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PSYC 2900

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at http://www.gpc.edu/programs/Common-Course-Outlines.
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Special Topics In Psychology
Prerequisite(s) PSYC 1101 or PSYC 1101H and permission of department chair.
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
This course is taught in response to student interest and demand.  Some examples of topics covered are human relations, communications skills, stress management, parenting skills, and others.  The transferability of this course depends on the evaluation of the receiving college or university.

Expected Educational Results
The intent of the Special Topics in Psychology course is to meet student needs by allowing for some flexibility in course offerings and course delivery.  This course permits faculty to offer appropriate freshman- and sophomore-level topics in psychology that may not otherwise be offered at GPC.  Faculty might also use the Special Topics course to offer sections of regularly offered courses in an alternative delivery system (e.g. as an independent study for individual students or to a small number of students in seminar style).  Since the specific content of each Special Topics course will vary, the expected educational results and the course content must necessarily be described in general terms.

As a result of completing this course the student will be able to:

1. Identify, define, and give examples of the key terms used in the specific area being studied.
2. Describe and critique the major theoretical approaches to the special topic area of study.
3. Compare and contrast the major theories in the special topic area being studied.
4. Identify and discuss major topics and concepts in the special topic area being studied.
5. Describe applications of the major concepts.  
6. Discuss current controversies and disagreements in the special topic area of study.

General Education Outcomes
I. This course addresses the general education outcome relating to communications as follows:
A. Students develop their reading comprehension skills by completing the assigned readings, which may include text books, book chapters, and journal articles.

B. Students develop their writing skills through written homework assignments, papers, and/or writing essays.
II. This course addresses the general educational outcome of demonstration of effective problem-solving and critical thinking skills by requiring students to apply knowledge gained from the course to analyzing and solving the types of problems that are often encountered in real life.

Course Content
1. Terminology
2. Major theories
3. Important concepts and topic areas
4. Major research areas and studies
5. Important historical or contemporary controversies

Assessment of Outcome Objectives
I. COURSE GRADE
Grades from some combination of the following will be used to determine each student’s final course grade:  class participation, homework assignments, papers, projects, discussions with the instructor, and exams.  Exams may be multiple choice, short answer, essay, or a combination of the three.  Individual instructors may determine the relative weightings of each component in determining the grade for the course, and must state the weightings to be used in determining student grades in the course syllabus.

II. DEPARTMENT ASSESSMENT
A. This course will be assessed each time it is taught.  Objective questions assessing student mastery of outcomes for this course will be included in either the final exam or unit tests for this course.  Each instructor must include these questions in the appropriate exam.  Each instructor is responsible for reviewing and tabulating the results of these outcome assessment questions and transmitting them to the course or curriculum committee responsible for this course.  Individual instructors should use feedback from assessment in their classes to review and evaluate their own teaching practices.
B. The construction of the outcome assessment questions will be the responsibility of all psychology faculty, college-wide, who teach the Special Topics course on that particular topic.

III. USE OF ASSESSMENT FINDINGS
The psychology Curriculum Committee will meet in either the summer or fall terms of each year a Special Topics course is offered to review the course and to evaluate the results from the prior assessment.  The review of the course outcome assessment findings will provide information on success in achieving the desired outcomes for this course on a college-wide basis.  If fewer than 100% of the students in classes with two or fewer students, or 70% in classes of three or more students perform successfully on questions measuring any particular educational outcome, the committee will examine teaching practices related to that outcome, the assessment instrument, and the desired learning outcomes to determine which, if any, of these need modifying. The committee will share its findings and recommendations with all faculty teaching this course, and may make changes to the desired educational outcomes, teaching practices, or assessment instrument as appropriate.

Updated: January 5, 2001
Minor Revisions:  June 27, 2005

Last Revised: Aug. 11, 2011
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