Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

PSYC 395: Adult Psychology

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  Course Description

 Physiological, behavioral and cognitive changes that occur in adulthood and old age, discussed from a psychological/developmental perspective.

Prerequisite: PSYC 101

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



  Textbooks

Required

  • Cavanaugh, J. C., & Blanchard-Fields, F.. (2015). Adult Development and Aging (7th). Stamford, CT: Cengage.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-285-44491-8]

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

This course examines biological, psychological, developmental, and social changes that occur over an adult’s lifespan. These changes are examined in the general categories of neurology, health, environment, attention and memory, intelligence and cognition, personality, mental disorders, relationships, work and retirement, death and dying, and successful aging.

A strong emphasis in this class will be on your ability to apply research, theory, and general knowledge acquired from assignments and other provided resources to your own personal experiences and observations related to your own aging, as well as the aging of friends, family, and others. The promotion and enhancement of critical thinking skills will be a priority in each reading, assignment, and activity.

  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. Demonstrate knowledge of biological and psychological changes that occur in early, middle, and late adulthood.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of research methods used to study adults, as well as the limitations of testing methods in late adulthood.
  3. Identify physical and mental health concerns, as well as clinical disorders, that are of special concern for young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults.
  4. Explain the nature and trajectory of cognitive changes across adulthood in the areas of intelligence, memory, attention, and social cognition.
  5. Explain the nature and trajectory of social changes across adulthood in the areas of personality, interpersonal relationships, and workplace/retirement concerns.

  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 (17) 300 30%
Dropbox Assignments (4) 100 10%
Paper Assignment 200 20%
Midterm Exam 150 15%
Final Exam 250 25%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion -- Thursday
Discussion 1 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 2 18
Aging Quiz: Paper Part 1 -- Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 4 18
Dropbox Assignment 1: Paper Part 2 15 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 6 18
Dropbox Assignment 2: Paper Part 3 15 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 8 18
Dropbox Assignment 3: Paper Part 4 20 Sunday
Midterm Exam 150

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 10 18
Paper Part 6: Interview Synopsis Discussion 12
Dropbox Assignment 4: Paper Part 5 50 Thursday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 12 18

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 18 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 14 18
The Body of the Paper: Paper Part 7 200 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 18 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 16 18
Final Exam 250 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview

Discussions

There is a non-graded Introduction discussion due on Thursday by 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 1.

Besides the Introduction discussion, there are sixteen graded discussions and one Interview Synopsis Discussion (Paper Part 6: Interview Synopsis Discussion) in the course. You will be expected to submit an initial post and two responses to other students’ postings. The initial posts are due by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. CT, and the response posts are due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT, except in Week 8, when the responses are due by Saturday at 11:59 p.m. CT.

The initial post of the Interview Synopsis discussion is due on Thursday by 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 5, and two (2) response posts are due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT of the same week.

All initial posts and responses to peer posts must be in the APA format. Your initial post must be 2-3 paragraphs, or approximately 250 words, and the two responses to classmates’ postings must have be 1 paragraph or approximately 100 words each.

Each initial post (except the initial Interview Synopsis discussion post) is worth fifteen (15) points, and each response is worth one and a half (1.5) points each, or three (3) points in total. Combined, the original post and response posts make each discussion worth up to eighteen (18) points.

Paper Assignments

Leading up to the Final Paper, there is an Aging Quiz, four (4) Dropbox Assignments, and Interview Synopsis Discussion in the course. Each Dropbox Assignment is a part of the Paper Assignment. Each assignment will be graded according to the point system presented in the rubric. Submissions must be formatted using APA guidelines.

For the body of the paper, you are required to write a 3,000-word case study paper based on an interview with an older adult (60+ years) who is not related to you. The goal of this paper is to gain insight into a person’s unique experience of aging and adult development.

Develop an abstract and outline of the main headings that will give your paper focus and structure. From this outline, add content and narrative that will become your final product. Your paper must be in the APA format and must include formatting such as headings, a running head, and citations. Your paper must contain a title page, abstract, citations, and references. The title page, abstract, and references do not count toward your word minimum. You can use as many references as you wish, but at minimum you must use the equivalent of one per page of content. (For example, four pages of content equals four references.) Your textbook must be used as one of your references. Examples of APA papers as well as helpful resources for writing in the APA format will be provided. You can find more detailed instructions for the assignment in the Content section of D2L.

You are required to complete the following seven (7) steps in the order indicated:

  • Aging Quiz: Paper Part 1(Not graded)
  • Dropbox Assignment 1: Paper Part 2 (15 pts)
  • Dropbox Assignment 2: Paper Part 3 (15 pts)
  • Dropbox Assignment 3: Paper Part 4 (20 pts)
  • Dropbox Assignment 4: Paper Part 5 (50 pts)
  • Interview Synopsis Discussion: Paper Part 6 (12 pts)
  • The Body of the Paper: Paper Part 7 (200 pts)

Aging Quiz: Paper Part 1

Paper Part 1: Aging Quiz is a non-graded quiz. It opens on 12:01 a.m. CT Monday and will remain open. Quiz can be found in the Learning Resources section of the Week 1 content. This quiz is comprised of 26 True/False questions. You will have 20 minutes to complete the quiz. As this quiz isn’t graded, you can take this as many times as you would like. This quiz must be completed before you are able to submit your first Dropbox assignment.

Dropbox Assignment 1: Paper Part 2

Paper Part 2: Dropbox Assignment 1 involves the selection of the Interviewee and the determination of the direction/theme for the paper. This assignment is worth 15 points and is due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 2. This assignment should be 2-3 paragraphs in length, and provide brief insight into your deliberations and motivation regarding the direction/theme for your paper.

Dropbox Assignment 2: Paper Part 3

Paper Part 3: Dropbox Assignment 2 involves the creation and submission of a list of at least six (6) questions that are consistent and related to your selected direction/theme, to be asked to the interviewee. An interview guide will be provided to help guide your list of questions as well as your approach to the interview itself. This assignment is worth 15 points and is due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 3. This assignment should be no more than 1 page in length.

Dropbox Assignment 3: Paper Part 4

Paper Part 4: Dropbox Assignments 3 involves the submission of the Interview record of your subject using your interview questions. This assignment is worth 20 points and is due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 4.

Your interview record should be 2-3 paragraphs in length and include the place, name of interviewee, and basic demographics of your interviewee.

Dropbox Assignment 4: Paper Part 5

Paper Part 5: Dropbox Assignment 4 is the Interview Synopsis of the paper. You should provide at minimum 1-2 complete paragraphs for the interviewee answer to each question. This should be your unedited transcript of the interview in your own words. From this record you will edit and format to your final paper based on paper length requirement and content. This Assignment is worth 50 points and is due by 11:59 p.m. CT Thursday of Week 5.

Interview Synopsis Discussion: Paper Part 6

The initial post for the Interview Synopsis discussion is worth nine (9) points, and the two responses are worth one and a half (1.5) points each, or three (3) points in total. Combined, the original post and response posts make the interview synopsis discussion worth up to twelve (12) points. High-point posts and responses are those that successfully demonstrate mastery of course-related material by integrating both text and personal observation and experiences. You must post first before reading other posts in the discussion.

Body of the Paper: Paper Part 7

During Week 7 you will put everything into your final paper. You must submit your final version of your paper by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 7.

Exams

There are two proctored exams in the course, a Midterm Exam and a Final Exam. The Midterm Exam opens at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday of Week 4 and is due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday of the same week. It is worth 150 points. The Midterm Exam covers material from chapters 1 through 7 and consists of 50 multiple-choice and five short-answer questions.

The Final Exam opens at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday of Week 8 and is due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Saturday of the same week. It is worth 250 points. The Final Exam mostly covers material from chapters 1 through 14, with an emphasis on chapters 8 through 14. It consists of 60 multiple-choice and five short-answer questions. You will have two hours and only one attempt to complete each exam.

The Proctor information is due by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday in Week 2. Please see the Proctor Policy section for more information. You must submit the “Student Proctor Information Submission Form” to the Proctor Information Dropbox by the end of Week 2. This form and additional information about Proctoring is located in the Content area of the course.

  Course Outline

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

Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 1: Studying Adult Development
Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself to the instructor and your other classmates. Be sure to include your current job position and any personal information that you are willing to share to help us know you better.

Discussion 1

When asked our age, we typically respond with our chronological age. Cavanaugh and Blanchard-Fields offer a more expanded view of aging, and show that aging is not just a single process.

Discuss the concept of aging from the perspectives presented in our text as well as the Aging Quiz listed under Learning Resources.

Make sure you talk about the three distinct processes of aging, as well as specific explanations that help explain why we all age at different rates and in different ways.

Discussion 2

Why are we interested, as a society, in continually increasing longevity, despite the strain this causes on health and social services? Is increased longevity a worthwhile goal? Why or why not?

Aging Quiz: Paper Part 1

This quiz contains 25 True/False Questions.  While it is not graded, the completion of this quiz is required to submit Dropbox Assignment 1.  You will have a 20-minute time limit. It opens on 12:01 a.m. CT Monday and closes by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 1. You have unlimited attempts to complete this quiz.

Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 2: Neuroscience as a Basis for Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 3: Physical Changes
Discussion 3

Typically, the respected leaders of our society are older and hopefully wise. There are even minimum age requirements for candidates for various public offices. Point out these age requirements and discuss whether there should be maximum ages. Determine the ages of senators and congressmen, and identify the most senior members. Do you believe it is prudent to elect a president (or any leader) in his/her mid- to late- 70s?

Discussion 4

Which physical change do you think causes the most anticipatory stress to people as they age (i.e., they worry about this change occurring in their near future)? Which physical change do you think is actually most stressful, once it occurs? If there is a disconnect between the two, why do you think this occurs?

Dropbox Assignment 1: Paper Part 2

Identify a person who will be the focus of your interview and determine a direction/theme for your paper that will focus on one of the following areas: life story, impact of physical or mental changes, unexpected life event, work and leisure, or other aging event.

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.
Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 4: Longevity, Health, and Functioning
    • Chapter 5: Where People Live: Person-Environment Interactions
Discussion 5

Assume that in the next ten years scientists will identify the specific causes of aging and will be able to significantly lengthen the lifespan of humans. What kinds of impacts would this have on our society?

Discussion 6

What will society need to make available for aging in place to be affordable and accessible for all older adults? Be sure to consider physical, psychological, and economic supports.

Dropbox Assignment 2: Paper Part 3
Based on the results of the Aging Quiz, text material, direction/theme of your paper, and your own curiosity and observation (this is typically how case studies are first developed), develop a list of at least six (6) questions you will ask your interviewee that will be incorporated in the paper.  An interview guide will be provided to help guide your list of questions as well as your approach to the interview itself.
Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 6: Attention and Memory
    • Chapter 7: Intelligence, Reasoning, Creativity, and Wisdom
Discussion 7

What are the stereotypes about memory performance in older adults? What does the research suggest about each of these areas: myth versus reality?

Discussion 8

What are the pros and cons of emphasizing the “correctness” of answers and disregarding the way in which the problem was approached versus emphasizing the approach and downplaying “correctness?”

Dropbox Assignment 3: Paper Part 4
Submit the interview record of your subject using your interview questions of Week 3 Dropbox Assignment.
Midterm Exam

The proctored Midterm Exam will cover Chapters 1 - 7.  The exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and 5 short-answer questions.  You will have 120 minutes (2 hours) and one attempt to complete the Midterm Exam.  

The exam must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 8: Social Cognition
    • Chapter 9: Personality
Discussion 9

Cognitive theorists believe that one’s perception of what one did is more important than what one actually has done or who one really is. Given this, what advice might you give to someone taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease?

Discussion 10

Think about an older person that you have known over a long period of time. What personality characteristics appear to have been stable over time? What characteristics have changed? Remember to relate your observations and experiences to your readings from this week.

Paper Part 6: Interview Synopsis Discussion

Consider your synopsis and discuss the key points of your interview.  Give a brief outline of the demographic details of the interviewee, the location and time of the interview, and observations about the interviewee that stood out or were impactful on the interview.

Dropbox Assignment 4: Paper Part 5

Interview Synopsis: Submit to Dropbox the questions you asked in your interview and 3 to 4 paragraphs detailing the interview. Please include demographic details of the interviewee; the location and time of the interview; and observations about the interviewee that stood out or were impactful on the interview (physical or other limitations of any kind, cognitive changes from previous years, relationship status, attitude, and responsiveness of the interviewee to questions and to the interviewer, etc.).

Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 10: Clinical Assessment, Mental Health and Mental Disorders
    • Chapter 11: Relationships
Discussion 11

Which of the disorders discussed in this chapter would you expect to see co-occur within the same older adult? Why do you think these disorders may occur together, especially in later adulthood?

Discussion 12

Have you know anyone who was “sandwiched” between caring for children and for parents? If so, what was their experience like? If not, what do you think the experience may be like? What supports could we make available to individuals in this “sandwiched” role?

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.
Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 12: Work, Leisure, and Retirement
    • Chapter 13: Dying and Bereavement
Discussion 13

Where are you in the process of occupational selection? Use the models presented in the textbook to frame your discussion.

Discussion 14

How would you want to die, ideally? Elisabeth Kubler-Ross believed that this was a question we should all be answering for ourselves and discussing in public, because doing so would change our relationship with death. Do you agree?

The Body of the Paper: Paper Part 7

Write a 3,000-word case study paper based on an interview with an older adult (60+ years) who is not related to you. The goal of this paper is to gain insight into a person’s unique experience of aging and adult development. For this paper, the following will be required:

Take the Aging Quiz found in the Quiz area.  Determine a direction/theme of your paper that will focus on one of the following areas: life story, impact of physical or mental changes, unexpected life event, work and leisure, or other aging event. Based on the results of the Aging Quiz, text material, direction/theme of your paper, and your own curiosity and observation (this is typically how case studies are first developed), develop a list of at least six (6) questions you will ask your interviewee that will be incorporated in the paper. Develop an outline of the main headings that will give your paper focus and structure. From this outline add content and narrative that will become your final product. Complete the Paper Assignment, which has been described in detail under the content area of the course.

Readings
  • Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields/Adult Development and Aging
    • Chapter 14: Successful Aging
Discussion 15

Baby boomers and millennials represent two of the largest generations ever produced in our country. What are the implications for our society of the rapid increase in the number of older adults from both these groups? (You may find Article I, posted under Learning Resources, helpful in answering the question.)

Discussion 16

How might you encourage older adults you know (e.g., your grandparents) to age more successfully? What steps would you take? What implications would this discussion have for the views you have toward your own successful aging goals?

Final Exam

The proctored Final Exam will cover Chapters 1 - 14, with an emphasis on Chapters 8 - 14.  The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and 5 short-answer questions.  You will have 120 minutes (2 hours) and one attempt to complete the Final Exam.  

The exam must be submitted no later than 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.

Late assignments will not be accepted or graded unless:

  • You can document the causes for the lateness, and the causes involve extraordinary circumstances beyond your control. 
  • You have obtained approval for a late submission before the stated deadline. Notification by the student without approval will not satisfy this policy.

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.