Course Information Sheet
 Psy101: Spring, 2001

Instructor: Dr. Matt Rossano
Office: 213C White Hall
Office Hrs: MW 9-12; TTh 9-11
Phone: 549-5537
email: mrossano@selu.edu (note: all email communication should be done using your university assigned address)
Text: Psychology:Themes and Variations (5rd ed.) by Wayne Weiten plus any other assigned readings

To those of you who missed the first day of class: I went through and explained this syllabus on the first day of class.  It is your responsibility to read this and understand it.  If you have any questions concerning this syllabus please see me either after class or during office hrs.  I cannot take up any more valuable class time explaining things that are already clearly stated on this syllabus.

Course overview and objectives: The class is designed as a survey of some of the major divisions of psychology.  We will cover such areas as the history and methods of psychology, principles of learning, human development, and abnormal psychology.  We do not cover the more biological aspects of psychology, which are the domain of the psyc102 class.  The objective of the class is to give the student an introduction into some of these areas of psychology, as well as an appreciation of the methods used for conducting research in these areas.

Grades: Course grades are based on three things: (1) Tests, (2) Quizzes, (3) Enrichment credits. (Each of these items will be explained in detail later). On each of these items you will receive points.  At the end of the semester I will total up the points that each student has received across all three of these items.  The student with the most points, wins! (i.e. is assured of an A).  I then take 93% of that top score, and all students with at least 93% of the top score also get A's.  I then take 85% of that top score and all students with at least 85% of the top score get B's; and so on using 78% for C's and 70% for D's.  The bottom line is that you must get at least 70% of the top score in order to pass.  Notice that this is a relative scale, it is based on student performance, not on an arbitrary standard set by the instructor.  However, because of this, I cannot tell you how many points you need to pass, or to get an A or whatever.  I don't know what the breakdown of grades will be until after the final.  Therefore, it is up to you to keep track of your relative standing in the class, here is how you do it:
After each test and quiz I will post the class distribution of scores noting the top score.  Write down your score and the top score.  Keep a running track of these scores throughout the semester.  At any time you can take your point total and divide it by the top point total.  This will yeild a proportion.  Compare that proportion to the grade scale cited earlier.  This is your grade so far in the class.  It is your responsibility to keep track of your grade, not mine.  You have all the information neccessary to know how you are doing, so don't ask me about your grade!
        A final note about grades (especially for graduating seniors).  I give exactly the grade you deserve based on the numbers.  I don't round anything.  I don't give "breaks."  I don't add points.  I'm a machine when it comes to giving grades. I really do fail people, even graduating seniors.  (As cruel as it may seem this is the only way that I can be fair to everyone.)  So please, keep track of your grade - don't let your final grade come as a shock, it shouldn't be.

Tests: There are 3 tests (two "tests" and one final).  They are all multiple choice.  The "tests" around 65 questions.  The final will have around 100 questions.  Each test is worth as many points as it has questions.  So there are approximately 230 points to be earned on tests.  The first two tests are not cumulative.  The final is.  About half of the questions on the final will cover "new stuff."  The other half will cover "old stuff."  What are my test like?  Well, you will find (if you make it a habit to come to class regularly) that quite a bit of what I lecture on is also covered in the text or on assigned readings.  This "overlap" is the material that is almost certain to be on a test.  So if I talk about it, and you read about it in the text (or other assigned readings), you better know it and know it well.  I will lecture on some stuff that is not in the book; and the book will cover some stuff that I will not talk about.  This material could also be on the test.  However, the majority of the test (I'd say roughly 70% of the test) will be "overlapping" stuff.  So adjust your study habits accordingly.
For each test (and quiz for that matter) you will need to bring a #2 pencil and a scantron answer sheet (the one with 50 questions per side).

Quizzes: I will also give 4 "sorta" pop quizzes.  I say "sorta" because if you attend class you'll get a pretty good idea of when a quiz is coming.  The quizzes will each have 25 questions, thus another 100pts. can be earned on quizzes. The quizzes are open book, open notes, however, you will have only 30 minutes to finish them so have well-organized notes and being familiar with the text will be a big help. You will not have time to read over all your notes or entire chapters of text while taking a quiz!  I will go over quizzes right in class after we take them.

Enrichment credits: All students in Psy101 are required to fulfill an experimental enrichment requirement.  To fulfill this requirement, you must sign-up to serve as a subject in an approved experiment (or experiments) conducted by the department, or for the microcomputer laboratory exercises. You are required to earn at least 2 hrs. of enrichment credits.  Sign-ups for enrichment activities are done on-line using the Experimetrix system. Details for this are found on Psychology 101 Enrichment Activities Policies Sheet, (available on my webpage in case you lose the one handed out in class). That sheet also contains other important information and policies concerning enrichment activities.
Hours earned in enrichment activities will be converted to points using the following scale.
each .5hr = 2pts
each hour = 5pts
Each student is required to earn 2hrs.  That means that another 10pts is available to be earned in enrichment activities.  If you fall short of 2hrs, you will receive no points.  You may earn up to 4hrs (20pts total pts, 10 extra credit points) of  enrichment credits.  Please understand that extra points are added on to your point total, not your percentage! The Experimetrix system will automatically keep track of your credits, which will be reported to me at the end of the semester. However, it is important to save your paper vouchers that you receive when you complete an experiment as back-up proof of participation just in case there is a problem.

Make-up tests/quizes: See the departmental policies sheet for details, but here are the basics.  If you miss a test (or quiz) you must either see me beforehand or promptly afterwards.  By "promptly" I mean by the next class meeting.  If I donot hear from you by the next class meeting immediately following the missed test or quiz, I will not allow you to take a make-up.  You may see me personally, or you may call, or you may leave a message for me at the main office or email (there is an answering machine there that will pickup even when the office is closed, my email is mrossano@selu.edu).  I must hear from you, I donot "automatically" leave make-up tests for students.
        If I approve, you will be allowed to take a make-up.  Make-ups are given by the department.  They take place on Fridays at around 3pm.  You must make arragnments to be there at that time to take the make-up, you cannot re-schedule or make-up a make-up.  My make-ups are all essay.  There are usually 5 or 6 essay questions for tests, and 3 for quizzes.  Look - you don't want to show up on a Friday afternoon to take an essay test and I don't want to grade the stupid thing, so do us both a favor and take the tests when you are supposed to!

Disabled students: If you are a qualified student with a disablility seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Student Life, Room 203, Student Union.

Attendance: I do take attendance for every class as is required by University policy.  However, do not count on me to drop you for non-attendance.  It is the responsibility of the student to drop this class if it is his/her desire to do so.

In class behavior: any behavior that inhibits the ability of the instructor to teach or fellow students to benefit from that instruction will not be tolerated.  Therefore no uncivil or disruptive behavior will be permitted in class.  Furthermore, no beepers, cell phones, or other noise-making electronic devices may be brought to class unless prior approval has been given by the instructor.

Withdraw dates:
2/19: first half semester classes
3/19: regular class withdraw deadline
4/22: second half semester classes
 

 Course Outline
 
Date Chapter Topic
1/20,22 1 Intro to class; History of Psyc
1/27,29* 2, appendix. B pps. A7-14 Research Methods/stats 
2/3,5 6 Learning
2/10**,12 Learning
2/17 Test 1  (Chpts.1, 2, 6 and Appex.B)
2/19 11 Developmental
2/26 11 Developmental
3/2***,4 12 Personality
3/9,11 12 Personality
3/16 Test 2  (Chpts. 11 and 12)
3/18 14 Abnormal
3/23,25 14 Abnormal
3/30,4/1  15 Therapy
4/6,8**** 15 Therapy
4/20,22 16 Social
4/27,29 16 Social
5/4,6 16  Social

*Quiz 1 around here
**Quiz 2 around here
***Quiz 3 around here
****Quiz 4 around here
 

The final exam is: Weds., May 12 at 12:30