that works. SSR is not a simple course, especially for Psychology students, and yet we manage to get pass marks for about seventy to eighty percent of the students.’

                                                                                                     Darth Vader duck

‘I always had a simple duck on my table, but a colleague gave me the Darth Vader duck. In general, the rubber ducky has a story behind it. The duck is used as a method for programmers to find bugs in their code. So, if you write a program and it doesn’t work, the method is, you tell the duck, line by line, what’s going on in your code and at one point you realise “oh, of course, this part is wrong.” The idea is, if you try to explain what you’re doing to someone else, it gives you insights into your own work. I think it’s a good analogy for your entire life – that you should talk more to inanimate objects and try to figure out the meaning for yourself. I program, so it’s a reminder that when you get stuck, try to explain it to yourself line by line and eventually you’ll figure it out.’

R2D2

‘I love Lego and my son loves it too, which is why it’s nice that we built this R2D2 together. The beautiful thing with Lego is that you can use basic building blocks to create anything. I have had this figure for years and I took it all the way to work, luckily it managed to survive the trip. I have always been fascinated by R2D2 as it roams the galaxy but is unable to speak. It just bleeps. Compare this to your smartphone: you can speak to it and it will respond. So, it is a fascinating concept, to create a robot in a movie that has a personality but doesn’t speak. I challenge the readers to look up the reason why R2D2 doesn’t speak English or any language (and to watch Star Wars if you’ve yet to see it).’

SURF Educational Award

‘This is the Dutch education award trophy that I won last year and I’m quite proud of it. The nomination was mostly for the second-year course, Scientific and Statistical Reasoning (SSR), because the course is not just about the lectures. It’s about integrating teaching with the weekly assignments. Thinking about didactics for your digital assignment and how it can be integrated into the learning goals is not something that is done very often in courses. In addition, we use the online data to identify students lagging behind and try to remediate them during the course instead of having them drop out. This award is meaningful because it serves as an acknowledgement of our teaching method, which helps to raise awareness about a technique that works. SSR is not a simple course, especially for Psychology students, and yet we manage to get pass marks for about seventy to eighty percent of the students.’

Darth Vader duck

‘I always had a simple duck on my table, but a colleague gave me the Darth Vader duck. In general, the rubber ducky has a story behind it. The duck is used as a method for programmers to find bugs in their code. So, if you write a program and it doesn’t work, the method is, you tell the duck, line by line, what’s going on in your code and at one point you realise “oh, of course, this part is wrong.” The idea is, if you try to explain what you’re doing to someone else, it gives you insights into your own work. I think it’s a good analogy for your entire life – that you should talk more to inanimate objects and try to figure out the meaning for yourself. I program, so it’s a reminder that when you get stuck, try to explain it to yourself line by line and eventually you’ll figure it out.’

Lydia Tian

Author Lydia Tian

Lydia Tian (1998) is a second-year psychology student, aspiring to become a clinical developmental psychologist. She enjoys a variety of activities such as writing, music-making and gaming.

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