Course Syllabus/Outline

Spring 2016
PSYC BIA: Introductory Psychology ONLINE
Education is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and
not get. – W.L. Bryan
Office Phone:
Office Hrs:
In emergency:
Lora Larkin
395-4380/ LA215A
[email protected]
MW 10:30-11; TR 9-11 am or by appt
Call BC security at 395-4554 (also for an escort to your vehicle)
Course/CRN & Day/Time:
PSYC B1A #31926 Online at
Under “My Courses” if registered or waitlisted
Required Text:
Meyers, D.G. & DeWall, C.N. (2014). Psychology in Everyday Life
w/Access (3rd edition). NY: MacMillan Higher Education.
Any computer that has internet access (preferably with a high speed
internet connection) & a back-up internet source…just in case!!
elcome to the wonderful (but sometimes frustrating) world of online learning for
this introductory psychology course! I am confident that this will be a positive
learning adventure for us all, though I understand the apprehension you may be
experiencing in anticipation of interacting with such material in an online format.
Online learning isn’t for everyone. You must be willing to play a large role in your
own learning: be prepared to set aside many hours per week for this online course to
read large amounts of information, starting with this syllabus. If you choose to skip your
readings, you will miss key information that may greatly impact your grade in this
course. You will also need to take time to study and review the material for your exams
not just flip through your text when you begin. You will be more successful if you
effectively manage your time. Start by completing a semester calendar of major due
dates, personal events, and, especially, a weekly schedule incorporating the necessary
time for your face-to-face and online classrooms.
In this class, you will be learning about the exciting subject of psychology and
exploring some of the more scientific explanations of behavior. I encourage you to apply
this material to your personal lives no matter what your career major because the
application of this information is what you will need in any future career you may choose
in order to successfully work well with others. As with any new experience, you are
probably filled with many questions of what to expect. I have attempted to anticipate and
answer some of your questions in this syllabus below, but do not hesitate to ask if you
have further questions or concerns.
General BC Information
How will you succeed at BC this semester? What determines success is not circumstance, but habit.
Habits of Mind, It’s POSSIBLE at BC has many free tools intended to help you accomplish your goals in
school. Only you can overcome the challenges you face this semester and in life. Start out successfully
with these steps:
 Visit the Habits of Mind website:
 Download the app for Habits of Mind at BC for power in your palm
 Ask for help, do the work, and refuse to quit
Success takes energy, planning, and strategies for both the expected challenges in school as well as the
unexpected twists life can take. Now is the time to develop new habits. Visit the website and learn about
time-management, note-taking, test-taking, learning styles, and more!
Regular class attendance is expected of all students enrolled in the college. Students enrolled
in classes that are full may be dropped if you do not login to the first week of class. If you are on a
course waitlist you should also login to the first week of class to avoid being dropped. Absence in
no way relieves you of responsibility of work missed. If you are aware in advance of an absence, make
arrangements to make up the work to be missed. Otherwise, late coursework is only accepted for half
credit. Excessive absences (the equivalent of two weeks of a semester length class recorded from the
first day of instruction) will result in your being dropped from the course though you are responsible for
officially withdrawing from any class or classes in which you no longer wish to be enrolled. Nonattendance does not release you from this responsibility.
Tutoring: BC students get free peer one-on-one tutoring in the BC Tutoring Center in most
subjects. You get one 50-minute session per subject per week with a tutor who has successfully
completed the class and is trained to be a tutor. Drop-in tutoring is also available in math and English all
day long. Schedule an appointment with the Tutoring Center at 395-4430 or online at
Library Research Workshops are available to you in learning essential, college-level research
skills. Seven different research topics are addressed in separate workshops. Students who attend and
evaluate these free workshops rank their usefulness midway between ESSENTIAL and QUITE USEFUL.
The workshops begin in the third week of the regular school semester and last 10 weeks. Attending
workshops earlier in the semester is recommended. Not only can you use newly learned skills to improve
your research, but will not risk being turned away from a full classroom. BCs Library also has a
searchable website from which you might access valuable resources such as books, and many current
and bound periodicals. Visit their website at
Disability Services/Counseling: If you have a disability and believe you may need additional
accommodations in this class, you are encouraged to contact Disabled Student Programs & Services
located at Student Services Building, 1st Floor, Counseling Center (395-4334) as soon as possible to
better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. BC’s Counseling Center also
provides information on a variety of campus and community resources for both academic and personal
support. For further information, visit the Student Counseling website at
Academic Integrity: Plagiarism occurs when you use the exact written or spoken words, a
summary of written or spoken words, and/or the ideas that someone else has produced without giving the
original author credit. When you use another author’s material you must give that person credit by
indicating the source of the material in your text. Buying a paper or having someone write your paper is
also considered plagiarism. A plagiarized paper will receive no (0%) credit.
Academic Support: Helpful information on grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure,
and overall writing is available at Important information
about evaluating materials for inclusion as scientific references and about avoiding plagiarism is available
at The utoronto website reiterates and extends some of the
information included in this syllabus about plagiarism.
C ourse Catalog Description
PSYC B1A (3-units) emphasizes the scientific process and research methods employed in
psychology. Biological, developmental, cognitive, and sociocultural theories are covered to
explain psychological phenomena. Psychological disorders and the evolving corresponding
treatment protocols are applied to a diversity of individuals and groups. Recommended:
Reading/Writing one level prior to transfer. Hours: 54 lecture. CCS: Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Transferable: CSU and private colleges.
Be advised that the combined writing assignments (including weekly in/out-of-class assignments and
short-answer portions of your exams) for this class will total no less than 10 pages as stipulated by the
Behavioral Science Department at BC.
Exams: There will be 4 exams worth 45% of your total semester grade. Each MC exam
will include concept/application questions, not just definitions and terms from rote memorization.
You will only be given 1 ½ hours to complete each exam, so prepare thorough reading notes
beforehand to better ensure success on your exams. No make-up exams will be given under
any circumstances. The lowest exam score will be dropped at the end of the semester.
Midterm Assessment: A self-evaluation worth 20% of your total semester grade will be
required at midterm to assess your overall progress up to that point. More information will follow.
Late assessments will only be accepted for half credit if returned within one week of the due
Weekly Assignments: Activities worth 30% of your total semester grade will include
interactive lab exercises from your textbook companion site using the access code from your
textbook purchase. Please see “Textbook Access Code for Weekly Activities” below on page 6
for registration information. Only 10 of the 14 assigned activities are required (i.e., the lowest 4
activities will be dropped at the end of the semester)
Introduction: An introduction and welcome response to your classmates is worth 5% of
your total semester grade as it sets the “tone” of your class interactions. This assignment is to
be completed within the first few days of the semester. After the due date, late introductions will
only be accepted for half credit if done so before the start of the second week.
Extra Credit: You are allowed no more than 2% of your total semester grade from extra
credit assignments. Extra credit opportunities (each worth 1%) will be announced throughout the
Please note that computer/technical problems DO NOT excuse you from completing course
assignments on time. The assignments are available for multiple days. The availability of
assignments allows you ample opportunity to complete them. Additionally, there are public
computers available for your use at many locations, including the BC computer labs. By electing to
wait until the "last minute" to complete these assignments, you may invoke Murphy's Law ("If
anything can go wrong, it will"). In other words, it is to your advantage to complete these
assignments before the deadline.
Grade Scale
Final grades are based on a weighted calculation. Exams may be curved at my discretion. I will
be evaluating you on more than exams and assignments. I will also be taking mental
notes on your attitude and how you approach this class. If your grade percentage is near a
higher letter grade, (e.g., 78.9% is a C but near a B) you will earn the higher grade if throughout
the semester you have completed all assignments and have demonstrated good classroom
participation. Your Moodle course site will indicate your recorded scores but regular uploaded
links to your grades will be provided after each exam showing the adjusted weighted grades
using the following scale:
45% Exams
20% Midterm Assessment
30% Weekly Assignments
5% Introduction
Weighted Grade Calculation: ___% (45%) +___% (20%) +___%(30%) +___% (5%) =___%
(Hint: Use decimals rather than % to calculate your final grade)
Final Course Notes
The skills you are expected to practice in this class are the same skills that will be expected
of you within your careers. Regular contact and communication and turning in your completed
work are important behaviors for you to succeed in this course just as these behaviors would
ensure that you were not fired from a job, for example. I truly believe that learning is a
partnership, whereby what you get out of a class is a direct reflection of what you put into it. I
strongly encourage you to register your access code and check your text companion website at for important tools and resources for
navigating successfully through this material. Be sure to check your BC email frequently
throughout the semester for important campus/course updates as well.
I look forward to getting to know each of you better throughout the semester. I welcome
the opportunity to assist you in your academic endeavors. Please feel free to reach out or come
talk with me during office hours or by appointment anytime during the semester concerning your
progress in class. I have no doubt that those of you who wish to do well certainly will!
Student Learning Outcomes
What you should be able to do by the end of the course…
 Demonstrate an understanding and application of the scientific process and research
methods employed in psychology.
 Differentiate and apply various biological, developmental, cognitive, and sociocultural
theories used to explain psychological phenomena.
 Identify, classify, and differentiate psychological disorders and the evolving corresponding
treatment protocols as they are applied to a diversity of individuals and groups.
Important Dates for this Course
Jan 16 Instruction Begins
Jan 18 MLK Jr. Holiday – Campus Closed
Jan 31 Last day to drop without receiving “W” grade
Feb 12 Lincoln Day Holiday – Campus Closed
Feb 15 Washington Day Holiday – Campus Closed
Mar 21-25 Spring Recess
Apr 4 Last day to drop and receive “W” grade
May 9-13 Finals Week
PSYC B1A: Introductory Psychology ONLINE
Professor Lora Larkin
[email protected] Course Schedule
Jan 16-22
Ch 1: Psychology’s Roots, Big Ideas, and Critical
Thinking Tools
Intro Due Fri 1/22
Jan 23-29
Ch 2: The Biology of Mind and Consciousness
*1/31 LAST DAY TO DROP w/o W
Activities Ch 1 & 2 Due Fri 1/29
Jan 30-Feb 5
Ch 3: Developing Through the Lifespan
Activity Ch 3 Due Fri 2/5
Feb 6-12
Ch 4: Gender and Sexuality
Activity Ch 4 Due Fri 2/12
Exam Ch 1-4 Due Sun 2/14
Feb 13-19
Ch 5: Sensation and Perception
Activity Ch 5 Due Fri 2/19
Feb 20-26
Ch 6: Learning
Activity Ch 6 Due Fri 2/26
Feb 27-Mar 4
Ch 7: Memory
Activity Ch 7 Due Fri 3/4
Mar 5-11
Ch 8: Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
Activity Ch 8 Due Fri 3/11
Exam Ch 5-8 Due Sun 3/13
Midterm Assessment Due Fri 3/18
Mar 19-25
Mar 26-Apr 1
Ch 9: Motivation and Emotion
Activity Ch 9 Due Fri 4/1
Apr 2-8
Ch 10: Stress, Health, & Human Flourishing
Activity Ch 10 Due Fri 4/8
Apr 9-15
Ch 11: Personality
Activity Ch 11 Due Fri 4/15
Exam Ch 9-11 Due Sun 4/17
Apr 16-22
Ch 12: Social Psychology
Activity Ch 12 Due Fri 4/22
Apr 23-29
Ch 13: Psychological Disorders
Activity Ch 13 Due Fri 4/29
Apr 30-May 6
Ch 14: Therapy
Activity Ch 14 Due Fri 5/6
Exam Ch 12-14 Due Fri 5/13
*Weekly Assignments and corresponding due dates also located on online course homepage
Getting Started in the Online Classroom
All of the Bakersfield College online courses can be accessed from any computer that
has internet access. Moodle 2, the course management system we will use this semester, can
be accessed through the Inside BC Portal at To login, you
will need to use your college assigned email address for the “Email Address” field, and your
myBanweb 6-digit PIN for the “Password” field. Once you are logged in, you will see a section
called “My Courses.” Find and click on the course name, and it will take you to the Moodle 2 site
for this course.
Problems with Login/Password
Although you may email me to let me know if you are having technical problems, I will
not be the one to solve them. To actually solve technical problems, contact the BC Distance
Learning Department.
Online Communication
In online classes, communication is primarily in writing. As a general rule, you should
adhere to the same classroom conduct that you would “off-line” in a face-to-face course.
Additionally, please write in complete, grammatical sentences (rather than using the type of
abbreviations used when instant messaging or sending texts). When you communicate with me
and with your online classmates, please refer to Master the Basics: Netiquette. Remember that
in an online class we cannot look at each others’ faces for interpretation purposes. So for
 Avoid writing messages in all capital letters and/or bold, because it is considered
 Be careful what you put in writing. Assume that anyone could read it.
 Grammar and spelling matter. Online courses demand the same standard of academic
communication and use of grammar as face-to-face courses.
 Never use profanity in any area of an online course. The transcripts of online course
bulletin boards, email, and chat sessions can be saved.
 When corresponding to messages, only use “Reply to All” when you really intend to reply
to everyone on the original email.
 Avoid unkindly public criticism and hurtful comments to others in an email.
 Use sarcasm cautiously. In the absence of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions
and voice inflections, the context of your sarcasm may be lost, and your message may
be misinterpreted.
Textbook Access Code for Weekly Activities
The weekly activities for this course first require registration to your textbook LaunchPad
site. Follow these steps to get started. If you need additional guidance, consult the student Get
Started guide, especially the system requirements which list the recommended browsers.
To register for the course go to:
PLEASE bookmark the page to make it easy to return to. You have three options to enroll in the
course: you can purchase direct access with your text, you can buy an access code, or you can
get free 21 day access while deciding. Your registration options are explained here. To navigate
and start using LaunchPad please consult the Get Started guide and/or view this video. If you
have problems registering, purchasing, or logging in, please contact Customer Support. You
can reach a representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the online form, by chat, or
from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. EST, 7 days a week by phone at (800) 936-6899.
Tips for Success on your Exams
Understanding and *remembering* your reading
1. Read the TIME MANAGEMENT (preface of text) section for ways to improve
your study time. Remember, you will have limited time during quizzes and exams
to select your answers.
2. Set a READING-STUDY SCHEDULE designed to complete the assigned
material by the due date indicated.
3. Read a maximum of ONE SECTION AT A TIME, making sure you know and
understand all FIGURES, TABLES, and DIAGRAMS.
4. Be thoroughly familiar with each of the topics, applications, and terms.
5. Before you read a chapter, look at the Chapter Review Questions (at the end of
the chapter) to provide a context for and direction to your reading. After you read
a subsection, try to answer the review questions without looking at the book. Go
back through the section to check your answers for accuracy and completeness.
6. After you read a section, summarize it. Re-read material related to any topics that
were difficult for you.
7. Answer the multiple choice Chapter Test questions without looking back through
the chapter, and then check your answers in the back of the book.
8. Review the key points of videos and discussions associated with each chapter.
9. Use the Study Guide book available for purchase and the online textbook
companion site regularly.
**IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ONLINE EXAMS ** Technical difficulties will not excuse
you from the exam so be sure you are not at an unsecured public site that might
increase your chances of difficulty. Do not attempt to have several pages open at once
or to cut and paste, or navigate from the site once already opened as an added
precaution as well. Exams will NOT be reopened for any student for any reason so plan
wisely. Should you miss an exam, remember your lowest exam score will be dropped.
Contact me if you are having problems understanding the course materials
AFTER YOU HAVE READ THEM. Do NOT simply assume what you don't
understand is some detail that you don't need to know!!! Now let’s get started…
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