PY231 Online Syllabus

Instructor Information:

Instructor: Kerry Towler, Ph. D.


Text: Papalia, D. E., Olds, S. W., & Feldman, R. D. (2009). Human development (11th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Course website:; All course materials from syllabi to lecture notes will be posted on the resource website. In addition, all quizzes, exams and assignments will be submitted on this website. General communications will occur as messages at the website.

Course relationship to Psychology Major program

The prerequisite course is PY101. PY231 is required for completion of the B.A. degree in Psychology and is part one of two developmental courses designed to survey research-derived knowledge of the human lifespan. This course is a prerequisite for its companion course, PY251.

Course Description

This course is a survey of human development topics from conception to adolescence. The purpose is to introduce historical psychological theories of human development, to represent research-based material about human growth, to expand critical thinking skills, and to illustrate course concepts with life experiences.

Course Objectives

The goals for learning include:

Identifying similarities, differences, strengths and weaknesses of developmental theories, including psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, and social cognitive theories.Placing life stages in developmental context of the human lifespan.Investigating the biological foundations of human life.Identifying physical, cognitive, and psychosocial milestones from conception through adolescence.Investigating course concepts with assignments designed to integrate personal experiences and opinions.Preparing critical thinking skills by comparing personal experience, commonly available knowledge and scholarly research.

College-wide Learning Outcomes

This course's relationships to the College-wide learning goals include:

1) Use effectively the skills of reading, writing and speaking

2) Recognize the issues that affect social and political behavior in their historical and cultural perspective.

3) Think critically and develop a basis for effective judgment.

4) Access and evaluate information and its sources and use information effectively to accomplish a purpose.


Learning assessment will consist of the following:

4 Mid-term exams

4 x 100 = 400 points


300 points

Project Assignment

100 points

Total Points Possible

800 points

Exams: Each mid-term exam will consist of 100 multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions. The exams will take place in a TWC computer lab on selected Fridays throughout the semester. Four exams will be administered over the course of the semester.

Please take note: Non-attendance of exams will result in a "0" for the exam and will reduce your total points by 100. Exams are to be attended; not doing so puts your grade at risk. NO MAKE-UPS WILL BE PERMITTED for missed exams.

Activities/quiz: This course is designed to integrate your life experiences with the concepts of human development. Assigned activities will serve for applications-oriented learning. Some tasks will require journal-type entries, while others will require research or thoughtful, well-articulated responses. ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE TYPE-WRITTEN USING APA WRITING STANDARDS.

Quizzes will be administered weekly to evaluate your knowledge. Quizzes will be administered online on the weeks that no exam is scheduled. You are expected to do your own work AND, unless otherwise identified prior to the quiz, you are not to use your course materials.

Project: You will choose a topic related to child/adolescent development to investigate. Several activities will be assigned to help focus your investigation. You will create a Powerpoint presentation on your topic. The project will require your scholarship in the form of finding authoritative sources and critical thinking as you integrate information for presentation.


Since this course is presented in an online format, your participation is essential to your learning process. A grade will not be assessed for participation, however, your participation in discussion sections and submitting is expected.


Grades are assigned as follows based on a total of 800 points:

A = 760 – 800

A- = 720 – 759

B+ = 696 – 719

B = 664 – 695

B- = 640 – 664

C+ = 616 – 639

C = 584 – 615

C- = 560 – 583

D = 480 – 559 Below 480 pts is a failing grade.

Your grade will be derived from the number of points you earn throughout the semester...not percentage of total points. For example, if after all points have been earned, your final point total for the semester is 719: you will have earned a 'B+' for your course grade. Please note that your effort and scholarship are the driving factors in your grade. If you are one point from the higher grade, as in the example of 719 points, you will not be gifted the higher grade.

Please keep track of your grades throughout the semester. I do my very best to make sure that the records are accurate. If you believe a mistake has been made, make an appointment with me to go over your exam grades. Bring with you the records that support your position. In the presence of evidence, I am willing to correct recording errors.


Learning Outcome



1) Use effectively the skills of reading, writing and speaking

Student will complete written interpretations of selected readings. Included in the grading criteria is use of APA writing components.

Success will be demonstrated by > 70% aggregate of all critical writing assignments.

2) Recognize the issues that affect social and political behavior in their historical and cultural perspective.

The student will read the textbook, handouts, and assignments and participate in examinations of course topics.

Success will be demonstrated by > 70% on chapter exams.

3) Think critically and develop a basis for effective judgment.

Activities assigned across the semester will allow the student to draw from personal observations or experience for comparison with the course materials.

Success will be demonstrated by >70% average across assigned activities

4) Access and evaluate information and its sources and use information effectively to accomplish a purpose.

The student will create a Powerpoint presentation on a course related topic. The project will require library research which includes authoritative sources and integration of concepts in a visual presentation format.

Success will be demonstrated by >70% grade on the completed project.

TWC Mission Statement

In keeping with the spirit of the liberal arts, Tennessee Wesleyan College seeks within the framework of the Judeo-Christian tradition to provide for students the highest quality educational experience, to promote personal responsibility, integrity, and purpose, and to prepare students for a life of leadership and service in an ever changing global community (TWC 2009-2010 Academic Catalog, p. 8).

Tennessee Wesleyan takes pride in its role as a small church-related college affiliated with the United Methodist Church and accepts the challenge of advancing a community of learning on the main campus in Athens and at its off-campus sites. The College serves a heterogeneous student body comprising traditional and non-traditional students, non-degree-seeking adult learners, and international students. Highly-qualified faculty and staff are committed to assisting students in the realization of their full potential by providing appropriate career, pre-professional, and professional education and/or requisite preparation for continued study in graduate school. The College offers baccalaureate programs in fine arts, humanities, natural and social sciences as well as business, nursing, other career-related areas, and teacher certification. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to be knowledgeable, to think critically and creatively, and to develop a basis for effective judgment. In order that they may take their places among those who lead and serve, graduates are expected to be able to:

use effectively the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening be knowledgeable of religious beliefs and issues, the religious positions of others, and the choices with which religion confronts them recognize the issues that affect social and political behavior in their historical and cultural perspective demonstrate mathematical and basic computer skills, and discover the impact of science and technology appreciate the contributions of the arts and literature to life enrichment choose physical activities which will enhance wellness.

Academic Integrity

"I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself with foremost level of academic integrity."

"A student who lives by the Honor Pledge [quoted above] is an individual who does more than not cheat, falsify, or plagiarize. A student who lives by the Honor Pledge

Espouses academic integrity as an underlying and essential principle of the College communityUnderstands that each act of academic dishonesty devalues every degree that is awarded by this institutionIs a welcomed and valued member of Tennessee Wesleyan College"

Students enrolled in this course are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Any incidents of cheating in any form (including, but not limited to cyber cheating, plagiarism, falsification of journals, records, or assignments) and collusion in these incidents will result in an automatic "0" on the work in question and/or an "F" for the course. The following definition of plagiarism comes from the following website: "Using words, computer code or any work by someone else without giving proper credit is plagiarism. Any time you use information from a source, you cite it". Please read carefully what is meant by plagiarism.

The position of TWC is that "Violation of academic inconsistent with the philosophy of education of Tennessee Wesleyan College and the moral and ethical prescriptions of the Christian faith." (TWC 2009-2010 Academic Catalog, p. 39) All incidents will be reported to the Office of the Academic Dean.

Special Needs

Any student with a disability requiring accommodations should discuss with me your specific needs. It is my goal to be a partner in your learning process so that your needs are met in this course.