Term: Syllabus-Fall 2004

Class: Psy 311U, Developmental Psychology

Time: Thursday Night 5:30pm-9:10pm

Place: Mount Hood Community College


Instructor:  L. McCabe

Office:  Cramer Hall 365

Telephone: (503) 701-7924

Email: auto110346@yahoo.com [Email is preferred]

Web:  http://psych34.tripod.com

Office Hours:  After Class or By Appointment

Course Overview

This course addresses issues related Human Lifespan Development. This is an overview of the major theories and issues involved in understanding human development and how it relates to thinking and behaving.


Personal Teaching Philosophy

My personal teaching philosophy may be different than what you as a student might expect, or have experienced. I think that what occurs in the classroom should be a learning experience that is based upon the foundation of what you learn within the text. For that reason I may choose to only cover part of a chapter as presented within the text, and augment your learning experience with in class activities or other lecture items.

In addition, I feel that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. Modern technology allows us to explore this aspect of learning with greater depth. This is why I heavily emphasize the World Wide Web as a mean for exploring topics, and as a means of communication with the instructor (myself) as well as your fellow students.

Thus my philosophy can be summarized in the following sentences.

1. The classroom is more than a venue for lectures.

2. Learning does not end when one is out of the classroom.

University Policies


By enrolling in this class you agree to abide by Portland State University’s academic policies as well as their student codes of conduct.  If you would like a copy of these policies to review, either visit the course web page or I can provide one for you.


Given these University policies, and the level of the course, I work under the following assumptions:


1.  Every student in this course understands what constitutes plagiarism and/or cheating ( for more information on what constitutes plagiarism, please see course webpage).


A.  Use quotation marks or other formatting to show the reader that your writing is quoted.

B.  Cite the quotation and/or idea, including both date and author.

C.  Only use quotations to explain a point or provide an example.


2.  Every student understands classroom etiquette.


A.  Be attentive to those who are speaking, both the instructor and fellow classmates.

B.  Limit private conversation.  While a couple of people whispering may not be that disruptive, whispering tends to spread to other groups.

C.  Be on time, or quietly enter the room if one is late.


3.  That the classroom environment is one of respect towards the diversity of beliefs that exist.

            A.  Realize that you won’t agree with everything I present in this course.

            B.  Realize that you won’t agree with what others say in this course.

C.  Realize that while I may not agree with you, I respect your individual experience and value it in the classroom dynamic.

As college students, these assumptions can be seen at the very least as redundant with other classroom experiences.  However, some of the issues we discuss in this course are quite sensitive and/or controversial in nature.  Individuals may get upset with either the course material, or with fellow student’s beliefs.  In rare instances I, as the instructor, must enforce University policies.

These policies can be found at http://www.ess.pdx.edu/osa/policies-codes.htm  .  If a student is found to be in violation of these policies, I am authorized by the university to take certain courses of action based upon any given behavior.

Plagiarism is completely unacceptable.  If an individual is caught plagiarizing their final project they will receive a score of a ‘zero’. 

Course Policies

Read your syllabus carefully as it constitutes an agreement between you (the student) and myself (the instructor).  Occasionally, I have students that make comments about certain aspects of this course that were well described within the syllabus.

1.  If you are here, but arrive too late to engage in a group activity or if you leave early, this counts the same as not attending class.

2.  All papers must be typed and double-spaced.

3.  Your name should be placed on the very back of the last page of any assignment /paper you turn in.  This helps eliminate bias in grading.

4.  It is common, especially with a long format course, for students to come talk to me with a variety of concerns during the break.  Sometimes, I will personally ask you to hold your questions until I myself take a short break.  I have had students take this personally, when I have asked them to wait.  Just like you, I too sometimes need to “collect” myself before engaging in another hour or so of teaching.

5.  If you have to miss class, it is unnecessary for you to call me.  Call a member of your group to see what you missed. If you are going to miss an exam, please call me prior to the class meeting of the following week. 

Required Materials

Development : Through the Lifespan (3rd Edition), By Laura E. Berk


Human Development in Multicultural Contexts: A Book of Readings, By Michele A. Paludi

Odin Account, and Access to WebCT

Points Possible


4 Jigsaw Pieces                   60

4 Article Presentations         40

Exam  1                                 50

Exam  2                                 50

Final Exam                             100

Total                            300 points

Extra Credit

In addition to the total points offered in this class I will count an addition 10 points worth of extra credit. Usually I offer many ways for you to earn this "extra credit", but all extra credit opportunities will ONLY be posted on the course web page or mentioned in class.

However, if you do not like one of your test grades, you may choose to drop it in favor of an additional 10-page term paper/project.


The Exams/Midterms

Photocopying of exams is one of the largest consumptions of paper by the Psychology Department. In an effort to reduce the amount of paper used, and to take advantage of the technology offered by PSU, I have decided to move the midterm exams to WebCT.  There will be two multiple-choice midterms, comprising 50 questions.  You will have 1 hour to complete the exam online.

As this is a WebCt based exam, it means that you as a student are responsible for getting an Odin account and learning how to use WebCt.  This will also help you to communicate with your group on the group e-boards. While for the few of you that do not have Odin accounts, this may be a hassle, there are several benefits to doing exams this way.

1.      Less paper

2.      You can take the midterm during a "period of time" rather than in the classroom. This means that will be able to schedule the exam that is most convenient for you during the period it is offered.

Because the exam will be offered for a period of 4 days (Thursday-Sunday Noon), there will be no make up exams. In all cases, the missed exam must have some form of documentation (doctor's note etc.).

Final Exam

The final exam is during finals week. It is a 100-item exam comprised of half comprehensive questions and half questions covering the material presented since the final exam.  You will be allowed 2 hours to complete this exam, and it will be presented online.

Thursday, December 9



Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

Four weeks that we do not meet, you will have an assignment due.  This assignment is based upon a teaching method called the "Jigsaw Classroom", where each individual within a group is responsible for teaching the group their own section of the picture.  In our case, this will happen in an online format.  Each group will have their own discussion board.  Upon the assigned due date, you are responsible for posting fairly in depth reading notes from your associated chapter.


Each assignment is worth 15 points, 10 for the notes and 5 for the subsequent questions that you ask of your fellow students.  To receive full credit you must post a chapter's worth of notes, and 1 in depth question from another's chapter.   While you do not receive credit for answering the other person's question, please be helpful to your other students.  You are the 'expert' of your chapter, and these questions will help you on your exams.  Each section is graded on a pass/fail basis.


Article Presentations


During four weeks that we do meet, you will have a small group presentation due.  Now these presentations are informal, limited to 5-key points and a summary of an assigned article. Each presentation should take 3 minutes or less, allowing for a short period of group discussion.  This article will be assigned out of Human Development in Multi-Cultural Contexts.  The presentations are graded on a pass/fail basis, based upon handouts that you will fill out and turn in during class.


Week 1: September 30

Course Introduction
Chapters 1 & 2


Week 2: October 7

Class does not meet: Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6
Jigsaw puzzle piece 1 is due on WebCT


Week 3: October 14

Class Meets: Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 [Lecture]
Article 1 small group presentations


Week 4: October 21

Class does not meet: Exam 1 & Chapters 7,8,9,10
Jigsaw puzzle piece 2 is due on WebCT


Week 5: October 28

Class Meets: Chapters 7,8,9,10
Article 2 small group presentations


Week 6: November 4

Class does not meet: Chapters 11,12,13,14
Jigsaw puzzle piece 3 is due on WebCT


Week 7: November 11

Class Meets: Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14 [Lecture]
Article 3 small group presentations


Week 8: November 18

Class does not meet: Exam 2


Week 9: November 25 [Thanksgiving]

Class does not meet: Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18
Jigsaw puzzle piece 4 is due on WebCT  Monday, November 22, 2004


Week 10: December 2

Class Meets: Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18 [Lecture]
Article 4 small group presentations


Week 11: December 9

Final Exam: ONLINE