Course Title:E-Prime®: Introduction to Programming Computerized Behavioral Tasks
Format:Online, not-for credit course
Time frame:4 weeks to complete roughly 14 to 15 hours of course work
Price:$300 (Volume discounts available for 4 or more registrations. Students and staff of Michigan State University may also be eligible for discounts. Details available upon request)
Course Syllabus:E-PrimeSyllabus.pdf

Computerized behavioral experiments are now commonplace in psychology. They are used to study everything from the most basic of cognitive and neural processes to the most complex of social interactions. Simply put, knowing how to design and program a computerized experiment is an essential skill in modern-day psychology. But, learning to program behavioral tasks can be daunting, whether you use E-Prime® or any other programming platform. The user manuals provided with the programming software make an indispensable start, but they are static and their scope may seem selective. Our experience is that even after reading the manual researchers are left wondering, "what next?"

This online video course, "E-Prime®: Introduction to Programming Computerized Behavioral Tasks," is designed to give students hands-on experience in making computerized experiments in E-Prime®. The course was designed by and is led by Instructor David McFarlane. For years David has applied his extensive experience with behavioral research labs, computer technology, and electronic systems to making E-Prime® work for researchers like you in hands-on workshops at Michigan State University. Now that course is packaged into an online video course that you can take right at your lab.

In this course, David takes students on a systematic step-by-step tour introducing the full range of core elements of E-Prime®. Through a series of guided exercises, you will see E-Prime® in action, and make your own working programs using text, images, sound, movies, and so on. The course even includes a lesson on using E-Prime® for fMRI and psychophysiology studies.

David presents not only the "what" and "how", but also the "why", the core principles and concepts, sometimes with useful analogies. But it is not enough to simply have a working knowledge of a set of tools, you need to know how best to put them to use in your work. So along the way David also gives advice on best practices and habits, and warns about "gotchas" that you may run across. David also gives pointers on where to go for further information and help.

Lessons include quizzes and simple yet effective assignments to ensure that you get practice in the skills presented. Although the course adopts E-Prime® as a platform for learning behavioral task programming, it is set in the broader context of behavioral research in general, and considers alternative programming platforms.

Learning to program behavioral tasks can be daunting, but you don't have to scale that peak without help. Hire a guide. Take "E-Prime®: Introduction to Programming Computerized Behavioral Tasks" and get the training you need to start your expedition.

The course is an approved Michigan State University Continuing Education Course. Successful completion of the course will result in the assignment of 1.5 CEUs (Continuing Education Units). This is an official record that provides evidence of completing the course. The official record is kept at Michigan State University's Office of the Registrar.

Required Materials & Additional Information:
  • This course requires you to use E-Prime® (preferably E-Prime® 2 Professional). E-Prime® must be purchased separately from Psychology Software Tools (
  • You may enroll in the course at any time. The course should take 10 to 15 hours. We recommend that you spread this out into sessions over several days. Once enrolled you will have access to the course materials for a period of four weeks in which to complete the course.
  • Our learning platform (D2L Brightspace) prefers the following web browsers more or less in this order: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer
  • The course videos should work with Adobe Flash and HTML5 players.
  • E-Prime® is a product of Psychology Software Tools (PST). Michigan State University is not affiliated with PST or any of its products.

  • Click on the "Register" button. This will take you to the MSU Noncredit Registration page for this course (Offering Code PSSC-N004).
  • Add the course to your Shopping Cart.
  • When ready, click on the "Check out" button.
  • You will need an MSU ID to continue registration. If you already have an ID (MSU NetID for MSU students, or MSU Community ID for others) then use that. Otherwise, use the Account Creation link to create a new registration account (linked to the e-mail address that you supply). Then login with your MSU ID and Password (you may need to then navigate back to your Shopping Cart by clicking on that link in the top menu).
  • You may then have to enter additional account information at this point.
  • The system will ask if you want an Individual or Group registration. Use Individual.
  • Next you will be asked for payment and billing information, and you may place your order.
  • Once you have completed registration, you may immediately access the course through the MSU D2L Brightspace system. To do that, go to and log in with your MSU ID. Once you have logged in, you will find the course listed in the "My Courses" area under "Non-Credit". Click on the course link to open the Course Home screen for the course, and follow the instructions from there.

The content of this online course has not been reviewed or approved by Psychology Software Tools, Inc., publishers of E-Prime®. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly those of the course authors. Any questions or comments regarding this course should be directed to the course authors.