Teaching undergraduate positive psychology: An active learning approach using student blogs

K. Robert Bridges, Richard J. Harnish, Deborah Sillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In just over ten years positive psychology has become a major subfield in psychology. This is reflected in the development of positive psychology courses at many universities and in over a thousand empirical articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Thus far, there is little published research suggesting ways to incorporate active learning techniques into these courses. This article describes the use of student blogs, employing a university blog platform, to teach several interventions in an undergraduate positive psychology course. The authors asked students enrolled in an introductory positive psychology course at a large university to complete three exercises, referred to as Three Good Things (recalling three good things that happened in the last 24 hours), Signature Strengths (using signature strengths in novel ways), and the Gratitude Letter (writing a letter of gratitude to someone who has been a positive influence in one's life), and record their experience in a blog. These exercises have been found to increase happiness and positive emotions. Students made a significantly higher evaluation of the course with blogs than of the same course without blogs. The authors describe how the techniques were assigned and scored, and examine the benefits and challenges of this method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology Learning and Teaching
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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