Name: Jennifer P. Peluso

Department Name: Psychology        College: SC

Course number: PSY 1012

Course Title: General Psychology

Course Term: FALL      Number of Students: 1288

Course Term: SPRING     Number of Students: 1288

Course Term: SUMMER     Number of Students: 200

Is this course WAC-certified?: NO

If there are multiple sections offered, is there a common syllabus?:  YES

If there is no common syllabus, how will the department/program maintain consistency of content and outcome?
     There are only minor variations across all sections in the topics and content, and the pedagogical approaches to the content taken, each semester. The instructors for the course meet periodically to review the similarities and differences taken toward the course. The instructor of each course designs and administers his/her own exams.
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Foundations of Society and Human Behavior description:
Courses in this area examine the forces that shape human behavior and societies. The disciplines represented in this foundation area study individuals, groups, societies, cultures, markets, and nations. Their scope is broad: the formation of attitudes; how institutions develop, function, and change; the forces that transform society and social institutions; how societies change the environment and respond to environmental change; the relationships between individuals and society; and the scope and complexity of systems of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class.

Learning outcomes are associated with each category of the Intellectual Foundations Program. For each learning outcome listed below, please describe how and where the course will meet each learning outcome. In other words, provide the Core Curriculum Committee a “road map” of where each outcome can be found in the course content and how it will be measured. Some outcomes might be readily seen in student papers or exams. Other outcomes, might be measured by projects, class discussions, portfolios, field experience, presentations for example. Your responses below need not be lengthy, but you should be as explicit as possible.

Learning outcome #1:  Students will describe patterns of human behavior.
How and where will the course meet this outcome and how will it be measured?
            In successfully completing this course, students learn about what is and is not known about the physiological, behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional bases of human and non-human behavior. Moreover, they learn about a variety of theoretical explanations for behavior, become familiar with the differing research methodologies used to investigate different questions in psychology, and understand how psychological science is applied to real-world settings (e.g., education, business, parenting, therapy). Ultimately, the aim is to develop students who demonstrate basic understanding of what it means to scientifically observe behavior and to think critically and objectively about behavioral phenomena and the “human experience.”
            Course exams throughout the semester (in class and in Blackboard), IClicker questions/quizzes (in class), and other classroom participation tasks (vary by section).

Learning outcome #2: Students will describe how political, social, cultural, or economic institutions influence human behavior and how humans influence these institutions.
How and where will the course meet this outcome and how will it be measured?
            Psychologists understand that there is a complex interaction between the biological, cognitive, social, and cultural variables present in the life of human beings. Psychologists use the tools of science to understand the separate and combined influence of these factors in the behaviors and mental activities (decisions, thoughts, perceptions, emotions, etc.) of the individual.
            Many theoretical frameworks within psychology emphasize the "bio-socio-cultural" theme. Constructivist views of development, evolutionary perspectives on consciousness, and social neuroscience theories about emotion are just a few examples of the topics addressed in the course that touch on this objective.
            Course exams throughout the semester (in class and in Blackboard), IClicker questions/quizzes (in class), and other classroom participation tasks (vary by section).

Learning outcome #3: Students will apply appropriate disciplinary methods and/or theories to the analysis of social, cultural, psychological, ethical, political, technological, or economic issues or problems.
How and where will the course meet this outcome and how will it be measured?           
            The discipline of psychology is, at its heart, a science. The scientific aspect is emphasized throughout the entire semester and is the basis upon which critical thinking is taught. The basics of experimental design are covered at the beginning of the semester including (but not limited to) the following concepts: types of research, correlation vs. causation, independent/dependent variables, experimental/control groups, confounding/extraneous variables, internal/external validity, psychometric properties of (good) tests and measures.
            Students are taught these concepts with the goal in mind of developing information literacy. The aim is to help students (begin to) master the skill of scientifically evaluating the various claims about psychological phenomena that exist in the media, common culture, and personal beliefs.
            The basic understanding of psychological research methods and statistical concepts is also vital for students' ability to understand the theories and published research described throughout the various topics we cover all semester. Without it, students only acquire a simplistic (and inaccurate) view of the complex phenomena that are taught.
            Course exams throughout the semester (in class and in Blackboard), IClicker questions/quizzes (in class), and other classroom participation tasks (vary by section).
            In addition, students are required to either participate in current ongoing research in the department, or to to read and summarize recently published original psychological research. These experiences afford students the opportunity to see theory and research "come to life" in concrete examples. The students have to "process" these experiences by answering questions about the purpose and design of the studies they participate in or read about.

 

 

 Last Modified 2/5/15