Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

PSYC 230: *Educational Psychology

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  Course Description

The study of psychological principles in educational environments. Emphasis is on the scientific approach to teaching and learning. Students learn to plan, deliver, evaluate and ort instructional outcomes. Cross-listed as EDUC/PSYC 230

Prerequisite: PSYC 101

Proctored Exams: None


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Ormrod, J. E., Anderman, E. M., Anderman, L. (2017). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners with access to MyLab (9th ed). New York: Pearson.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course provides you an introduction to concepts, theories, and research in educational psychology. The topics covered include cognitive development, learning theories, instructional approaches, motivation, assessment, and individual differences. It focuses on the effective application of psychological concepts and principles in the learning and instructional processes and the development of teaching methods, with application to the classroom, counseling, social work, and other learning environments.

A cross-cultural lens will be used to help you uncover the cultural nature of development and the implications of these perspectives for supporting the development of individuals across multiple domains: physical; cognitive; and psychosocial. Examination of diverse viewpoints, theories, and methods of inquiry provide an avenue for you to develop skills in critical thinking and analysis and to develop your own personal theory of learning.

This course focuses on the effective application of psychological concepts and principles in the learning and instructional processes and the development of teaching methods with application to the classroom, counseling, social work and other learning environments.

  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. Knows and identifies child/adolescent developmental stages and uses this knowledge to adapt instruction.
  2. Applies knowledge of the theory of learning in all aspects instructional design
  3. Recognizes diversity and the impact it has on education.
  4. Can plan learning activities to address students’ prior experiences, learning styles, multiple intelligences, strengths, and needs in order to positively impact learning.
  5. Demonstrates an understanding that instruction should be connected to students’ prior experiences and family, culture, and community.
  6. Understands how to select appropriate strategies for addressing individual student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  7. Understands the concept of differentiated instruction and short- and long-term instructional goal planning to address student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  8. Demonstrates 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.
  9. Knows how classroom management, motivation, and engagement relate to one another and has knowledge of strategies and techniques for using this to promote student interest and learning.
  10. Recognizes and identifies the influence of classroom, school and community culture on student relationships and the impact on the classroom environment and learning.
  11. Demonstrates competence in the use of basic classroom management techniques that reduce the likelihood of student misbehavior and address any misbehavior that does occur with the least disruption of instruction.
  12. Understands the importance of and develops the ability to use effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques.
  13. Develops sensitivity to differences in culture, gender, intellectual, and physical ability in classroom communication and in communication with families.
  14. Has knowledge of the development, use, and analysis of formal and informal assessments.
  15. Develops a knowledge base of assessment strategies and tools, including how to collect information by observing classroom interactions and using higher order questioning, and uses analysis of the data to determine the effect of class instruction on individual and whole class learning.
  16. Understands strategies for reflecting on teaching practices to refine their own instructional process in order to promote the growth and learning of students.
  17. Identifies and understands the use of an array of professional learning opportunities including those offered by educator preparation programs, school districts, professional associations, and/or other opportunities for improving student learning.
  18. Is knowledgeable of and demonstrates professional, ethical behavior and is aware of the influence of district policies and school procedures on classroom structure.
  19. 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 432-480 90-100%
B 384-431 80-89%
C 336-383 70-79%
D 288-335 60-69%
F 0-287 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 80 17%
Dropbox Assignments 100 21%
Midterm Exam 100 21%
Final Exam 100 21%
Personal Learning Theory Paper 100 21%
Total 480 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion -- Wednesday
Discussion 1 10 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 1 20 Saturday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 10 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 2 20 Saturday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 3 20 Saturday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Thursday/Saturday
Midterm Exam 100 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 4 20 Saturday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 5 20 Saturday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thursday/Saturday
Personal Theory Learning Paper 100 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Thursday/Saturday
Final Exam 100 Saturday
Total Points: 480

  Assignment Overview


There will be non-graded Introduction Discussion in Week 1, due on Wednesday by 11: 59 p.m. CT. There will also be a discussion prompt each week for a total of 8 original posts. Each week the discussion is worth up to 10 points. All the initial discussion posts are due by Thursday (at 11:59 p.m. CT) and responses to classmates’ postings by Saturday (at 11:59 p.m. CT).

Each discussion prompt focuses upon a key element or elements in the readings. Original thought processes are expected, combined with learned knowledge (connect your learning to previous knowledge that you have gleaned through other courses and life). You are encouraged to think, integrate new knowledge with old, and share your thoughts with the class through the discussion area. Your response should provide added value, provide a response that indicates you read the student’s post and can offer a substantial comment. The more we share our ideas and thoughts with each other, the more fun and interesting the course will be.

To earn full points for each discussion,provide a thoughtful initial post that clearly, intelligently responds to the prompt with evidence of text, media, and website review. Posts should be 8-10 sentences in length. Respond to a minimum of three classmates' initial posts.

Dropbox Assignments

You will have five (5) Dropbox Assignments in the course worth 20 points each, due on Saturdays (by 11:59 p.m. CT) of the respective weeks. Each Dropbox Assignment prompt focuses on key elements in the readings. They are designed to help you learn, think about, and link new knowledge to your existing understanding of how we learn. 

Papers can be completed using your text. No outside resources are needed. Your weekly Dropbox assignments are in the form of 2-3 page essays.

An excellent paper has the following elements:

  • Content and Development: Content responds to the prompt. It is comprehensive and accurate. There are specific details and examples to support your major points.
  • Organization & Structure:The organization of the paper is clear and easy to follow. An introduction and conclusion paragraph is included. Paragraphs are logical and transitions are used to maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper.
  • Format : Use one inch margins, double-spaced text, 12 point font. Heading in corner includes Name, Date, and Activity. APA format is required for citations when you quote from the text: (Ormrod, 2017).
  • Grammar, Punctuation, & Spelling: Follow standards rules of sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling.

Personal Learning Theory Paper

This paper is your opportunity to seriously consider your own theory of learning. The papers in the preceding weeks are designed to prepare you to develop your theory and write this paper. Scoring guidelines are provided to help you be successful with this paper. A detailed description of this assignment is included below, and a template can be found in the Content section of the D2L course site.  You MUST use the template when you write this paper.

Your paper should address the following questions:

  1. What is your definition of learning? 
  2. Who are the prominent theorists (or theories) most aligned with your theory? 
  3. According to your theory:
    • What is the process of learning? 
    • How does learning occur?
    • What are the important outcomes of learning?  
  4. What personal experiences have you had as a student that support this theory?

You must support your arguments with evidence from things you’ve learned in class and beyond.  Do not simply state what you believe and not say something about what has influenced that belief and/or where that belief has come from.  Properly cite your sources when necessary.  It is okay if your only source is your textbook.  Just be sure you cite it!  Refer to the rubric to be sure you are adequately covering and citing what you should. This is about your theory, so it is perfectly acceptable to use personal pronouns like “I” and “my.”

Your paper should be written according to the APA Publication Manual 6th Edition.  There is also a handout that addresses some of the basics of correct APA format. 


There are two exams in the course, a midterm and a final, worth 100 points each. The exams are NOT proctored. Each exam has 25 multiple choice questions.

The midterm covers chapters 1-8.  It will be available in the Quizzes area of the course on Monday (12:01 a.m. CT) of Week 4 and is due by Sunday (11:59 p.m. CT). The final exam covers all readings for the course, Chapters 1-13 and 15- 16. It will be available on Monday (12:01 a.m. CT) of Week 8 and is due by Saturday (11:59 p.m. CT).

Read each question carefully before answering. There is an exam study guide in the content area. You will have 2 hours (120 minutes) to complete the exam in one sitting. Students who plan for more than one hour generally perform better on the exam. You may use your text, which will be helpful if you are familiar with the content. The course is designed to maximize your learning with some chapter content emphasized in the discussions, some in the weekly Dropbox activity, and/or in the exams. There is an exam study guide located in the Content Area that identifies the area of the chapters emphasized on the exam.

  Course Outline

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

Chapters 1-2
Introduction Discussion
Introduce yourself, acknowledging hobbies, interests, why you are interested in Educational Psychology, and your career goals.
Discussion 1
In the opening pages of your text, take Ormrod’s Own Psychological Survey to identify your own beliefs about how people learn. Review the answers. What did you learn about your beliefs? Does this help you set any learning goals for this course? 
Dropbox Assignment 1

Bronfenbrenner outlines the role of the environment and culture in child development. Piaget and Vygotsky focus on cognitive development or the role of the brain in learning. Review the main components of each theory. Devote at least one full paragraph to the review of each of the three theories. Which theory/s best represent your understanding of how we learn and why? Describe experiences you had as a student or that you observe in a child today that contributes to your perspective.

Be sure to include an introduction and conclusion paragraph in your paper.  Your paper should be 3 pages in length.

Chapters 3-4
Discussion 2
Find an example of a moral dilemma in children's literature.  Briefly retell the story. Explain the dilemma and then identify 3 or more questions you could ask students to guide them in moral decision-making. As you read others' examples, respond with additional questions to ask the students. Open-ended questions are preferred over those that yield yes/no answers.
Dropbox Assignment 2
Drawing on research findings presented in the textbook, identify at least four ways that students from diverse cultural backgrounds may have difficulty adjusting to a traditional classroom. Give specific examples and offer suggestions about how a teacher could support these students in each situation.
Chapters 5-6
Discussion 3
Attaching labels to students with disabilities (mental retardation, learning disability, etc.) has often been criticized for stigmatizing children unnecessarily. Despite this concern, educators continue to categorize and label students who have special needs. After reviewing the web resources, discuss reasons why categories of special needs continue to be used and share your opinion about this practice. Please note: there is not a right/wrong answer to this question.    
Dropbox Assignment 3
Imagine you are a classroom teacher. Select a grade level and subject you are teaching from preschool to adult education. Identify the standards you want students to know and be able to do. Using principles of cognitive psychology, describe how you will use these three instructional strategies to insure meaningful learning: elaboration, organization, and visual imagery. One of the strategies should also address the needs of the learning disabled students in your classroom. Be specific and concrete in the description of the lessons.

Chapters 7-8

Also read Dweck, Carol S. (2007). “The Perils and Promises of Praise.” Education Leadership, 65(2), 34-39 and watch the TEDx talk by Briceno Briceno, The Power of Belief - Mindset and Success. Both are available in the Content area of the course, within the description for Discussion 4.

Discussion 4
Do you believe that intelligence is fixed or is malleable? Do you believe in a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Use details from the readings to support your opinion. You may also provide an example from your personal experience or that of a friend or relative. 
Midterm Exam
The midterm is a non-proctored, open book exam. The time allotted is 2 hours (120 minutes). It consists of 25 multiple choice questions and covers Chapters 1-8.
Chapters 9-10
Discussion 5
Teachers often use a behavior management system when setting up a discipline system.  If you were to set up a behavior management system, what factors would be most important and why? Answer thoroughly and give examples.
Dropbox Assignment 4

Compare and contrast behaviorism and social cognitive theories. In your own words discuss the main components of each theory in detail. Give an example of how each theory guides behavior management in the classroom or in parenting.

Which theory most connects with your personal learning theory and why? Give specific examples to support your point of view.

Chapter 11
Discussion 6
Interview a classroom teacher on motivation.   Discuss what you learned from the teacher. Why is it important for students to be motivated? 
Dropbox Assignment 5

Develop an interview guide of approximately 10 questions on motivation (based upon information from the text).  Review the chapter information on motivation before you develop your list of questions. Then interview a classroom teacher, using your questions.

Submit your questions and the responses with an analysis of the teacher's approach to motivation.   Include the name and phone number of the teacher you questioned. 

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 12-13
Discussion 7
Imagine that it's the first day of class, and you want to start off the school year on the right foot. Describe three different strategies that the textbook recommends for establishing a productive classroom, one in which students are working consistently toward achieving your instructional goals and objectives. Describe each of these strategies in a short paragraph, being specific and concrete as to what you might do. Be sure to read chapter 13 before you respond.
Personal Theory Learning Paper

Consider your own theory of learning.

Write a 5-6 page paper (at least 1200 words) that addresses these questions:

What is your definition of learning?

Who are the prominent theorists (or theories) most aligned with your theory?

According to your theory:

What is the process of learning? How does learning occur?

What are the important outcomes of learning?

What personal experiences have you had as a student that contribute to this theory?

You will find more details about the expectations for the assignment and a template for formatting your paper in the Content area of the course.

Chapters 15-16
Discussion 8
As a teacher you want your classroom assessment practices to help students learn classroom subject matter more effectively. Describe three strategies you can use to make your assessment instruments valuable learning tools for students.
Final Exam
The final exam is non-proctored, open book exam. The time limit is 2 hours (120 minutes). It consists of 25 multiple choice questions and it covers all assigned readings, chapters 1-13 and 15-16.

  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 and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, 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

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

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.

All assignments must be turned in on time unless there are extenuating circumstances. If there are extenuating circumstances, student must notify me via email before the assignment is due and submit a plan for completing the work.  Late submissions will lose 10% of the original points possible and will be graded after those submitted by the deadline. No late assignments will be accepted after the 7thweek.

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.

  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 Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. 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.