Redesigning and Enhancing the ‘Jigsaw Classroom’ Website

This project was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due October 1 and March 1.

The “jigsaw classroom” is a cooperative learning technique that reduces racial conflict in the classroom and improves learning outcomes. Since the technique was first developed by APS William James Fellow Elliot Aronson in the 1970s, thousands of schools have used the technique, and in 2000 the Social Psychology Network created the Jigsaw Classroom website as a way to publicize and disseminate resources that support effective teaching practices both within and beyond psychology. In April 2014, APS Fellow Scott Plous (Wesleyan University) received a grant from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science to make the website more accessible and operable with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

After several months of work on the project, Plous reports that the site redesign was fully completed ahead of schedule and that the end result is even better than he had hoped. The Social Psychology Network (SPN) development team worked closely with a professional web designer. The project has made the website more contemporary, “mobile friendly,” and accessible to visually impaired people who rely on screen-reading technology (including Professor Aronson, who is very enthusiastic about the new design).

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