Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

EDUC 390: Education & Psychology Of Exceptnl Child

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  Course Description

The study of teaching children with exceptionalities. Students study the effects of exceptionality on children’s cognitive, affective, behavioral, social, and psychomotor behaviors.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



  • Hallahan, D. P., J. M. Kauffman, and P. C. Pullen. (2012). Exceptional learners: Introduction to special education (12th). New York: Pearson.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-703370-6]

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

The goal of this course is to help you achieve the skills required to teach and understand the needs of all children with disabilities, as well as those that have special needs but do not come under federal mandates.  We will examine the laws that govern the education system for children with special needs, as well as how those laws are interpreted and applied by educational institutions.  We will examine best practices, the links between home and school, and the advantages of aligning schools to communities to better serve children with diverse needs. 

  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 Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of the academic language of the appropriate discipline applicable to the certification area(s) sought as defined by the Subject Competencies for Beginning Teachers in Missouri.
  2. Demonstrates content knowledge and ability to use multiple subject specific methodologies for specific instructional purposes to engage students.
  3. Can create interdisciplinary lessons that are aligned with standards.
  4. Knows and identifies child/adolescent development stages and can apply them to students.
  5. Applies knowledge of the theory of learning in all aspects instructional design.
  6. Recognizes diversity and the impact it has on education, and designs and implements instruction that considers the needs of students.
  7. Is able to plan lessons and learning activities to address a student’s prior experiences, multiple intelligences, strengths and needs to positively impact learning.
  8. Understands how to select appropriate strategies for addressing individual student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  9. Knows and understands the concept of differentiated instruction and short- and long-term instructional goal planning to address student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  10. Knows how to use a variety of instructional strategies and resources to encourage student's critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
  11. Can demonstrate knowledge of researched-based models of critical thinking and problem-solving, including various types of instructional strategies, to support student engagement in higher level thinking skills.
  12. Demonstrates knowledge of current instructional resources to support complex thinking and technological skills.
  13. Can demonstrate knowledge of strategies for facilitating multiple configurations for student learning including cooperative, small group, and independent learning.
  14. Recognizes and identifies the influence of classroom, school, and community culture on student relationships and the impact on the classroom environment and learning.
  15. Understands the importance of and develops the ability to use effective verbal, nonverbal communication techniques, including strategies to communicate with students whose first language is not Standard English or whose disability requires specific forms of communication.
  16. Develops sensitivity to differences in culture, gender, intellectual, and physical ability in classroom communication and in responses to student communications.
  17. Can explain ethical and legal implications of confidentiality of student records and can describe and analyze strategies to communicate student progress to students, families, colleagues, and administrators.
  18. Demonstrates a capacity to engage in a collaborative classroom/department/school data analysis process.
  19. Understands strategies for reflecting on teaching practices to refine their own instructional process in order to promote the growth and learning of students.
  20. Is knowledgeable of and demonstrates professional, ethical behavior and is aware of the influence of district policies and school procedures on classroom structure.
  21. Understands school-based systems designed to address the individual needs of students by working with the cooperating teacher/ supervisor to engage with the larger professional community and others across the system to identify and provide needed services to support individual learners.
  22. Recognizes the importance of developing relationships and cooperative partnerships with students, families and community members to support students’ learning and well-being.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 441-490 90-100%
B 392-440 80-89%
C 343-391 70-79%
D 294-342 60-69%
F 0-293 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 120 24%
Dropbox Assignments 50 10%
Philosophy of Special Education Paper 100 20%
Midterm Exam 100 20%
Final Exam 120 24%
Total 490 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Sunday
Discussion 2 10

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Sunday
Dropbox 1 10
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Sunday
Discussion 5 10

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Sunday
Discussion 7 10
Dropbox 2 10
Midterm Exam 100

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Sunday
Dropbox 3 10

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Sunday
Dropbox 4 10

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 10 Sunday
Discussion 11 10
Philosophy of Special Education Paper 100

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 10 Saturday
Dropbox 5 10
Final Exam 120
Total Points: 490

  Assignment Overview


Discussions are an integral part of learning for this course. Therefore, you are expected to thoroughly answer the discussion questions listed and participate in all graded discussion topics each week.

In addition to your main post (answer to the question(s) listed), you are required to respond to at least two of your classmates’ main posts. Your answer or response post should include at least one text reference (citation of relevant text material). You are also required to read all of the discussion postings for each graded topic.

Discussion postings should be completed by Sunday of each assigned week (except for week 8, when everything is due on Saturday). For more details, please refer to the Discussion Rubric, which may be found in the Content section of the course.

Dropbox Assignments

There are 5 ten-point assignments.  Each of the dropbox assignments is a one- to two-page paper that requires you to provide factual information (most often from the text) and reflect how this information is applied to authentic environments, most typically the classroom.

Philosophy of Special Education Paper

This paper is your opportunity to reflect on the law related to special education, your understanding of how these laws affect you as a teacher, and your growth in your ability to serve individuals with exceptionalities.  You will find more details about this assignment in the Content area of the course.


Both the midterm and final exams in this course will be proctored. See the information below about locating a proctor. You must submit your proctor information to the designated dropbox by Sunday 11:59pm CT of Week 2. You will have 2 hours to complete each exam.

The midterm consists of 50 multiple choice items and 10 short essay items. It is worth 100 points.

The final consists of 12 essay items. It is worth 120 points.

  Course Outline

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

Chapter 1
Discussion 1
Introduce yourself; acknowledge hobbies, interests, why you are interested in the education and psychology of exceptional children, and other information that will help us get to know you. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 2
How has legislation played a key role in providing education to students with disabilities?  Specifically discuss the implications IDEA and ADA have for the education of students with disabilities.  Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Chapters 2 and 3
Discussion 3
What trends in special education have helped students with special needs the most? Describe how inclusion, in particular, has changed the way services are delivered to special needs children. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Dropbox 1
How can Response to Intervention meet the needs of all students, including those with disabilities and those from varying cultures and languages? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
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.
Chapter 4
Discussion 4
How (and why) have educators’ views of the parents and families of children with disabilities changed? What do you see as the role of parents in the education of children with disabilities? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 5
Describe the family systems approach to intervention (Turnbull). How might it impact on a child with a disability? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Chapters 5 - 7
Discussion 6
What is the role of self-determination in the life of a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Be sure to include your thoughts on the self-determination policy of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as well as your own beliefs. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 7
How might curriculum be modified or adapted to meet the needs of children with learning disabilities, as well as for those with intellectual disabilities?  How are the modifications (for LD vs ID) similar? Different?  Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Dropbox 2
Select a current article on ADHD from any professional journal. Document the source. After a brief summary, write a one-two page critique, stating the strengths and weaknesses of the article. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Midterm Exam
The midterm exam consists of 50 multiple-choice items and 10 short essay items.  It is a proctored exam and is worth 100 points. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT. You will have 2 hours to complete your midterm exam.
Chapters 8 - 9
Discussion 8
What are some of the causes of emotional and behavioral disorders? What is the role of the teacher in working with these students? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Dropbox 3
Do some web research to document the rise of incidences of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Discuss your findings and the common theories. Develop your own hypothesis of why there are more cases. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Chapters 10 - 12
Discussion 9
Why do teachers need to understand the anatomy and physiology of the ear and the eye?  What are the psychological (social) and behavioral characteristics of hearing and visual impairments? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Dropbox 4
How are language disorders (expressive and receptive) and speech disorders similarly manifested? How are they different? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
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.
Chapters 13 - 14
Discussion 10
What are the educational considerations of working with children who have severe and/or multiple handicaps (Chpt 13)? Neuromotor impairments (Chpt 14)? Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 11
Discuss the emotional considerations of educating children with physical handicaps in the classroom. Use specific information from Chpt 14. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Philosophy of Special Education Paper
This assignment draws together your learning in this course. Refer to the course environment for more information. Due by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Chapter 15
Discussion 12
What are the educational implications of teaching children with special gifts and talents?  Due by Saturday 11:59pm CT.
Dropbox 5
Develop a lesson plan for a class that includes gifted students. The plan should include one goal and two objectives, differentiated activities to carry out the goals and objectives, and a rationale that explains the differentiated instruction. See example in Content area. Due by Saturday 11:59pm CT.
Final Exam
The final consists of 12 essay items.  It is a proctored exam, worth 120 points.  You will have 2 hours to complete your final exam. You must complete the exam by Saturday this week. Due by Saturday 11:59pm CT.

  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.


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.


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.

Late writing assignments may be accepted for students who have instructor permission due to an emergency situation. A late penalty may or may not be assessed at the discretion of the instructor. No work may be submitted after the last day of class.

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.