The simplest way to describe The Noba Project is that it’s a collection of free Introductory Psychology (Psychology 101) modules designed to fulfil, in the words of its creators, three main aims:
1. To reduce the financial burden on students by providing access to free educational content.
2. To provide instructors with a platform to customize educational content to better suit their curriculum.
3. To present free, high-quality material written by a collection of experts and authorities in the field of psychology.
Each module is designed as a series of standalone texts covering a particular area of psychology (Science, Development, Personality and so forth), each containing a number of different chapters. Psychology as Science, for example, covers, among many other things:
• Why Science?
• Conducting Psychology in the Real World.
• Research Design.
• Statistical Thinking.
Taken together, however, the modules are designed to replicate a complete Introductory Psychology course textbook, albeit one aimed at American undergraduates (Psychology 101). The level of these courses, however, is not dissimilar to the level found in A-level Psychology (particularly at A2).
Aside from being both free and freely-available online, however, one really interesting feature of the site is that teachers are encouraged to take and customise the chapters in any way they want. This has obvious advantages for A-level teachers who may want to customise the basic text to meet the requirements of their own particular Specification and students. In this respect teachers may:
• Copy the text
• Paste it into Word or a favourite Desktop Publisher
• Remove unneeded text.
• Add their own text, pictures, illustrations.
• Distribute personalised chapters to their students…
This customisation aspect could prove a real boon to teachers who like to produce their own resources tailored to the requirements of their own teaching methods and students. While the Noba text serves as a time-saving basic template, all kinds of other information can be added to personalise the look, feel and content.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this – or you like your students to have a physical textbook in their sweaty little hands – there’s an option to buy printed versions of the chapters or, indeed, the complete textbook. While this can get a little expensive – particularly if you’re ordering copies from outside the USA – one interesting feature is that you can customise the printed textbook by only including the chapters you teach and excluding those you don’t.
Overall, however, you decide to use the chapters available this is a potentially useful resource, either as a customised textbook or as a supplementary resource for your main psychology textbook.