Psyc 201 Sample Syllabus
The following is a sample of what the syllabus looks like for my Introduction to Psychology course. Content in this sample is subject to change.
Thank you for taking my Introduction to Psychology course! In this course I provide a broad overview of the science of psychology by introducing psychology as the study of behavior and mental processes involving biological, psychological and social influences that provide the basis for human experience. It is my hope that you will be able to use this information to better understand and enhance the quality of your own life. Moreover, I hope that this information will engender more humane behavior by encouraging greater tolerance and understanding of individual and group differences.
I promise to do my best to make this course engaging! This course is an 6-week 3-unit course that is conducted completely online and asynchronous. There are NO face-to-face or scheduled Zoom meetings for this course. I look forward to having you in my class!
Is This Class For You?
There are a few things to consider before enrolling in my class. First, this course demands that you are self-motivated. It is your responsibility to keep on top of the reading assignments, to log-on to the course site frequently, to turn in the required work on time, to take the examinations during the time period specified (you will have a 48-hour window to take exams—more on this later), and to reach out to me if you are struggling in any way with the class.
Second, this course requires a large amount of reading and a significant time commitment–expect to spend at least 12 hours per week dedicated to this course. Much of the instruction in this course will be coming to you in written form, videos, links, and through the discussions. Only you can evaluate whether this type of course is for you, but I urge you to take this self-assessment to determine whether you have the learning style that is compatible with an online course. I am also here to support you in meeting the challenges of an online course so do not hesitate to discuss strategies with me early on that will help you succeed.
Your Professor: Katy Dittmer
Hi! There are many reasons you may need to contact me throughout the term, but in particular if you are struggling in any way with the material or need extensions on due dates, know that I want to help. I will do my best to answer all email received Monday through Friday within 24 hours, and any emails received on weekends first thing Monday morning, if not sooner.
Please reach out to me at email@example.com or email me directly through Canvas Mail (you can access this feature by clicking "Inbox" in the left-hand global navigation bar) or leave me a message on my office phone (Voice Mail: 805-592-9683)
Note: Federal law prevents me from having a discussion of your course grade via email.
Let's Meet Up!
Schedule a one-on-one Zoom session or email your questions to me firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to help you understand the class material better or talk to you in more detail about preparing for our class exams. This is also a great chance for us to get to know each other a little better.
Required Course Materials
Textbook: Grison, S. & Gazzaniga, M. S. (2022). Psychology In Your Life (4th Ed). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
You will also need access to InQuizitive, which houses many of the course assignments. The link to the eBook and InQuizitive can be found in the “Textbook” page of the “Welcome” module on Canvas.
You can purchase a copy of the eTextbook packaged with InQuizitive access for $39.95 through this link: https://ncia.wwnorton.com/ebookpsychlife4-psychlife4value Links to an external site.. After clicking the link, click on the "Purchase Options" button at the top-right side of the screen. Make sure you sign up using your Cuesta email address!
Note that you can opt to only purchase InQuizitive for $25 if you will be accessing the textbook elsewhere (physical copy). However, I highly recommend using the eTextbook for this course, as the InQuizitive assignments will link directly to relevant sections of the eTextbook if you are struggling.
If you do prefer a physical copy of the textbook, older editions are fine.
If you need financial help with access to the book or InQuizitive, reach out to me. I will be happy to help!
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Describe the basic concepts, theoretical perspectives and definitions of vocabulary necessary for the understanding of psychology,
Compare and contrast the different research methods utilized by psychologists in the analysis of behavior,
Apply the basic theoretical perspectives to the scientific analysis of their own and other’s behavior and personality, as well as psychological disorders and treatment methods, and
Analyze the role of cognitive, physiological, hereditary, social, multicultural, and emotional factors in determining the complexity and diversity of human behavior.
Course Assignments and Exams
In order to achieve the student learning outcomes you will be evaluated through the following assignments and exams:
Exams (150 pts): We will have 3 exams (each with 50 multiple-choice questions). The last one will take place during the final exam period, but will only cover the third section of the course (NOT a cumulative final). Questions on the exams will come 50% from the lecture material and 50% from the text. All exams will be taken online during a 3-day time frame—see the course calendar for dates. Once you open an exam, however, you will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. If you need extended time, please contact DSPS and have them send me your accommodations.
Textbook Reading (50% of exam content). Definitely use the Textbook Study Guides (posted on the Canvas Homepage) to guide your reading of the textbook. This is the only information from the text that you will be tested on. I recommend that you take reading notes (focusing on key terms, theories and concepts) using this document as your guide.
Lecture Videos (50% of exam content). Lecture videos are posted in Modules on Canvas. All information in the lecture material is fair game for exams.
InQuizitive Homework (60 pts): After you read a chapter in the textbook, it’s time to do InQuizitive. This is an adaptive online homework tool that you access through Canvas Modules, which will help you practice with the material and give you feedback so that you can learn it better.
You will complete an InQuizitive assignment for each of the 12 chapters listed on the study guides.
You MUST use the specific InQuizitive link in the modules on Canvas in order for your grade to transfer to Canvas.
You need to complete the activities until you reach the target number of points for that chapter. BUT InQuizitive saves your progress over days so please finish it over days. InQuizitive will also let you know when you have earned the full points. As long as you reach the point goal, you will earn 100% on that InQuizitive homework grade.
The research is clear: Students who get 100% on InQuizitive also get higher exam grades! So do the InQuizitive homework!
- When is InQuizitive homework due? All InQuizitive homework is due at the end of the week ( Sundays at 11:59 pm) for which they are posted. Late homework is accepted if it is submitted before the section it is in closes because the exam for that section has closed.
Discussions (50 pts): You will have discussions most weeks related to a prompt/series of questions regarding something from that week’s text/lecture material. (Discussions are linked in Modules on Canvas.) To earn full credit, you will be expected to write a minimum of two sentences in reaction to each discussion prompt/questions. You are not required to respond to your classmates’ posts unless it is specifically requested. However, you are certainly welcome to use discussions as an opportunity to connect with your classmates.
In your postings, do your best to 1) show thought and synthesis with text and lecture material and 2) thoroughly answer the prompt questions.
When are discussion posts due? All discussions close at the end of the week ( Sundays at 11:59 pm) for which they are posted. Late responses are accepted if they are submitted before the section it is in closes because the exam for that section has closed.
Will discussion material ever show up on an exam? Yes, my end-of-the-week response may show up as an answer to a question on the next exam.
Final Course Grades
Final grades will be based on points accumulated from the above assignments (260 points possible). You will be able to track your course grade on Canvas by clicking on Grades in the left-hand navigation panel. My grading scheme is: 89.5-100% = A; 89.4-87% = B+; 86.4-79.5 = B; 79.4-77% = C+; 76.4-69.5% = C; 69.4-67% = D+; 66.4- 59.5% = D; 59.4 or below = F
I want you to be successful in this course. Each week (or most weeks) you will have some combination of the following: reading, discussion boards, and practice quizzes to complete. You will struggle on the exams and the homework if you put off studying or completing the coursework. So do your best to stay on schedule and on top of your course reading. However, I do understand that life happens, so please reach out if you fall behind.
Specifically, my policy is to accept late work within a section module up until the exam closes for that section. But please communicate with me about the situation so we can find ways of alleviating the root of the issue and get you back on schedule.
This course has NO mandatory on-campus or Zoom meetings, however, I expect you to log in to the course on the first day of the class and to log in at least once a week thereafter. Students who fail to log in on the first day of the course risk being dropped from the course to make room for waitlisted students. If I do not hear from you and you miss an exam, you may be dropped as well. Please reach out!
Will you be dropped from the course?
I hope not! However, yes, students who fail to log in on the first day of the class or miss an exam (without contacting me) may be dropped. So please reach out if situations arise that prevent you from staying on top of these requirements. I will be flexible if you are accountable!
Please review the campus add/drop policy Links to an external site.
NOTE: If you drop this class after the census date (see course calendar) you will receive a “W” on your transcript. Find out how to drop a course Links to an external site. All courses in which you earn a grade of “D”, “F”, “NP” and/or “W” are counted as “unsatisfactory” attempts to successfully complete the course. You are only allowed 3 attempts to repeat courses for which you receive an “unsatisfactory” grade. A “W” on your transcript will count as an “unsatisfactory” attempt to successfully complete the course
Authenticating student identity will be conducted through the use of the Learning Management System, Canvas. Canvas requires each student to log into the program using a secure login and password to access.
Again, I want you to be successful in this class and therefore, to make up exams you miss. If you miss an exam, you should contact me immediately with a full explanation as to why the exam was missed and a request for a make-up. However, I withhold the right to refuse a make-up.
In this course, there is a “no tolerance” policy for cheating. If you are caught cheating, it will result in an “F” for the course. You will also be reported to a Judicial Officer. For more information, see the Student Code of Conduct Links to an external site. in the General College Catalog.
What do we mean by “cheating?”
- Sharing answers with another student to complete assignments or exams
- Submitting someone else files as your own
- Submitting either your assignments or another student’s files from a previous semester
- Helping someone or receiving help on an exam
- Getting someone else to take your exams
What happens if you cheat?
- Both you and the other students involved will receive an F on the assignment, exam, and/or for the entire course.
Regular and Effective Contact Policy
Regular and effective contact between the instructor and the students will be achieved by some of the following means: 1) Weekly online discussions with appropriate instructor participation; 2) Email, phone or messaging to individual students; 3) Weekly announcements to students; 4) Weekly constructive feedback on student work; 5) Instructor office hours will be available by individual appointment; and 6) Weekly Instructor prepared lectures.
For the interactive portion of the course, it is important that you respect your classmates’ comments even if you disagree with their opinions; challenge the idea and not the person. Furthermore, in your discussions, please voice your opinions, yet be sensitive of others’ differences (race/ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). Please be respectful of these differences and do not say things that could be hurtful to others.
Please note that email is the best way to get in contact with me (I do not check my voicemail often!). I will make every attempt to answer your emails within 24 hours. And to preserve my sanity, I expect all email correspondence to be include the following:
The CRN for the course you are in
Address the email to me so I know it is for me; and
Send a message with punctuation and enough detail for me to help you appropriately.
Students with special needs or a disability
Students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities who require academic support services must contact DSPS for authorization. Before receiving special accommodations, I need documentation of accommodations in the form of a Student Educational Contract (SEC) from the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) at Cuesta. Please have that authorization emailed to me as soon as possible to ensure that you receive accommodations.
Contact the DSPS office Links to an external site. (805) 546-3148 email@example.com
Present documentation of disability for review by a disabilities specialist
Discuss options for support through DSPS
Present a signed DSPS authorization for accommodation to your instructor
General Campus Policies
Follow this link for General Campus Policies Links to an external site.(including: Withdrawal, Repeatability, Student Code of Conduct).
For quick access to pretty much all student information and resources designed to to support you in achieving your education, career preparation and personal development, visit the Student Services Hub The HUB also includes information about Cuesta activities and opportunities to connect virtually with students.
Get information on virtual and in-person tutoring, check out these Tutoring Schedules Links to an external site.
Get information on free, confidential, educational, mental and physical health care services, visit theStudent Health Center Links to an external site.
Get information about Academic Success Coaches Links to an external site. who support students individually and in small groups to develop strategies to become strong, independent, resource-aware learners who are well-prepared for the rigors of college.
Students with a documented disability should get help arranging for accommodations to help them achieve their educational goals by contacting Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) Links to an external site.
- If you are having difficulty accessing Canvas or any other technical difficulties, visit the Having Technical Issues? page for guidance
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