Syllabus for PSY-211



The study of the life span, the subject of  Developmental Psychology intrigues us all. Each of us, and everyone we care about, is constantly developing. We see development in childhood more readily because rapid changes take place in physical size, knowledge, and social interactions. Heightened public awareness of the problems of aging in our contemporary society has led to new information on the processes of growth and change taking place in middle and late adulthood as well. This course includes both scientific discoveries and personal insights.


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

     CO1     Describe the life span as an ongoing developmental process, or set of processes, involving

                 both continuity and change, by giving examples from the literature, including physical, social,

                 cognitive, and personality development.  

     CO2     Analyze different developmental events from the perspectives of the four major theories of

                 development—cognitive, learning, psychoanalytic, and humanistic—and recognize those

                 theories when used by others to analyze events.


     CO3     Explain how research contributes to the understanding of development.

     CO4     Identify important developmental concepts and apply these concepts in various situations.

     CO5     Formulate relevant questions about developmental processes and events and use

                 standardized techniques for gathering objective answers to these questions.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-1259708794

Required Materials

ISBN-13: 978-0136049340

Accessible at:

Note about My Virtual Child

My Virtual Child is an interactive website designed to be utilized alongside the curriculum of a typical developmental or life-span psychology course. The main goal is to provide a means for you to integrate coursework with practical “experiences” in raising a virtual child through adolescence.

Go to to purchase your access code and create an account. Throughout the course, you will be required to raise your virtual child to different ages and respond to questions about your child’s progress. Check out the My Virtual Child—Help Document for more information.


Developmental Psychology is a three-credit, online course, consisting of eight modules. Modules include study materials and activities.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take 17 chapter quizzes, submit a final project, and take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class in Module 1, you are required to participate in four graded online class discussions.


Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two 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 or your mentor, state and support your position. Remember, these are discussions. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Your answers to each question should be in the range of 500 to 700 words, or the equivalent of 2 to 3 typed, double-spaced pages in Times New Roman, font-size 12. Make sure to answer each question completely and check for accurate spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Make sure that all sentences are complete and that your paragraphs are appropriate.


You are required to take 17 quizzes, one per chapter. You may use any materials that you wish in taking the quizzes, and there is no time limit for taking each quiz.

Students find that quiz-taking is a beneficial way to prepare for examinations. Therefore, you will be able to take each quiz an unlimited number of times, and the gradebook will record your most recent score. This arrangement will allow you to go back and reread portions of the text that you need to review and then take the quiz again for further practice.

Final Project

You will be working on a final project throughout this course that consists of nine journal entries. For the final project, you will create an account with Pearson’s My Virtual Child and raise your virtual child to the age of 18. At different stages of your child’s life, you will be asked to write and submit journal entries reflecting on your child’s development. You will submit one entry per week starting at the end of Week 2. Your journal entries will be returned to you with feedback from your mentor. This feedback will provide you with a great opportunity to revise and edit your entries. At the end of the course, you will submit your finalized collection of journal entries. Your final project is worth 20 percent of your final grade.


You are required to take two proctored, closed-book examinations online: a midterm and a final. The midterm covers content from Modules 1 through 4; the final covers content from Modules 5 through 8. Both exams consist of multiple-choice questions, are two hours in duration, and require that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the Examinations and Proctors section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course website) 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.


Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Exam Study Tools

For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exams, refer to the exam study guides/topic outlines available in the Examinations section of the course website.


Ungraded practice exams are available. They contain questions similar to those that you will see on the graded exams and should serve as an effective way to prepare. In the course website, click on a practice exam link to begin.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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).


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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