West Valley College_
Department of Psychology___
Michelle D. Reed
408.741.4029

General Psychology Online

Fall 2015

General Information:
This is an online General Psychology course. Students who fail to log-on during the first three days of class will be dropped from the roster, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. After that time, if for any reason a student has to stop participating in this course, it is his or her responsibility to formally drop the class with Admissions and Records. Any student failing to formally drop the course under such circumstances, will receive an F on his or her transcript.
 
Course Description:

General Psychology provides students with an understanding of human behavioral and cognitive activity from a biopsychosocial perspective. Online Format: 3 units. Acceptable for credit: University of California; California State University. Course Number: Psych 001.  Section Number: 44282.

Students will be expected to read a minimum of 1 chapter per week from the primary textbook, to read from supplemetal reader(s) and posted lectures/ assignments, and to actively participate in online discussion assignments (when applicable). The supplemental reader(s), while brief in length, will need to be completed when assigned, in addition to the text reading assignments. With any 3 unit college course, students are expected to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours of studying for every hour they spend in class. Since this is an online course without in-class lectures to attend, it is particularly accelerated. Online courses in many ways are more challenging for the student, as the workload requires one to stay on task and self-motivated throughout the semester. That said, psychology is a fascinating field with a myriad of topics to discuss and explore; you will learn about everything from aspects of social psychology, to how drugs impact the brain, to what causes various disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. My course offers interesting reading, several fascinating videos, lectures/ posted articles, and class discussions.

 
Course Objectives:
The student will be required to demonstrate an ability to analyze, synthesize, and critically evaluate basic concepts in psychology both in testing formats and practical applications. By the completion of this course, one must be able to explain the biopsychosocial determinates of behavior, critically analyze and evaluate research findings in selected topics of psychology, and identify the fundamental aspects of abnormal psychology.
 
Office Hours:
Regular office hours will be held online via Angel on Wednesdays from 7:30-8:00 P.M.. Appointments may also be scheduled on an individual basis. Students needing to schedule individualized appointments should call my voicemail a minimum of 24 hours in advance, in order to ensure I have received the request in time. Students are encouraged to discuss any difficulties or questions they may have regarding the course content. Prior to the beginning of the semester, students may also contact me via my e-mail address: michelle.reed@westvalley.edu. During the term, all email communication will occur from within Angel at: http://wvmccd.angellearning.com/default.asp
 
Disability Statement:
West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. College materials will be available in alternate formats (Braille, audio, electronic format, or large print) upon request. Please contact the Disability and Educational Support Program at (408) 741-2010 (voice) or (408) 741-2658 (TTY) for assistance.
 
Testing Format and Policy:
Students will be given eleven (multiple-choice) chapter quizzes based upon the text reading assignments; the lowest chapter quiz will be dropped at the end of the term. In addition, students will be given three MANDATORY exams during the course, which will cover both lecture material and reading assignments.

The first two mandatory exams (each on a Thursday evening from 7:00-8:30 P.M.) will consist of (mostly) multiple choice and a few fill-in and/or short answer items; these exams will be taken ONLINE at a set date/time. The final exam will be taken online on Thursday, 12/17/15 from 7:00-9:00 P.M.. The majority of your grade in the course will be based upon your chapter quiz and exam scores. A small percentage (approximately 6%) of your grade will be based upon your active, appropriate, and consistent participation in the course.
 
Grading Policy:
Student exams will be graded on a slight curve, which is very close to a traditional percentage grading system. At the end of the semester, student test and participation scores are totaled. This final point total is used to formulate the overall grade out of the total possible points.
 
Cheating Policy:
Students caught cheating will receive an F for that exam or project. The zero will be averaged into the student's final grade. Additional repercussions from the college may also occur under such circumstances.
 
Required Texts and Materials:
Image of textbook coverMyers, David G. (2012) Psychology (Ninth Edition or later).  ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-1597-8 Available in either an ebook OR a traditional                        textbook version, whichever you prefer.
                    .Styron, William. Darkness Visible (a small book)
***Please note: the instructor reserves the right to change any portion of this syllabus during the semester to meet the needs of the class  .