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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

EDUC 391: *Child Psychology

Course Description

The study of children from conception to puberty. Students study maturational and environmental factors that shape the physical, cognitive, and social development. 

Cross-listed as EDUC 391 and PSYC 391.

Prerequisite: PSYC 101

Proctored Exams: Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Feldman, R. S.. (2016). Child Development (7th). New York: Pearson.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-385203-5]
    • Note: You will also need access to MyVirtualChild, which you can purchase through MBS (ISBN 13: 978-0-205-69033-6) or purchase it directly through the website at http://myvirtualchild.com/ (with a credit card).

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Child psychology focuses on development, from conception through the onset of puberty. We will be learning about neurological, physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of child development.


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To apply existing psychological principles and theories to child development.
  • To explore specific theories developed to explain the cognitive and social gains and losses evidence during childhood, including children with special needs.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and explain major biological and psychological changes that occur from conception until puberty.
  • Identify important developmental theories and be able to describe their range of explanatory power.
  • Identify the timing and nature of specific gains in cognitive ability during childhood.
  • Identify the major psychosocial influences on and the concerns of children.
  • Identify impediments to normative development during childhood, including genetic, chromosomal, and psychological disorders.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 160 16%
Virtual Child Papers 400 40%
Quizzes 240 24%
Final Exam 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 2 10 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1 30 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 4 10 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 2 30 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 6 10 Friday/Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 1: Infants and Toddlers 100 Sunday
Quiz 3 30
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 8 10 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 4 30 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 10 10 Friday/Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 2: Early Childhood (3-4 years) 100 Sunday
Quiz 5 30
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 12 10 Friday/Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 3: Middle Childhood (6-11) 100 Sunday
Quiz 6 30
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 14 10 Friday/Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 4: Adolescence (12-18) 100 Sunday
Quiz 7 30
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 10 Wednesday/Friday
Discussion 16 10 Thursday/Saturday
Quiz 8 30 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

There will be two discussion questions each week for a total of 16 Discussions. You are expected to make a minimum of three posts for each discussion topic: one reflection and two replies to your classmates.

Each discussion topic requires 1 three-paragraph (or more) reflection by 11:59 PM CT on Wednesday (first discussion question of the week) and 2 significant responses to classmates’ reflections on the first question by 11:59 PM CT on Friday.

By Friday, the second discussion question of the week should be completed; then 2 significant responses to classmates’ reflections on the second question should be posted by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. In Week 8 your responses to your classmates’ reflections will be due by 11:59 pm (CT) on Saturday.

Discussion posts should fully respond to the question posed using appropriate grammar, correct spelling, and supplemental resources (information from professional journals or other peer reviewed sources). Your responses to other learners must be ‘substantial,' meaning that they need to say something more than “good job.” A substantive comment could be a short recap of a current research finding that supports your point or the point of the other author, or an elaboration of an idea presented in the post that you found particularly intriguing.


Virtual Child Papers

During the course you will be responsible for raising your own Virtual Child and completing a series of papers describing the development of the Virtual Child. Each paper addresses a specific period of development and requires thoughtful analysis and integration of the material from the text as well as your experience with the Virtual Child.

There are four Virtual Child Assignments, each worth 100 points. They must be submitted to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm (CT) on Sunday of the assigned week. 

It should take about eight hours total to raise your Virtual Child from birth to age 18, and it is an activity you can start when time allows, leave when necessary, and return to later. I encourage you to read the Virtual Child Assignments in the Content so you have an idea how to pace the activity. Don’t forget to check out the videos that are part of the Virtual Child experience at many different stages!

Your answers should be provided in complete sentences; full points will only be awarded if the questions are answered completely.  There is no minimum/maximum page length and you do not need to strictly follow APA style. You do not need to double-space your text or provide an abstract, title page, etc. Be sure to use a 12-point font and to cite any outside sources of information (including the textbook and the Virtual Child program).


Quizzes

The purpose of each quiz is to monitor your comprehension of the information presented in the  reading each week. The quizzes are not proctored and will consist of 20 questions.  You will have 45 minutes to complete each quiz.  You should expect to know the material thoroughly before starting the quiz rather than rely on the textbook.  Each weekly quiz will be due by 11:59 pm (CT) on Sunday, with the exception of Week 8, when it will be due by 11:59 pm (CT) on Saturday.

Final Exam

The final exam will be composed of 100 multiple-choice items.  You will have two hours to complete the exam. The final must be proctored. See the information in the Course Policies below and the Proctor Information in the Content about locating a proctor.  Proctor Information will be submitted to the Dropbox by the end of the second week of the course. The final exam will be due by 11:59 pm (CT) on Saturday.  


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Child Development; Theoretical Perspectives and Research
Readings
Chapters 1-2
Discussion 1
The discussion for this week will revolve around getting to know each other and the class environment.  Please tell us more than your name.  Include, for example, your occupation, hobbies, interests, your geographical location, and any other information that you can share with us to help us get to know you. Also, tell us the name of your Virtual Child and any story behind the name (if there is one).  Your Introduction is due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  
Discussion 2
Theoretical Perspectives: Describe the key ideas about human behavior and development for each of the five identified major perspectives in psychology.  Postulate what advice theorists from each perspective would give new parents to maximize their Virtual Child’s potential. What advice would you give new parents or would you take yourself as you raise your Virtual Child? Support your recommendations with material from the text.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Quiz 1
Covers Chapters 1 and 2. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Week 2: Genetics and Prenatal Development; Birth and the Newborn Infant
Readings
Chapters 3-4
Discussion 3
Nature versus Nurture: At this point you should have spent some time raising your Virtual Child.  With that in mind, discuss how you view the development of intelligence. How are these views impacting the way you interact with your Virtual Child? How do your interactions with your Virtual Child reflect your beliefs about nature and nurture with regards to the development of intelligence? Use information from your text or current research findings to support your position.   Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday
Discussion 4
Premature Birth:  Sometimes circumstances dictate that an infant be born prematurely. Discuss some of the conditions that lead to premature birth. Provide a comparison of low-birth weight infants with very low-birth weight infants.  Be sure to talk about the interventions necessary with each type, as well as long-term outcomes identified by your text.  Find current research about one of the types of interventions used and incorporate that into your discussion.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Quiz 2
Covers Chapters 3 and 4.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Week 3: Physical and Cognitive Development in Infancy
Readings
Chapters 5-6
Discussion 5
Physical Development:  As discussed in your text, the period of infancy is noted for a rapid amount of physical growth. How does the arrangement of the environment help facilitate motor development of your Virtual Child? Alternatively, how might the environment hinder motor development? What are some strategies you might use to foster both motor and sensory development? Support your recommendations with references from the text or from peer reviewed journal articles.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday
Discussion 6
Language Development: Describe and contrast the major theories of language development.  Using examples from your Virtual Child, describe how each of the major theories can contribute to understanding the development of language. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 1: Infants and Toddlers
Choose 7 or 8 of the questions for this stage from the questions provided in the Content area of the course. At least two questions must be used from each section and the total point value must equal 100 points.  Submit your answers to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Quiz 3
Covers Chapters 5 and 6.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Week 4: Social and Personality Development in Infancy; Physical Development in the Preschool Years
Readings
Chapters 7-8
Discussion 7

Attachment: Look at the definitions of stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Have you noticed the development of these milestones as your Virtual Child approaches one year of age? Explain. In regard to stranger anxiety, are there some individuals that your Virtual Child is more apprehensive around than others? Does this coincide with your text’s statement that infants show more anxiety around male strangers than female strangers? Additionally, how does the development of these social milestones connect to the changes taking place in regard to cognitive development? Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday

Discussion 8
Motor Skills: We know during the preschool period both fine and gross motor skills continue to develop. How would you describe the progression of motor development of your Virtual Child?  Incorporate the increasing self-reliance of your Virtual Child in your discussion. What is your Virtual Child doing now that s/he was not physically able to do before? What are some areas where your Virtual Child still needs assistance? Provide specific examples of your Virtual Child’s strengths and weaknesses regarding fine and gross motor skills. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Quiz 4
Covers Chapters 7 and 8. Due 11:59 pm (CT) Sunday.
Week 5: Cognitive, Social, and Personality Development in the Preschool Years
Readings
Chapters 9-10
Discussion 9
Cognitive Development: According to Piaget, your Virtual Child has now entered the pre-operational period of cognitive development. Children in the preoperational stage are unable to understand both conservation and transformation.  Describe these concepts and provide behavioral examples you have experienced with your Virtual Child (or with your own children). Discuss parenting challenges that occur as result of this limitation in children’s thinking; provide at least one clear example where this cognitive limitation made communication challenging and how you navigated the situation. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday. 
Discussion 10
Parenting Styles: Read over the parenting styles identified by Diana Baumrind in your text. Describe your own parenting style and indicate under which classification your style would fall. Do you think that authoritative parenting works best? Why or why not? What do you think the qualities of a good parent are? Do you try to incorporate routines in your Virtual Child’s life? Describe these and explain why you think routines are important. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 2: Early Childhood (3-4 years)
Choose 6 of the questions for this stage.  You must choose items 2 and 6 (worth 20 points each), and four of the remaining six items (worth 15 points each).  Submit your responses to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Quiz 5
Covers Chapters 9 and 10.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Week 6: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood
Readings
Chapters 11-12
Discussion 11
Special Needs and Inclusion: Describe two types of special needs seen in middle childhood.  What are the origins of these difficulties (if known), and how can they be addressed?  Describe the benefits of classroom inclusion for each special need. Include information from current (or recent) research regarding inclusion into your discussion.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday. 
Discussion 12
Cognitive Development: According to Piaget, your Virtual Child has now entered the concrete operational period of cognitive development. Have you observed a change in the quality of your Virtual Child’s thinking? Perhaps your Virtual Child seems more logical now and has become less egocentric in thought and behavior. Describe some of these changes using Piaget’s constructs. Specifically, compare your Virtual Child’s approach to problem solving to the period of the preoperational stage. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 3: Middle Childhood (6-11)
Run the Virtual Child through age 10 years, 11 months.  Choose five questions out of the eight provided in the Content area.  Submit your responses to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Quiz 6
Covers Chapters 11 and 12.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Social and Personality Development in Middle Childhood; Physical Development in Adolescence
Readings
Chapters 13-14
Discussion 13
Industry versus Inferiority: Your Virtual Child is now at the age where s/he is attempting to attain competence in the areas of academics and friendships. How does this relate to Erikson’s industry-versus-inferiority stage? Have you observed instances in which your Virtual Child has been worried about making friends? Or perhaps, spending a great deal of time on their studies? Describe these attempts at competence and explain how these attempts relate to Erikson’s industry-versus-inferiority stage. Be sure to provide specific examples and references to the text or current research findings. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday
Discussion 14
Physical Maturation: Describe the most notable physical changes that take place during adolescence for both boys and girls. Explain the consequences for early and late physical maturation for girls and boys. Use your Virtual Child as an example or as a comparison. Refer to the textbook for specific milestones. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday
Virtual Child Paper 4: Adolescence (12-18)
Answer 4 of the first 6 questions for a total of 65 points and questions 7 and 8 for 35 points.  Submit your answers to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm Sunday.
Quiz 7
Covers Chapters 13 and 14. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Sunday.
Week 8: Cognitive, Social, and Personality Development in Adolescence
Readings
Chapters 15-16
Discussion 15
Cognitive Development: Describe cognitive development during adolescence. Include in your discussion the points raised by theorists, as well as the difficulties encountered during cognitive development. Due 11:59 pm (CT), Wednesday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Friday
Discussion 16
Relationships:  Explain the relationship you have with your Virtual Child as an adolescent; comment on the shift to reliance on peer relationships as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this shift. Provide specific examples of consequences where possible.  How does your Virtual Child compare with the ‘norm’? Due 11:59 pm (CT), Thursday.  Your responses to two classmates will be due 11:59 pm (CT), Saturday
Quiz 8
Covers Chapters 15 and 16.  Due 11:59 pm (CT), Saturday 
Final Exam
The final exam will be composed of 100 multiple choice items.  You will have two hours to complete the exam. The final must be proctored. See the information in the Course Policies below and the Proctor Information in the Content about locating a proctor.  Proctor Information will be submitted to the Dropbox by the end of the second week of the course. The final exam will be due by 11:59 pm (CT) on Saturday


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

The paper may be submitted up to four days late, but there will be a penalty of 10% of the grade for each day it is late.

Neither the quizzes nor the final exam can be submitted after the deadline.

All work must be submitted by the end of the session on Saturday of Week 8.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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