Syllabus for PSG-103



Polysomnography Scoring provides a solid foundation in the principles, techniques, and concepts related to polysomnographic scoring. The course covers the fundamental concepts of sleep staging, arousal recognition and scoring, and event scoring for respiratory, limb, and cardiac events.  

The course outlines the standard scoring practices currently in use. Clinical judgment is always necessary, both when scoring and interpreting polysomnograms. Therefore, you are encouraged to stay abreast of changes in the field, including updated practice parameters and newly published standards and guidelines. The quality of the interpretation of the polysomnogram you record has much to do with your ability to understand, and accurately score, the recording.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify normal adult and pediatric wake and sleep EEG patterns.
  2. Identify and describe normal and abnormal sleep architecture.
  3. Identify and score:
  1. adult and pediatric sleep/wake stages.
  2. arousals and awakenings.
  3. adult and pediatric respiratory events and respiratory effort-related arousals and awakenings.
  4. movements and event-related arousals and awakenings.
  5. cardiac events.
  1. Identify and document unusual occurrences including REM sleep behavior disorder, rhythmic movement disorders, seizure activity, alpha-delta sleep, and drug-induced EEG spindles.
  2. Perform the calculations required to reduce scored data according to standard PSG reporting parameters.
  3. Create and verify the accuracy of a PSG technical report.
  4. Define the scoring process and reporting parameters used for MSLT/MWT testing.
  5. Define the scoring processes and reporting parameters used for portable monitoring procedures.


You will need the following material to do the work of the course. Fundamentals of Sleep Technology, 2nd ed., is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct. The AASM Manual for Scoring . . . Version 2.0 is available by subscription or access code from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Course documents are available from within the course space.

Required Texts

  • Mattice, C., Brooks, R., & Lee-Chiong, T. (Eds). (2012). Fundamentals of sleep technology (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. [N.B. Also used in PSG-101 and PSG-102]
    ISBN-13: 978-1451132038

  • The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events: Rules, Terminology and Technical Specifications Version 2.0. [Available by calendar year subscription or access code from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. See]

Course Documents

The following PDF documents are available to you from within individual modules of the course:


Polysomnography Scoring is a three-credit online course, consisting of  ten modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials (lecture notes, assigned reading, and /Flash/PowerPoint presentations), and activities (online discussions and scoring assignments and reports). Module titles are listed below along with their respective course and module objectives.

  1. Identify normal wake and sleep EEG patterns [CO 1]
  2. List the EEG frequency bands commonly seen in polysomnography [CO 1]
  3. Differentiate sleep/wake stages according to patient-specific factors [CO 3A]
  4. Identify and describe normal sleep architecture [CO 2]
  5. Apply standard criteria for sleep stage scoring [CO 3A]
  6. Measure frequency and amplitude of waveforms [CO 1, 3A]

  1. Apply criteria for determining arousals [CO 3B]
  2. Categorize EMG activity including body movements [CO 3D]
  3. Categorize EMG activity including PLMS [CO 2, 3D, 4, 5]
  4. Distinguish scoreable limb movement from artifact or other associated events [CO 3D, 4]
  5. Measure frequency, duration, and amplitude of limb movements [CO 3D]
  6. Apply scoring rules for limb movements [CO 3D]

  1. Subdivide respiratory events into event categories [CO 3C]
  2. Discriminate clinically significant events [CO 2, 3C]
  3. Measure respiratory events [CO 3C]
  4. Measure oxygen desaturations [CO 3C]
  5. Integrate abnormal respiratory event data, associated oxyhemoglobin desaturations, EMG activity, and sleep stage scoring to calculate indices for report generation [CO 3C, 3D, 5]

  1. Identify and evaluate cardiac events [CO 3E]
  2. Differentiate between lethal and nonlethal ECG arrhythmias [CO 3E]

  1. Differentiate normal from abnormal activity [CO 2, 3D, 4]
  2. Identify potential causes of abnormal sleep patterns [CO 2]
  3. Revise the montage [CO 1, 3A]
  4. Identify and evaluate abnormal EEG waveforms [CO 1, 2, 4]
  5. Identify and evaluate potential seizure activity [CO 4]
  6. Identify and evaluate unusual motor activity [CO 2, 3D, 4]
  7. Identify and document seizure activity, alpha-delta sleep, REM behavior disorder, rhythmic movement disorder, and drug-induced sleep spindles [CO 4]
  8. Integrate information such as age-specific EEG characteristics, EEG arousals, and alpha-intrusion to customize the sleep scoring rules to each clinical scenario [CO 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4]

  1. Differentiate sleep/wake stages according to patient-specific factors [CO 3A]
  2. Apply standard criteria for scoring [CO 3A]
  3. Apply criteria for determining arousals [CO 3B]
  4. Measure frequency and amplitude of waveforms [CO 1, 3A]
  5. Categorize EMG activity including body movements [CO 3D]

  1. Subdivide respiratory events into event categories [CO 3C]
  2. Discriminate clinically significant events [CO 2, 5]
  3. Measure respiratory events [CO 3C]
  4. Measure oxygen desaturations [CO 3C]
  5. Integrate abnormal respiratory event data, associated oxyhemoglobin desaturations, EMG activity, and sleep stage scoring to calculate indices for report generation [CO 3C, 3D, 5]

  1. Summarize scored data [CO 5]
  2. Apply current AASM standards to reports [CO 5]
  3. Discriminate erroneous data [CO 6]
  4. Verify the accuracy of a computer generated report by manually calculating sleep latencies, sleep stage percentages, and indices [CO 5, 6]
  5. Create an accurate report [CO 5, 6]

  1. Differentiate sleep/wake stages and assign sleep stages for each epoch according to current standards [CO 3A, 7] 
  2. Calculate sleep onset and REM latencies for each nap and a mean sleep latency for the entire test [CO 5, 7] 
  3. Summarize scored data based on standards, identifying erroneous data [CO 6, 7] 
  4. Verify the accuracy of a computer generated report by manually calculating sleep latencies [CO 5, 6, 7] 
  5. Create an accurate report [CO 6, 7] 
  6. Differentiate between the patient report of subjective sleepiness versus objective evaluation of sleepiness [CO 7]

  1. Score oximetry studies and generate a report [CO 3C, 8] 
  2. Score cardiorespiratory studies and generate a report [CO 3C, 3E, 8] 
  3. Score actigraphy studies and generate a report [CO 8] 
  4. Score and generate reports for downloadable PAP equipment [CO 8]


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, to submit scoring assignments and reports, to take a proctored midterm examination, and to complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Polysomnography Scoring requires you to participate in ten graded discussion forums worth 16% of your course grade. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Deadlines for posting discussion topics are given in the Course Calendar.

Click the link below for an evaluation rubric that will aid in the grading of online discussion forums.

Scoring Assignments

Each module concludes with one or more scoring assignments or reports, collectively worth 44% of your course grade. Scoring assignments and reports entail working with sample sleep studies that you will download and save to your computer, along with their respective scoring spreadsheets.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored midterm examination worth 15% of your course grade. You must take the midterm online using the University's Online Proctor Service. Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information tab in the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

The midterm exam is two hours long and covers all topics and material from Modules 1–5 of the course. It consists of multiple-choice questions based on the lecture notes and assigned reading.

Online exams are administered in the Examinations section of the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of midterm exam week.

Final Project

For your final project, you will stage, score, and report on 200 epochs of an adult PSG study. The final project is worth 25% of your course grade.

Please see the Final Project section of the course Web site for further details about the project. Consult the Course Calendar for its due date.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  • Scoring assignments and reports (11)—44%

  • Online discussions (10)—16%

  • Midterm exam (proctored, modules 1–5)—15%

  • Final project—25%

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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