PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for F1B 2005

Printer Friendly


Course Number: PS101
Course Title: Introduction to Psychology
Fall 2005: Aug.2 – Sept.22, 2005
Meeting Times: Tuesday/Thursday
7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Site: Ft. Bliss, Texas
Instructor: Bob Onick, M.Ed., L.P.C.
Phone: (915) 821-0660

I. Course Description: This course is designed to provide a survey of the assumptions, history, methods, and techniques of psychology. A presentation of representative theory and research in the areas of consciousness, learning, motivation, cognition, personality, and social behavior will be included.

II. Goals of the Course: To provide the student with a conceptual (and experiential, whenever applicable) examination and inquiry into basic principles of psychology.

III. Learning Objectives:

A. Be able to understand and comprehend theories, concepts and principles related to the field of psychology (motivation, cognitions, personality).

B. Be willing to describe, recreate, define and make comparisons and contrasts concerning different approaches to learning/behavior.

C. Be willing to apply various aspects of the course content and activities to personal experiences within the context of one’s day-to-day involvement with human beings and human behavior(s).

D. Be willing to observe and disclose personal reactions related to the course content and activities (especially in the social behaviors arena).

E. Be willing to commit to and keep class agreements and negotiations concerning ground rules for the course or renegotiate the agreements as needed with the instructor during the course.

IV. Course Arrangement: Lecture, presentations, and discussions will be utilized by the instructor throughout the course. Additionally, structured experiential activities as well as student presentations and discussions will be integrated periodically.

V. Course Requirements:

A. Readings and Journal Reaction Sheets: Read all material, both text readings and class handouts, in advance of assigned dates. Examine the material carefully in terms of the personal meaning it holds for you. Assignments correspond directly and support planned class activities and provide a background for understanding and realizing what is taking place. Assessment of readings (for grading purposes) will be done by periodic examination of reaction sheets entered in the student’s journal. Examination of journal entries by the instructor will take place two or three times during the course; however, entries from the readings are to be made each week (weeks 3 – 7).

NOTE: After reading assigned material, and in advance of assigned dates, write a concise two-page analysis for one chapter from the assigned readings each week. The two-page reaction sheets are to be dated and entered in the student’s journal on the appropriate dates assigned. The “summary” will go on the front side of the first page while the student’s personal reactions to the readings are to be written on the front side of the second page.

B. Class Activities Reaction Sheets: Reaction sheets may be entered in the journal (for grading purposes) on a weekly basis which summarize the previous week’s classroom activities and your personal reactions to the activities. These reaction sheets would be in addition to the reading reaction sheets.

These are not required and may be negotiated by individual students. The format is the same as reaction sheets to the assigned readings.

C. Take-Home Questions: Questions pertaining to class activities and assigned readings will be distributed to students on three occasions during the course. Students will have one week to answer or respond to the questions in writing at home and return the following class session. The number of questions will range from 3 to 7 for each distribution. Assessment will be based on the student’s ability to recreate personal and interpersonal experiences from class activities and personal interpretation of the content material.

D. Class Participation: Since the course focuses on people and since all sessions will involve experiential activities and exercises involving class participants, active and consistent attendance and participation is needed from all students enrolling in the course. Assessment will be based on the instructor’s observation of student performance and will be communicated and negotiated with each student during the course of the class and again at the end of the course.

E. Negotiated Course Agreements: Once the course ground rules have been negotiated, students will be assessed a grade by the instructor based on the extent to which the negotiated agreements have been actualized, demonstrated and performed.

VI. Textbook: Psychology: 7th edition; David G. Myers; worth Publishers; 2004.

VII. Supplemental Resource Material List: Pertinent handouts and articles from current publications will be assigned periodically by the instructor as needed. Psychological inventories/assessments will be made available for extra credit assignments.

VIII. Course Grading Policies:

Categories for Grading: % of Final Grade:

A. Journal Reaction Sheets ______________
1. (Reading Reaction Sheets) ______________
2. (Class Reaction Sheets) ______________
B. Take-Home Questions ______________
C. Class Participation Presentations ______________
D. Negotiated Course Agreements ______________

1. At the beginning of the course students will be asked to assess the percentage of their total grade they want determined by each of the categories. They will communicate their intentions in writing to the class instructor and these will be binding unless renegotiated by both parties during the course of the term or at the end of the term.

2. At, or near, the end of the course, students will be asked to personally evaluate their achievements in the course. This evaluation will be based on the stated objectives of the course and on the evidence of record from the above categories. Each will be asked to assess: a) the degree to which your participation in class activities has been active, thoughtful, and productive with respect to the negotiated class ground rules, b) the degree to which you have met the intent of the assigned readings and instructions,
c) the degree to which you have actually performed or demonstrated the course objectives.

3. As a part of this evaluation assessment, each student will be asked to recommend their course grade at the last course meeting. With regard to the assignments and recording of grades, the course instructor reserves two alternatives based on the evidence of record and personal perceptions of each students:

[1] To validate the grade justified by the student, or
[2] If experiences differ, to confer with the student to obtain a mutually agreed upon or negotiated course grade.

No grade will be submitted to the registrar that has not been accepted by the student as justified as long as the student is willing to engage in communication and negotiation of the different perceptions with the class instructor within the group setting.

4. No category (A – D) can count for more than 35% of your grade and each category has to count at least 15% (with the exception of the category that is optional). Additionally, written work categories (A & B) must equal a combined percentage of 50% of the final grade and performance categories (C & D) must also equal 50% of the final grade. Students will determine their percentages within the four categories in line with these overall guidelines.

5. Individual assignments to be graded will be assessed on the basis of completeness, accuracy and validity and will reflect the following scale:

A . . .90% or over
B . . .76% - 89%
C . . .60% - 75%

Below 60% will be returned to student to be redone and reassessed and an incomplete grade will be recorded until the work is finalized.

NOTE: Grades for Class Participation will be determined according to the degree to which students complete their class presentations; actively engage in small group, experiential activities; and participate in large group discussions of class content material.
Grades for Negotiated Agreements will reflect the degree of integrity demonstrated by the students in making, actualizing and completing any course agreements and/or ground rules negotiated throughout the duration of the semester.

IX. Schedule of Class Meetings:

Week 1 (Aug. 2 – Aug. 4, 2005):

Introduction to Course/Syllabus/Handouts
Creating a Context for the Course
Introduction to Ground Rules for the Course
Background Material from Students (Historical Research and Review)

Week 2 (Aug. 9 – Aug. 11, 2005):

Readings: Handouts/Chapters 1, 2, & 3
Class Discussion of Readings/Handouts
(Science of Psychology)
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts/Notions (Science and Behavior)
Continuation of Negotiation of Class Ground Rules/Syllabus
Assignment of Reaction Sheets (Schedule)
Overview of Psychology course textbook
Begin the “pursuit of a mentor” activity/interview

Week 3 (Aug. 16 – Aug. 18, 2005)

Readings: Chapters 4, 5, & 6
Class Discussions of Readings
(The Developing Person)
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
Assignment of 1st Set of Take-Home Questions
Student Presentations of Related Topics (Planning)
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
Review of 1st Set of Reaction Sheets (optional)

Week 4 (Aug. 23 – Aug. 25, 2005):

Readings: Chapters 7, 8, 9, & 10
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
(Consciousness and Learning/(Memory and Thinking)
Collection of 1st Set of Take-Home Questions
Assignment of 2nd Set of Take-Home Questions
Student Presentations of Related Topics (Possibility)

Week 5 (Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, 2005):

Readings: Chapters 11, 12. 13, & 14
Class Discussion of Readings
(Intelligence and Motivation)
Assignment of Action Research Project
Collection of 2nd Set of Take-Home Questions
Action Research Project (Processing)
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
Student Presentations of Related Topics

Week 6 (Sept. 6 – Sept. 8, 2005):

Readings: Chapters 15, 4 (revisited), 16, & 17
Class Discussion of Readings
Student Presentation of Related Topics
Assignment of 3rd Set of Take-Home Questions
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
Student Presentations of Related Topics

Week 7 (Sept. 13 – Sept. 15, 2005)

Readings: Chapter 18
Class Discussion of Readings (Social Psychology)
Student Presentation of Related Topics (make-ups)
Experiential Activity on Psychological Concepts
(You and Me/You or Me Approaches)
Collection of Reaction Sheet Journals

Week 8 (Sept. 20 – Sept. 22, 2005)

Personal Integrity/Social Responsibility Activity
(Survival/Quality of Life)
Feedback from Students (Assessments)
Collection of 3rd Set of Take-Home Questions
Negotiation of Course Grade
Final Course “Completing” Activity
(Psychological Context for the Course)

NOTE: The extra credit assignments related to chapter inventories and/or assessments are to be negotiated from week to week and will be averaged in with the students’ other numerical averages. Extra credit is optional and fun; however, it is not required as a basic component of the course.



I. Philosophy, Background and Basic Assumptions of the Psychological Topic

II. Key Concepts of the Model/Principle/Theory/Person

III. Main Focus of the Model/Principle/Theory/Person

IV. Description of/Impact on Human Behavior(s) or Group

V. Specific Application Application(s) to Human Behavior/Motivation/Change

VI. Strengths/Advantages/Contributions of the Psychological Topic

VII. Weaknesses/Disadvantages/Limitations of the Psychological Topic

VIII. Personal Reactions to the Topics and Its Psychological Application

NOTE: Should not be more than one-page in length (front and back) or two pages (front only).

Could be some topic you are interested in, curious or passionate about to some degree.

Would be applicable to content and timeline in the course syllabus and address at least five of the eight outlined areas (above).