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PSYC 2900H

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   3   
Course Title   Special Topics In Psychology (Honors)   
Prerequisite(s)   PSYC 1101 or PSYC 1101H and acceptance into the Honors Program and permission of the Honors Coordinator and 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.  
This course is PSYC 2900 for Honors students.  

Expected Educational Results   
The intent of the Special Topics in Psychology - Honors course is to allow for in depth exploration of a topic in psychology by students in the Honors Program.  This course permits faculty to offer appropriate freshman- and sophomore-level topics in psychology that may not otherwise be offered at GPC.  

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   
1. 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 textbooks, book chapters, and journal articles.
B. Students develop their listening skills by listening actively and accurately to lectures, videotapes, and other students (during group discussions and problem-solving exercises).
C. Students develop their writing skills through written homework assignments, papers, writing essays, and preparing a major term paper or research paper on a topic related to the theme of the course.
1. Students demonstrate professional writing conventions appropriate to the purpose and content of their writing.
2. Students use APA style effectively in empirically based reports, literature reviews, and theoretical papers.
D. Students develop their speaking skills by asking questions, through class discussions, and/or through oral reports to the class.
2. This course addresses the general education 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   
Special Topics in Psychology
This course emphasizes in-depth coverage of a content area with a required major research paper or an original research project paired with an extensive written report.  The course emphasizes class discussion, critical thinking, oral and written expression skills, and reading from primary sources.  

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   

Evaluation of students will place an emphasis on high-level critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.  
Grades from some combination of the following will be used to determine each student’s final course grade: homework assignments, papers, projects, discussions with the instructor, and exams.  Exams may be multiple-choice, short answer, essay, or a combination of the two.  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.

A. This course will be assessed each time it is taught.  Objective or essay 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.

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:  March 3, 2005

Last Revised: Aug. 11, 2011
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