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Free course in psychological first aid: Assignment suggestion

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Johns Hopkins University is offering a free online course through Coursera titled Psychological First Aid. They estimate that the course takes six hours to finish.

Course description:

Learn to provide psychological first aid to people in an emergency by employing the RAPID model: Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition.

Utilizing the RAPID model (Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition), this specialized course provides perspectives on injuries and trauma that are beyond those physical in nature. The RAPID model is readily applicable to public health settings, the workplace, the military, faith-based organizations, mass disaster venues, and even the demands of more commonplace critical events, e.g., dealing with the psychological aftermath of accidents, robberies, suicide, homicide, or community violence. In addition, the RAPID model has been found effective in promoting personal and community resilience.

Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate. If you choose to offer this course for extra credit or as part of a slate of required assignments students can select from, students can submit the certificate as proof of completion. If you’d like to expand this into a larger assignment, ask students to reflect on the three most important things they learned: “What were the three most important things you learned from this psychological first aid course? Why was each important?”

Alternatively, if you don’t want students to necessarily complete the course, you can ask students to share an experience from their own life, an experience from a friend or family member’s life, or even an experience from a TV show or movie where having someone present who was knowledgeable about psychological first aid would have been beneficial and why.

About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology in community colleges since 1992, and has been at Highline College in the Seattle area since 2001. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award . She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed.