UT psychology professor Michael Domjan plays viola on YouTube

Global Virtual Exchange Professor Elevates YouTube with International Education

  • Jul 21, 2023

University of Texas at Austin psychology professor Michael Domjan has embarked on a mission to make psychology concepts more accessible and engaging for students. Thanks to grants from the Texas Global Virtual Exchange (GVE) program, he has launched a successful YouTube channel that does just that. 

GVE supports faculty at UT Austin and partnering institutions to co-create Collaborative Online International Learning courses for undergraduate and graduate students with peers at universities around the world. These courses help students gain global perspectives, deepening their understanding of the subject matter while accessing project-based learning.  

Domjan, who has taught conditioning and learning courses at UT Austin since 1973, received two GVE grants to aid his educational efforts. The first supported a collaboration with the University of Ankara in Turkey. The second grant facilitated a partnership with the National University of Colombia in Bogota. 

The grants were originally intended to cover travel expenses to the partner institutions, but the COVID-19 pandemic rendered travel unsafe. In response, the UT Austin Liberal Arts Information Technology Services stepped in to support faculty members, encouraging them to instead develop instructional videos for their students.   

Leveraging this assistance and the unused funds from Texas Global, Domjan created a YouTube channel called “Learning and Behavior: Key Concepts.” On it, he shares 10- to 20-minute videos covering material that closely aligns with the topics in his textbooks, from habituation to emotional regulation and Pavlovian conditioning. 

“My goal was to stimulate interest in each topic rather than providing a comprehensive description,” Domjan explained in the introductory video on his channel. He added that the videos are designed so that students and instructors may select the subjects most relevant to their interests. 

Domjan also teaches a course on music and psychology, often illustrating his lectures with performances on a Tertis viola. And his efforts seem to have struck a chord with the online community, as the channel has gained more than 1,800 subscribers and 63,873 views since July 2020. More than 16,000 of the viewers live in the United States, while those remaining come from 29 other countries, including Colombia, Germany, Mexico and Canada.  

View Domjan in action on his YouTube channel, Learning and Behavior: Key Concepts