General Psychology Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Hours

I typically work Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. until Noon. To make sure I’m available, please contact me ahead of time. I will find a time to meet with you, even if it’s earlier than I normally get to work, after hours, or on a weekend.

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at www.actx.edu/disability.
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is https://www.actx.edu/counseling/ . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is https://www.actx.edu/arc

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at https://www.actx.edu/-amarillo-college-privacy-notice , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to humanresources@actx.edu .

Course

PSYC-2301-018 General Psychology

Prerequisites

Course Description

General Psychology is a survey of the major psychological topics, theories and approaches to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
mgraves24@actx.edu
806-371-5995
Make appointment at https://melodiegraves.youcanbook.me

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.

Hours

(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Hybrid

Syllabus Information

Textbooks

Exploring Psychology, 11th Edition, David G. Myers & C. Nathan DeWall, WITH the access code

This book is typically cheapest if you purchase both the print loose-leaf version along with the access code to the digital information available through LaunchPad. You will need that digital access code, because there will be assignments due throughout the course that are only accessible through it. If you are able to purchase the access code alone, that is fine, since you will also get access to the digital version of the book with the code.

Supplies

Pencil, pens, spiral notebook, and access to a computer with Internet connection. If you do not have your own computer, you will need to use AC computers located on the 4th floor of Ware (the Library) or in The Underground (the basement of Ware).  Your exams will be given online, so you need to make sure you have a reliable computer AND Internet connection.

Student Performance

These are the MINIMUM competencies. After studying the material presented in this course, the student will be able to do the following as evaluated by the faculty in the department/program:

1. Identify various research methods and their characteristics used in the scientific study of psychology.

2. Describe the historical influences and early schools of thought that shaped the field of psychology.

3. Describe some of the prominent perspectives and approaches used in the study of psychology.

4. Use terminology unique to the study of psychology.

5. Describe accepted approaches and standards in psychological assessment and evaluation.

6. Identify factors in physiological and psychological processes involved in human behavior.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at https://acconnect.actx.edu .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Because this is a hybrid course, I will not be able to fully lecture over all chapters covered. You will need to read your textbook to get the best grade. In our course in Blackboard, I have also included short videos from the publisher that will help you understand the material, as well as my PowerPoint presentations from in-class lectures. All of these materials will help you learn the material that will be covered on exams. Exam questions are pulled directly from the textbook, and you will also need the access code to use LaunchPad (the publisher’s online textbook and supporting materials), so in my class, the book along with the access code are truly needed. The online access code is required specifically to enable you to complete required assignments throughout this course.  The first week of class, you can sign up for free digital access to the book and everything in LaunchPad, but this free access will expire before all of our assignments are due, so at some point, you will need to buy this access code. The book is usually cheapest if you purchase the bundle, including the print version in a loose-leaf format as well as the digital version (with the access code you need to use LaunchPad). But, you might find an option to ONLY purchase the digital access – that alone will work fine, since that also gives you access to the book in digital format. The first assignment requiring the online access is due Week 2 of our class, so please sign up for your free access within the first week of class, even if you are waiting on financial aid or for your order to be delivered.

All students are expected to be tolerant and respectful of other students. There will be zero tolerance for any type of harassment.  Please be courteous and respectful of the different opinions of your classmates.  AC also expects that each student will engage in academic honesty and refrain from cheating and/or plagiarism.  I expect each student to complete their own work independently rather than copying assignments from classmates or working collaboratively.  Exams should be completed independently, as should all other assignments for this class.  Penalties for cheating as well as plagiarism are outlined in the Amarillo College Student Handbook. 

In our course calendar, I list due dates for all assignments. Please try to complete all assignments on time. Calendar all due dates, use phone reminders, take advantage of the time you have, and plan ahead. If an emergency is going to prevent you from completing an assignment by the deadline, you will need to let me know, and I require you to tell me before 5:00 p.m. on the day the assignment is due. Please do not procrastinate past that time to at least begin assignments. I rarely grant extensions on due dates; however, I will always open things up early for you, if that would fit better into your schedule. Most of my assignments are open throughout the course. If you can click on it to access it, you can work ahead and submit assignments before their deadlines.

Grading Criteria

You can check your grades in our course in Blackboard.  For your final overall course grade, I will round up at the standard .5 and above.  Grading will be on the scale:

100-89.5% = A
89.4-79.5% = B
79.4-69.5% = C
69.4-59.5% = D
59.4% and below = F

The points will be earned:

50% of overall grade – Exams (4)
20% of overall grade – Social Responsibility Assignment
15% of overall grade – Class Participation & Videos (4 total videos/quizzes are required)
15% of overall grade – LaunchPad LearningCurve Activities (15)  

  • There will be four 50-question multiple-choice exams taken online in Blackboard. 
    • I will drop your lowest exam grade.
    • The exam questions will be taken directly from the textbook.
    • Exams will open at 12:00 a.m. on the date indicated on the course calendar and will close when indicated, at least 5 days later, at 11:59 p.m. (except for the last exam, which will be due by Noon on the last day of the course). 
    • You must complete the exam, all at once, within the allotted time of 90 minutes. 
    • Please do not wait until the last minute, when you will not find anyone to assist you with technical problems.  I, and most all other AC staff, will be unavailable to answer questions after 8 p.m. each night. 
    • Do NOT take exams on a laptop connecting to the Internet wirelessly, a cell phone, or when using an unreliable connection.  Use an actual computer that has a dedicated cable for the Internet connection.
    • You may take each exam from any location – from home, in an AC computer lab, at the public library, etc.
    • These exams are open-book/open-note.
    • You will be able to see your exam grade immediately, but you cannot access all of the questions/answers until after the due date has passed – at that point, you can click on the menu item My Grades in our course, click on the Exam of interest, and you will then see all of the questions/answers.
  • For the Social Responsibility Assignment:
    • You will be required to complete 4 hours of community service at a service agency in your community. This would likely be a nonprofit organization that provides a service to the entire community.
      • Possible agencies include the Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Maverick Girls and Boys Club, and the SPCA or local pound. 
      • If you are unsure if your agency qualifies, please ask me before you complete the volunteer hours. If you are in the Amarillo area, you might find some options by signing up for Hands On Amarillo at: https://www.actx.edu/studentlife/volunteer-opportunities-and-service-learning
    • You must provide signed documentation verifying that you completed all of the hours.  
      • If you do not provide verification of all 4 hours completed, you will receive a 0 for your overall Social Responsibility Assignment. 
    • After you have completed your hours, you will then answer questions about the experience, entering your answers directly onto the template. 
      • You will complete the “Social Responsibility Assignment Template” and submit it through Blackboard as a Word document or Rich Text file. 
        • Do NOT create your own file – use the TEMPLATE, filling in your answers after each question (you can simply add your answers to the template and do not need to change anything on the template itself).
        • At least for your answers, follow MLA style. Watch the video on this assignment for more details on what is expected.
        • Do NOT submit this assignment as a PDF.  Only Microsoft Word or Rich Text files are acceptable.
    • Each question has a rubric, which will be used for grading. The questions are worth different amounts of points.  You will be able to access the rubric within the assignment in Blackboard.
    • Although you can complete your volunteer hours with other classmates, you are required to complete the template on your own.  Submit your own independent work for a grade.
    • If you have done this for another class in a previous semester, you must complete another 4 hours and submit a new template, tailored to THIS class.
      • For example, you are required to cite our textbook in your answer to #3 – use the textbook we are using in this class.
    • Prior to the final deadline for this assignment, and by the due date indicated on our course calendar, please tell me at which agency you plan to volunteer.
    • See additional information about this project in our Blackboard class, including the rubric by which you will be graded.
    • If you’re actually reading this, thank you. Please email me: “I read the syllabus” and I’ll give you a bonus point. My email is below.
    • Also, please find below the full citation to our textbook, for the Social Responsibility Assignment. You can copy/paste this directly onto the last page of the template – the Works Cited page.

Myers, David G., and C. Nathan DeWall. Exploring Psychology. 11th ed., Worth, 2019.

  • Participation – I have made a few videos (over the full chapters for 1 & 2 and shorter portions of Chapters 4, 15, 6, 9, 10, & 11).
    • You must complete at least ONE of the videos/quizzes for Chapter 1 and/or Chapter 2. As long as you complete one of the first two chapters videos/quizzes, you may then choose 3 more videos/quizzes to complete 4 total.
    • As you watch the video (or after you have watched, if you prefer), in Blackboard, complete the 10-question quiz on that chapter.
    •  None of the quizzes are timed, so you should be able to leave it open as long as you're watching the video, answering as you go along.
    • You can also take each quiz as many times as you would like, and your highest grade will be the one that remains in the gradebook.
    • If you want to watch all of the videos and take all of the quizzes, I will only keep your highest 4 quiz grades in the gradebook. Also, if you watch all of the videos and take all of the quizzes, regardless of your grades on those quizzes, I will award you some bonus points, for all of your work.
    • As part of this Participation grade, I will also reward people who attend classes AND demonstrate content mastery by participating knowledgeably in discussions. By “knowledgeably,” I mean that it will be clear that you read the book and are familiar with the topic being discussed – beyond only offering your opinions (which are also welcome). You will receive points toward this grade simply by answering my questions in class and offering your feedback on course material. (The information just below ONLY applies if you are not able to participate in class sessions):
      • Because we are still dealing with COVID-19 and because I do not require class attendance, IF you are unable to participate in class discussions, you can choose to post comments in Blackboard. I will be using the Blackboard tool for online Discussion Boards, but this is not a typical Discussion Board. You will NOT be expected to post an initial post and two replies by specific due dates. Deadlines for your posted comments will need to follow along with our pace in the in-class lectures. In other words, if we’re currently talking in class about chapter 14, that’s when you should post a comment or question regarding Chapter 14, but three weeks after the Exam including Chapter 14 has passed, that information is no longer as pertinent. So please try to follow along with the group’s discussions. 
        • I ask that you routinely check this forum and reply to people who reply to you (myself included).
        • This online discussion for our entire class will remain open for the full 8 weeks of our course.
  • LaunchPad LearningCurve activities
    • If needed, I will drop 4 of these LearningCurve activities. If you score a 100 on each of the 15, you will receive bonus points.
    • Through your electronic access to our book (in LaunchPad) you will need to complete one LearningCurve activity for each chapter.
    • These LearningCurve activities are tied to, and will hopefully prepare you for, each exam.  For example, before Exam 1, I will ask you to complete 3 LearningCurve activities:  on Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3. 
    • See our course calendar for the specific LearningCurve activities and when they are due.
    • If you have technical problems using the LaunchPad system, contact Customer Support.  You can also call them at (800) 936-6899.
  • Finally, throughout this course, I will offer chances for you to earn bonus points that are added on to your final average in the class. This often helps people who are hovering near their target letter grade get bumped up to it. But you will have to take advantage of these opportunities as they come, all along the course. I don't offer last-minute chances to save a poor grade. Many of these are located in our course with the Lecture Notes.
  • In our class in Blackboard, you will find additional information about all assignments, including informational videos I have made for each of them.

Attendance

Attendance is measured not only by attending in-person classes but also by way of your completion of assignments by their due dates. If you do not attend our first class, then you must complete the first assignments in this course by their deadlines or communicate with me about why you are not participating, or you will be dropped from the class altogether.  Automatic withdrawals occur if non-attending students do not submit their first assignments through Blackboard during the first week of classes.

Although I do not require attendance at every class and there is no strict attendance grade, I will award participation points for knowledgeable participation in class discussions, and by attending classes, you will also benefit from my explanations of information that could be on your exams.

Periodically, I will make announcements, which will be posted in our class on the “Announcements” page in our course and also sent out via email, so checking your email regularly is also highly recommended.

NOTE: If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, do not come to class! Contact me, and I can make sure that you stay up-to-date. If you receive a positive diagnosis, shelter in place. Stay home, and please notify me immediately. I will let you know what steps the College requires of you, before you will be able to return to campus in person.

Calendar

Classes

Chapter Covered

Lesson/Lecture

Assignment Due

Week 1
January 19

Chapter 1

Thinking Critically

Scientific Method

Videos/Quizzes on Chapters 1 &/or 2*
Due Monday, 1.24

Chapter 2

Biology of Behavior

Chapter 3

Consciousness & the 2-Track Mind

Tuesday, January 25

Census Day. This means if you haven’t completed an assignment by today, you will be automatically dropped from this course.

Week 2
January 24 & 26

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Consciousness & the 2-Track Mind

Developing Through the Life Span

LaunchPad LearningCurves for Chapters 1, 2, & 3 (3 total), all due Tuesday, 1.25

EXAM 1, covering chapters 1-3

Opens Wednesday, 1.26

Closes Tuesday, 2.1

Chapter 5

Gender & Sexuality

Week 3
January 31 & February 2

Chapter 5

Chapter 14

Gender & Sexuality

Psychological Disorders

Part 1 of Social Responsibility Assignment

Tell me the name of the agency where you plan to volunteer. Simply email me the name.
Due Friday, 2.4

Week 4
February 7 & 9

Chapter 15

Chapter 6

Therapy

Sensation & Perception

LaunchPad LearningCurves for Chapters 4-5 & 14-15 (4 total), all due Tuesday, 2.8

EXAM 2, covering chapters 4-5 & 14-15

Opens Wednesday, 2.9

Closes Tuesday, 2.15

Week 5
February 14 & 16

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Learning

Memory

Videos/Quizzes on Chapters 4, 15*
Due Tuesday, 2.15

Part 2 of Social Responsibility Assignment

Works Cited page. Please submit to me, through Blackboard, your Works Cited page, with the required TWO citations. There is a Blackboard drop-box where you can turn in the Works Cited page. It can either be a standalone page OR you can complete only the last page of the template and upload that full document (even if the rest is not yet completed – I will only evaluate your Works Cited page at this point). Following MLA style, you will need to cite 2 sources – one to our textbook and the other for your agency.
Due Wednesday, 2.16

Tuesday, March 1

Last day to withdraw from 8-week classes. Sometime during week 6, talk to your instructor to begin the process. Along with your instructor, you must sign a form. You must then submit that completed form to your advisor and the Registrar, all BEFORE the drop date. Simply telling your instructor or advisor that you plan to drop is not enough.

Week 6
February 21 & 23

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Thinking, Language, & Intelligence

Motivation & Emotion

LaunchPad LearningCurves for Chapters 6-9 (4 total), all due Tuesday, 2.22

Exam 3, covering chapters 6-9

Opens Wednesday, 2.23

Closes Tuesday, 3.1

Week 7

February 28 & March 2

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Personality

Social Psychology

Videos/Quizzes on Chapters 6, 9*

Due Tuesday, 3.1

Social Responsibility Assignment

Submit your completed template through Blackboard.

Due Wednesday, 3.2

Week 8

March 7 & 9

Chapter 11

Stress, Health, & Well-Being

LaunchPad LearningCurves for Chapters 10-13 (4 total), all due Tuesday, 3.8

Videos/Quizzes on Chapters 10, 11*

Due Thursday, 3.10 AT NOON

Exam 4, covering chapters 10-13 (NOT cumulative)

Opens Wednesday, 3.2

Closes at NOON Thursday, 3.10

Note:  I am required to submit final grades (in psychology classes) by end of day, Thursday, 3.10. ALL assignments in my course are due by NOON on Thursday, 3.10, which is the last day of the course and of this 1st 8-week session. Spring Break begins next week (3.14 through 3.20).   

Thursday, March 11

Final grades will be submitted BEFORE 4 p.m.

Additional Information

Please contact me if you have questions or problems that are impacting your performance in this class.  As much as possible, I will be happy to help you.  My contact information is below.

I will hold office hours by appointment.  I am happy to schedule times that are convenient for you, even after-hours or on weekends.  If you are unable to meet with me in person, we could arrange a time for a call or a Blackboard Collaborate session (like Zoom).

The best way to reach me is by sending me an email (mseder@actx.edu).

You can also contact me on my office phone (806)345-5582, but that will only work during typical business hours. I typically work 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mondays-most Fridays.  If you do not reach me when calling, leave me a message.  I will check voicemail messages periodically throughout most workdays.  If you do not leave a complete message, I may not be able to help you.  Please tell me your full name and which class you are attending (for example, “Sue Smith in General Psychology 10:30 Monday/Wednesday class”). 

I cannot guarantee that I will respond to any messages after 5:00 p.m.  I can guarantee that I will not respond to any messages left on my office number after 4:30 p.m. or to very many messages sent via email after 8:00 p.m.

Syllabus Created on:

01/10/22 10:50 AM

Last Edited on:

01/24/22 2:06 PM