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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 12-Nov-22

Spring 2023 | PSY-1010-VO03 - Introduction to Psychology

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Robert Mandatta
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Kate Hughes

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
Social Sciences
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course is a survey of the basic issues, concepts, theories, and methods of psychology. Students explore the scientific approach to understanding human behavior through a study of sensory processes, perception, emotion, motivation, intelligence, learning, and personality formation.

Essential Objectives

1. Discuss the development of psychology as a social science, including practices that create, maintain, or dismantle social inequalities.
2. Analyze how current research in neuroscience influences our understanding of the biological and environmental foundations of behavior.
3. Explore how environmental stimuli are sensed and perceived.
4. Describe the nature of consciousness and its relationship to psychological well-being.
5. Experiment with learning and memory formation and evaluate how intelligence is measured.
6. Understand key milestones in language, cognitive, and socio-moral development.
7. Compare theories of motivation and emotion.
8. Identify psychodynamic, behavioral, social, cognitive, and humanistic theories of personality and discuss the approach each takes to understanding human behavior.
9. Discuss how individuals and groups are influenced in social settings over time.
10. Evaluate how socio-cultural norms and values shape psychological diagnosis and treatment and discuss the importance of cultural competence in the field of psychology.
11. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding the scientific method and in interpreting and evaluating statistical and other quantitative data as applied to human behavior in an ethical manner.
12. Explore career opportunities in the field of psychology and related professions.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


No prior experience with online learning is required for this course, just a willingness to learn and the self-discipline to stay focused for this rich, multimedia immersion into the fascinating world of psychology.

It also doesn't matter where you begin the course in terms of academic skill -- advanced or new to college level learning, all are welcome!

This course does not use Zoom or require you to be online at a specific time. Nor is it a conventional course with a textbook, quizzes, and papers that are privately submitted to the course instructor. It differs from such traditional college courses, both in person and online, in several key ways, including the following:

-- The learning is interactive and peer-based, which means that all of your work will be posted at our class Discussion forums where you must interact with your colleagues in weekly Q&A sessions.

-- Instead of reading a textbook you'll be using a variety of free online sources in different types of media (scholarly text articles, videos, podcasts, etc.).

-- You'll focus on case studies, both real and fictional, including your own experience and our course case study novel, Lucky's Dream at http://www.sundogstories.net/lucky/frames.htm (NOTE:This crime novel is set in Vermont and contains explicit sexual material, street language, and scenes of graphic violence that require a mature attitude and adult sensibility.)

-- You'll learn how to find your own valid online sources and mixed media to use in your posts.

-- You'll identify a current leader for marginalized Vermonters and create a mixed media presentation about their leadership style and vision.

-- You'll assess your learning at the end of this course after exploring professional options.

Evaluation Criteria

1. I assess how well you identify and explain behaviors, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and feelings, especially when analyzing your own experience and our weekly case studies. What evidence or expert opinion do you rely upon?

(See, e.g., "Distinguishing Fact, Opinion, Belief and Prejudice" @https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/co300man/pop12d.cfm)

2. I encourage clarity of thought and cleverness of expression, as well as sound academic writing, citing, and posting with mixed media at Canvas. While I welcome brief tangents, I expect you to have addressed the point of each assignment.

3. Naturally, I prefer posts that are interesting, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, the kind that invite serious discussion with your course colleagues about the week's overall topic and related issues.

4. I gauge your interest and note how well you participate in the Discussion Q&A -- are you engaged and helping to build an online learning community with your course colleagues?

5. I ultimately evaluate the extent to which you have demonstrated growth of academic and professional skills in our field of study, as well as their application to your personal life and career goals.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Due to the interactive nature of online learning, your work must be posted to count, and you cannot make up missed work after the week has ended. You must post at least once during the 24/7 class week to be marked Present.

I offer one Free Week of five points for any non-exam Discussion in case of a conflict (such as personal illness, family emergency, or bereavement).

If you encounter technical problems with your computer or server--which happens to all of us periodically--please post from your nearest CCV academic center, your local public library, a wifi cafe, or by using a public wifi hotspot (https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/public-wifi-hotspots-vermont).

Please note that attendance is not the same as participation, and 100% of your final grade is earned by participating in the class meetings held at our weekly Discussions (see "Methods" above).

If you miss three or more weeks, you cannot earn academic credit for the course, although you are welcome to participate for learning's sake.

Missing & Late Work Policy

  • Late work is not accepted in the discussion forum. Interacting with classmates is an essential part of online discussions and cannot be made up after the fact.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.