Syllabus for PSY-101

INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Introduction to Psychology provides you with a broad, general introduction to psychology. You examine its basic subject matter, its approaches to gathering and evaluating evidence about the causes and correlates of behavior, and the ways psychological knowledge can be applied to improve the quality of individual and community life. Taking this course is important preparation for more advanced courses in psychology, which develop in greater depth topics you read about and discuss in this course.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Your goals and objectives in studying Introduction to Psychology include the following:

  1. Gaining comprehension of psychology. You will achieve it by demonstrating the ability to:
  1. describe major approaches to the study of the behavior of organisms.
  2. identify major problems in psychology.
  3. explain the origins of psychology and identify important contributors.
  4. describe basic terminology, important concepts, and significant research findings.
  5. evaluate the methodology of psychology, including its limitations.

  1. Developing scientific values and skills. The development of these values and skills includes your ability to:
  1. demonstrate intellectual curiosity about human and animal behavior.
  2. explain the scientific method.
  3. identify the operation of individual bias in experimentation, observation, and reporting what has been observed or measured.
  4. evaluate all generalizations on the basis of the evidence on which they claim to be based.

  1. Realizing personal development. Although the evidence might not be manifest for a long time, you should be able to:
  1. demonstrate understanding and tolerance of the behavior of other people, allowing greater acceptance of what is labeled different, deviant, abnormal, pathological, or crazy.
  2. recognize the forces acting on you to limit or prevent your freedom of choice, both those rooted in your past (such as guilt, traumatic memories, obligations, bad contracts, unrewarding experiences, punishment, low self-esteem, or shyness), those rooted in the present (including social pressures to conform, comply, obey, and do what others reward you for; personal pressure to be recognized, approved of, accepted, and loved), and those based in the future (such as unrealistic expectations, aspirations, concern for liabilities and responsibilities, desire for security, or fear of death).
  3. exercise your curiosity about explaining why people (including you) behave as they do.
  4. develop intelligent skepticism about accepting unwarranted claims—those made in the mass media as well as those made by credentialed authorities.
  5. recognize the psychology of and in everyday life.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following textbook to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

  1. Psychology and Life, 19th ed., by Philip G. Zimbardo and Richard J Gerrig (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2010).

ISBN-13: 978-0-20-541799-5

COURSE STRUCTURE

Introduction to Psychology is a three-credit course consisting of six (6) module. Modules include an learning objectives, study materials, and activities.  

At the end of each module you will complete a written assignment and send it to your mentor for correction and grading. The course also requires you to take a proctored online midterm examination and complete a final project. For details about the midterm examination, scroll down to Midterm Examination.

In addition to the six written assignments you will do for this course you are required to participate in three online discussions. For details about the online discussions at the end of the course, scroll down to Discussion Forums.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm exam, and complete a final project in the form of a paper. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to submitting six written assignments for this class, you are required to introduce yourself and participate in three (3) graded online class discussions.

Your first posting, "Introductions", will give you a chance to tell your mentor and classmates something about yourself and to find out who they are. You should post your introduction in the Introductions Forum and respond to at least two of your classmates' responses.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions. responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

 

Written Assignments

The six (6) written assignments in the course are built around associated modules. You will answer four questions for each assignment.

Each written assignment tests you on the material assigned in the appropriate module. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), citing text materials where appropriate and in an appropriate manner.

When satisfied that your activity represents your best work, submit it to your mentor using the method described in the next paragraph.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first activity, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your activity as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Midterm Examination

This course requires you to take a proctored online midterm examination.

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material in Modules 1, 2, and 3. It typically consists of multiple-choice questions, definition questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, and essay questions. If you have concerns about the format and/or content of the examination, please contact your mentor at least a week in advance of the scheduled test.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Consult the course Calendar for the timing of this exam.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

In addition to your written assignments and midterm examination you are required to submit a final project in the form of a paper where you will discuss how knowledge of psychology has affected you personally as a result of what you have learned in this class.

For details about this paper, see the Final Project section of the course Web site.


GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Written assignments (6)—35%
  2. Online discussions (3)—15%
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–3)—30%
  4. Final Project—20%

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized activity, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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