Syllabus for PSY-211
The study of the life span, the subject of Developmental Psychology intrigues us all. Each of us, and everyone we care about, is constantly developing. We see development in childhood more readily because rapid changes take place in physical size, knowledge, and social interactions. Heightened public awareness of the problems of aging in our contemporary society has led to new information on the processes of growth and change taking place in middle and late adulthood as well. This course includes both scientific discoveries and personal insights.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
CO1 Describe the life span as an ongoing developmental process, or set of processes, involving
both continuity and change, by giving examples from the literature, including physical, social,
cognitive, and personality development.
CO2 Analyze different developmental events from the perspectives of the four major theories of
development—cognitive, learning, psychoanalytic, and humanistic—and recognize those
theories when used by others to analyze events.
CO3 Explain how research contributes to the understanding of development.
CO4 Identify important developmental concepts and apply these concepts in various situations.
CO5 Formulate relevant questions about developmental processes and events and use
standardized techniques for gathering objective answers to these questions.
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
- Santrock, J. W. (2018). Essentials of life-span development (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Access code for My Virtual Child, Pearson Education (2008)
Accessible at: https://www.myvirtualchild.com/landing
Note about My Virtual Child
My Virtual Child is an interactive website designed to be utilized alongside the curriculum of a typical developmental or life-span psychology course. The main goal is to provide a means for you to integrate coursework with practical “experiences” in raising a virtual child through adolescence.
Go to www.myvirtualchild.com to purchase your access code and create an account. Throughout the course, you will be required to raise your virtual child to different ages and respond to questions about your child’s progress. Check out the My Virtual Child—Help Document for more information.
Developmental Psychology is a three-credit, online course, consisting of eight modules. Modules include study materials and activities.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take 17 chapter quizzes, submit a final project, and take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.
In addition to posting an introduction to the class in Module 1, you are required to participate in four graded online class discussions.
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. Remember, these are discussions. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.
You are required to complete four written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.
Your answers to each question should be in the range of 500 to 700 words, or the equivalent of 2 to 3 typed, double-spaced pages in Times New Roman, font-size 12. Make sure to answer each question completely and check for accurate spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Make sure that all sentences are complete and that your paragraphs are appropriate.
You are required to take 17 quizzes, one per chapter. You may use any materials that you wish in taking the quizzes, and there is no time limit for taking each quiz.
Students find that quiz-taking is a beneficial way to prepare for examinations. Therefore, you will be able to take each quiz an unlimited number of times, and the gradebook will record your most recent score. This arrangement will allow you to go back and reread portions of the text that you need to review and then take the quiz again for further practice.
You will be working on a final project throughout this course that consists of nine journal entries. For the final project, you will create an account with Pearson’s My Virtual Child and raise your virtual child to the age of 18. At different stages of your child’s life, you will be asked to write and submit journal entries reflecting on your child’s development. You will submit one entry per week starting at the end of Week 2. Your journal entries will be returned to you with feedback from your mentor. This feedback will provide you with a great opportunity to revise and edit your entries. At the end of the course, you will submit your finalized collection of journal entries. Your final project is worth 20 percent of your final grade.
You are required to take two proctored, closed-book examinations online: a midterm and a final. The midterm covers content from Modules 1 through 4; the final covers content from Modules 5 through 8. Both exams consist of multiple-choice questions, are two hours in duration, and require that you use the University'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 website) 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.
Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.
Statement about Cheating
You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:
- 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.
- 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.
- Plagiarizing answers.
- Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
- Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
- 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.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
- Online discussions (4)—15 percent
- Written assignments (4)—15 percent
- Quizzes (17)—10 percent
- Midterm exam (Modules 1–4)—20 percent
- Final exam (Modules 5–8)—20 percent
- Final project—20 percent
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:
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 course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
- 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.
- 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 University.
- Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
- 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.
- If you are not familiar with web-based learning, be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.
Consider the following study tips for success:
- To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the Course Calendar. The Course Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
- Check Announcements regularly for new course information.
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University 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.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University 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 University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
- Gaining or providing unauthorized access to examinations or using unauthorized materials during exam administration
- Submitting credentials that are false or altered in any way
- Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
- Forgery, fabricating information or citations, or falsifying documents
- Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own (including work obtained through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Submitting your own previously used assignments without prior permission from the mentor
- Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others (including making tests, papers, and other course assignments available to other students, either directly or through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Tampering with the academic work of other students
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
- Lower or failing grade for an assignment
- Lower or failing grade for the course
- Rescinding credits
- Rescinding certificates or degrees
- Recording academic sanctions on the transcript
- Suspension from the University
- Dismissal from the University
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