Psychology 407, Life Span Development

Psychology 407, Life Span Development
Brief Course Syllabus
University of La Verne
Arthur Gonchar, Ph.D., Instructor
Office Phone: (909) 448- 4177
E-mail Address:
Course Guide
This course examines the developmental changes and sociocultural events that take place during an
individual's life span from infancy to old age. The course explores the psychological characteristics,
personal challenges and developmental opportunities for each of life's age periods. The course
considers how the influences of genetic inheritance and environmental factors shape the individual's
social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Students will gain a greater appreciation for
the complexity of human development and gain a heightened awareness of their own developmental
Text: Arnett, J.J. (2012) Human Development: A Cultural Approach, Pearson Publishing.
My Development Lab (bundled with text) or ordered at
Course Requirements:
1. Personal Experience Paper: You are to write a paper on your personal experiences that
you recall from your middle childhood and adolescence (ages 10-17). These remembrances
should be significant to you and should focus on your own psychological adjustment and
relationships to family, friends, and school. Your insights into your childhood are an
essential portion of your report.
2. Developmental Observations/Interviews: Two observation/interview assignments give
you the opportunity to get to know two individuals of two different age levels as you either
observe them in a group setting, interview them about "matters of personal importance" or
challenge them with intellectual tasks. In addition, these assignments are intended to help
you see the concepts you are studying and to learn useful techniques of observation and
interviewing. For Observation/Interview #1 you may choose an infant, preschooler or
school age child. For Observation/Interview #2, you may choose an adolescent, early
years adult, middle age adult or older adult.
3. Exams: There will be 4 on-line multiple choice exams throughout the semester. The dates
for the exams are listed in the Class Schedule.
4. My Virtual Child: This activity found in My Development Lab allows you to experience
human development from a parent’s point of view. Here you are to raise a virtual child from
birth to age 18.
5. Video Programs: The PBS series "Seasons of Life" is a required part of this course. While
not essential for studying for the quizzes or exams, these materials are rather interesting and
supplement your readings. The series consists of 5 one-hour video programs.
Optional Work:
6. Discussion Board: You may also use the Discussion Board to ask questions of the whole
class, comment on the work of the class, or any of the other things that you would normally
do in class discussions before, during, and after class. You can make requests; ask for help,
form study groups or just chat with other class members.
7. My Development Lab: Bundled with your text or ordered separately, this extraordinary
resource contains a treasure chest of educational materials focused on human development.
As requirement of this class you will be using the My Virtual Child portion of this package.
My Development Lab also includes other educational options which are described in the
MY Development Lab section of Blackboard.
Extra Credit Work
8. Quizzes for Extra Credit: For each of the 4 sections of this course, a set of quizzes
corresponding to each of that section's chapters will be posted on Blackboard. Your
performance on these quizzes will only count toward extra credit and could enhance your
final grade from 0 to as much as 16 extra credit points.
9. Extra Credit MY Development Lab Cross-Cultural Videos
These videos show similarities and differences in development across cultures throughout
the lifespan. These videos are referenced in the text and can be found on My Development
Lab under the title Video Series.
Course Evaluation
Grades will be given based on cumulative points acquired based on the grading system below.
There are 350 points for assigned Exams and written work. Extra points from quizzes and CrossCultural Video assignments will be added to the total number of points you obtain on this work.
Final grades will be determined based on 350 points using the following scheme.
Personal Experience Paper
20 points
6% of Final Grade
Developmental Observation/Interviews
60 points (30 points each)
17% of Final Grade
200 points (50 points each)
57% of Final Grade
My Virtual Child Written Assignment
40 points
11% of Final Grade
5 Video Summaries
30 points (6 points each)
350 points total
8% of Final Grade
Class Schedule
The course is divided into 4 units consisting of 3 or 4 chapters of text readings over a 6 - 7day
period. In addition, for 3 days at the end of each unit, there will be an on-line exam covering
material presented in the unit’s chapter readings. You can use these 3 days to review for the exam or
get a jump on the next unit of readings. During the weeks when there is no unit exam posted, you
may choice to work on written and video assignments.
Jan. 5 – 9
Introduction to Human Development
Chapter 1
Jan. 10 - 13
Prenatal Development
Chapter 2
Jan. 14 - 18
Exam #1
The Newborn
Chap. 1-3
Chapter 3
Jan. 19, 20, 21 6:30-11:00pm
Jan. 22 -26
Chapter 4
Jan. 27 – 30
The Toddler
Chapter 5
Jan. 31 – Feb.5
Early Childhood
Chapter 6
Exam #2
Chap. 4-6
Feb. 6, 8, 9 6:30-11:00pm
Feb. 10 - 13
Middle Childhood
Chapter 7
Feb. 14 - 17
Chapter 8
Feb. 18 - 22
The Emerging Adult
Chapter 9
Exam #3
Feb. 26 – Mar. 1
Mar. 2 - 5
Mar. 6 - 8
Mar. 9 - 11
Exam #4
Chap. 7-9
Feb. 23, 24, 25 6:30-11:00pm
Young Adulthood
Middle Adulthood
Late Adulthood
Death and Dying
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chap. 10-13 Mar. 12, 13, 15 6:30-11:00pm