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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 12-Jun-22

Fall 2022 | PSY-2010-VO05X - Child Development

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: 09-06-2022 to 10-24-2022
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-15-2022 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 10-04-2022 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Erin Valentine
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

In this course, students will explore child development from conception through preadolescence. The course emphasizes physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral, and communication development of the child. Topics include developmental theories, research, applications, and assessment tools.

Essential Objectives

1. Discuss theories and research on child development from conception to preadolescence, how they have evolved over time, and how they influence our understanding of children and their development.
2. Describe the physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral, and communication milestones of children from the pre-natal period through preadolescence.
3. Discuss how culture, race, socioeconomic status, generational trauma, and other factors can influence when and how children demonstrate developmental milestones.
4. Identify and effectively use tools for developmental screening and assessment, including those relevant to temperament, learning style, and all developmental domains.
5. Evaluate assessment tools for bias and discuss the ways in which assessing children without adequate context of their circumstances can create or reinforce social inequalities.
6. Understand the multiple influences on early development, including biological, genetic, environmental, cultural, familial, and adverse childhood experiences and recognize the lasting impacts these influences can have on a child, the family unit, and the larger community.
7. Describe the elements of safe, healthy, supportive, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed environments for children from birth through preadolescence.
8. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding the scientific method and in interpreting and evaluating statistical and other quantitative data as it is applied to human behavior in an ethical manner.

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 is a no cost textbook or resource class ***

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


  • Assigned readings, articles, and videos
  • Whole-class online forum discussions

Evaluation Criteria

Students are evaluated:

  • weekly through whole-class discussion forum posts,
  • once during the semester via a reflection paper
  • once during the semester via structured online exam, and
  • once via a final presentation

Over the course of the semester students are evaluated using on a 100-point scale. Students gain points by participating in class activities and completing assignments. The point breakdown for the course evaluation methods is as follows:

52 points – discussion forum posts and participation

10 points – reflection paper

18 points – final exam

20 points – final course presentation


Each week discussion forum prompts will be given for students to respond to. Students’ responses to these prompts are graded on a 4-point scale (i.e. each forum response is worth 4 points toward the overall course grade).

The grading criteria for the forum discussion posts are outlined below. Comments to other students are not graded individually, but are required.Students are required to make two substantive comments to their classmates or teacher each week. Comments are worth ½ point toward the total forum grade, one comment per forum is required. The word “substantive” is used to describe the type of comments that engage one another in conversation, not just a comment along the lines of “Nice post.” A substantive comment reflects on what someone wrote and provides more information, insight or opinion, or asks a question to further conversation.

The following guidelines will be used in grading students’ responses to discussion forum prompts:

4 points = A

  • Assignment is carefully and systematically answered.
  • Responses illustrate the student has a thorough understanding of the subject matter as evidenced through appropriate use of subject specific vocabulary and key concepts, and the ability to relate the subject matter to their own experiences and/or other areas of knowledge.
  • Responses are thoroughly researched and referenced using APA format with at least one scholarly primary or secondary source cited.
  • Arguments, theories and conclusions are well developed and show evidence of critical thinking and reflection.
  • Writing is succinct with no spelling or grammatical errors.

3 points = B

  • All major pieces of the assignment are responded to.
  • Responses illustrate the student understands the subject matter as evidenced through appropriate use of subject specific vocabulary and key concepts; limited ability to relate subject matter to their own experiences and/or other areas of knowledge.
  • Limited amount of primary or secondary research is cited; sources are not cited in APA-style.
  • Arguments, theories and conclusions are developed.
  • A small number of spelling and grammar errors may be present.

2 points = C

  • Student responds to most elements of the assignment.
  • Response illustrates basic understanding of subject matter.
  • There is little to no use of primary or secondary sources research; research is not cited at all.
  • Arguments, theories and conclusions are not fully developed.
  • Spelling and grammar errors impede the student's ability to communicate the main points of their argument.

1 point = D

  • Student responds to some elements of the assignment.
  • Response illustrates limited understanding of subject matter.
  • There is little to no research cited.
  • Spelling and grammar errors make it difficult for the student to communicate the main points of their argument.

0 point = F

  • Student does not respond to the components of the assignment.
  • Response does not illustrate an understanding of the subject matter.
  • No research is cited.
  • Spelling and grammar errors make it impossible for the student to communicate the main points of their argument.
  • Late work: All work submitted after the posted deadlines even if what is submitted is an otherwise well constructed post.


The Reflection Paper is to be written and submitted at the midpoint in the semester as a way of thinking about what has already been learned and how this information will affect/apply to the latter half of childhood.

The completed reflection paper should be 2-5 pages in length, written in 12-point font, double-spaced, in a Word document or similar format. The reflection should include references throughout, as appropriate, and full APA-style references/citations should be listed at the end of the paper.

In the paper the student should identify at least 3 aspects of development in early childhood that s/he thinks are particularly important to overall child development and are likely to have the most influence on the next phases of child development (and adult life). As a reflection paper the student can discuss areas they are interested in learning more about or any unanswered questions they have about aspects of development in the early years of life, or questions they have about middle childhood and adolescence which the student looks forward to learning more about.

This paper is worth 10 points toward the overall grade in the class. Students will be graded on their ability to follow the parameters of the assignment and to think critically about what they have learned and apply this to thoughts about their continued learning in the second half of the semester. Late assignments will not be accepted.


There is one online, open-book, exam in this course. It is timed, 60 minutes, contains 18 questions, and is worth 18-points toward the overall course grade. The exam takes place during the last week of class and is available to students for 1 week to take at the best time for him/her. The exam questions are multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, and matching. If the exam is not completed by the deadline a score of 0 will be given.


The final course presentation is designed to be an independent learning experience that students work on throughout the semester and then present to the class during the last week of the course. The course presentation is meant to assess the degree to which students have mastered and synthesized the general subject matter of this course. It will be graded with regard to the student’s ability organize, summarize and clearly present information, as well as the student’s ability to keep to the following guidelines.

Students must select one age group to highlight (i.e. infants, early childhood, middle childhood, etc.), a target audience for their presentation (e.g. new parents, nurses, middle school teachers, etc.), and a specific topic area (i.e. breastfeeding, bullying, obesity, sex education, etc.). The presentation should be designed to provide information (learned through outside reading and in the course) around these parameters. This presentation should focus on important aspects of development (i.e. cognitive, physical development, educational, temperament, etc.) as they relate to the selected age group, intended audience, and topic of the presentation.

For example, one might select infants as an age group and dietitians for an audience and focus the presentation on the topic of breast feeding vs. bottle feeding and nutritional benefits of both. In this case the presentation would emphasize how nutrition is connected to physical, cognitive, and social-emotional growth and development. As additional examples, previous titles for presentations completed by students have included: What Nurses Need to Know about The Benefits of Infant Massage, How Type 1 Diabetes Effects Children: Information for Teachers, Cyber Bullying: What Parent Need to Know to Prevent Potential Deadly Consequences in Early Adolescence.

Completed presentations needs to be presented in PowerPoint, Prezi, PowToon, Keynote, or a similar slide-based media. Presentations must be posted to the appropriate discussion forum during the last weeks of the semester (see week-by-week syllabus for deadlines).

Presentations need to be a minimum of 15 slides and no more than 30 slides. The first slide of the presentation should be the title slide, which includes the student’s name. The final slide of the presentation should be entitled ‘References’ and must list a minimum of 5 scholarly references that were used in researching the topic. Acceptable scholarly references include: books, journal articles, and scholarly news reports. Website references do not count toward the total of 5 scholarly references needed, but students can gather information from websites to build their own knowledge on a topic. Websites used in research about the topic can and should be listed as references at the end of the presentation too, but there must be a minimum of 5 scholarly sources referenced. Students must properly cite all references (both in the presentation, as necessary, and on the ‘References’ slide) using APA format.

This project is worth a total of 20 points toward the student’s final course grade. The final presentation is submitted at the beginning of the last week of the semester.

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

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


September 6-12

Theories of Child Development & Research Methods


Read all important course document found in the Welcome module (i.e. anything that says READ ME FIRST, SECOND, or THIRD) and explore the class website (i.e. click on links, resources, documents, etc.)

Read textbook Chapter 1: Introduction to Child Development, other assigned reading, and view the videos linked to in the Week 1: Overview


Post an introduction about yourself to the class Introductions forum by Friday at midnight

Post to the two graded discussion forums on ‘Theories of Child Development’ & ‘Conducting Research’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight



September 13-19

Genetics, Heredity, the Environment, Birth and the new Baby


Read Chapter 2: Conception, Heredity, & Prenatal Development and Chapter 3: Birth and the Newborn, the assigned websites about ACEs, and the view the assigned videos linked to in the Week 2: Overview


Post to the discussion forums on ‘Infant Reflexes’ and ‘Teratogens, ACEs, and their impacts’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight



September 20-26

Infancy & Toddlerhood


Read textbook Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy & Toddlerhood, Chapter 5: Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood, and Chapter 6: Social and Emotional Development in Infancy in Toddlerhood and view the assigned videos in the Week 3 Overview. There is additional reading you will do for each forum post as well, which is discussed and linked to in the discussion forum.


Post to the discussion forums on ‘Infant or Toddler Observation’ and ‘Temperament and Attachment’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight



September 27 - October 3

Early Childhood


Read Chapter 7: Physical Development in Early Childhood, Chapter 8: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood, and Chapter 9: Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood, the article Making Play Work for Education and National Institute for Play website, and watch the assigned video found in the Week 4 Overview.


Post to the discussion forums on 'Learning and being through play' and 'Preschool environments' by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight

Complete the mid-term reflection essay by Monday at midnight



October 4-10

Middle Childhood


Read Chapter 10: Middle Childhood - Physical Development, Chapter 11: Middle Childhood - Cognitive Development, and Chapter 12: Middle Childhood - Social and Emotional Development, the article Becoming a Problem Solver, and the assigned videos linked to in the Week 5 Overview.


Post to the discussion forums on ‘Stages of problem solving’ and ‘What is intelligence?’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight



October 11- 17

Adolescents and Teenagers


Read Chapter 13: Adolescence - Physical Development, Chapter 14: Adolescence - Cognitive Development, and Chapter 15: Adolescence - Social and Emotional Development and watch the two films linked to in the Week 6: Overview


Post to the discussion forums on ‘Identity Development’ and ‘Being a teen’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight

Finish work on your final presentation



October 18 - 24

Atypical Development & Presentations


Read the articles Preschool Children Who Have Atypical Patterns of Development and Adolescents with Disabilities, the 3 matrices of typical vs. atypical child development, and each of your classmates’ final presentations; watch the short videos linked to in the Week 7 Overview


Post completed final presentation to the ‘Course Presentation’ discussion forum by Tuesday at midnight

Submit completed course presentation to instructor in the assignments area by Tuesday at midnight

Post to the discussion forum ‘Services for children’ by Friday at midnight

Respond to at least two classmate/instructor questions/comments by Monday at midnight

Complete final examination by Monday at midnight

Complete CCV Course Final Evaluation


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

Participation is a key components of this course; in fact, this course is dependent upon student participation and collaboration. In order to participate in this course, students must be present in the discussion forums. Each student is expected to contribute actively on a weekly basis. If a student is not present in at least one of the discussion forums during the class week (Tuesday-Monday) they will be considered absent for that week. Posting to a forum after the week is over will not change this absence. Additionally, and to emphasize the importance of weekly class participation, original posts submitted after the stated deadlines receive a grade of 0, regardless of the quality of the post.

These participation guidelines are in place to help facilitate discussion, shared learning, and cohesiveness in the course. If a student anticipates being unable to participate in a weekly discussion forum, the student must discuss his/her absence with the instructor as soon as possible in order to determine if an extension can be granted. Extensions are never granted after the deadline to post has passed (i.e. don’t wait until after deadline has passed to let the instructor know why you were absent). Arrangements can often be made to address absences in the forums if students are proactive about contacting the instructor as soon as possible before the end of the weekly discussions.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Discussions forum posts are not accepted late. Original posts are due by the end of the day Friday as specified in the course calendar and weekly schedule. Original posts submitted after the due date/time will not be graded and will receive a grade of 0. All discussion forum comments are due by the end of the day Sunday as specified in the course calendar and weekly schedule. Late comments will not be counted toward the weekly discussion forum grade. A late comment will mean an automatic half-point deduction from the discussion forum grade.

The midterm and final exams are each open to students to be taken for one week of the semester as specified in the course calendar and weekly schedule. If they are not completed during that time given (1 week for each) a grade of 0 will be given. There is no make-up for a missed exam. Students must plan their time accordingly to take the exams when they are available.

The final presentation is due by the end of the day on the last Tuesday of the semester (the first day of the last week of class) as specified in the course calendar and weekly schedule. If the presentation is not uploaded by the due date there will be 1-point deducted for each day or portion of day that the presentation is late, up until the end of the semester. Presentations will not be accepted for grading once the semester ends and a grade of 0 will be given. There is no make-up for this assignment if it is not submitted by the end of the semester.

Personal, family, and work emergencies that may affect a student’s ability to complete an assignment are always taken into consideration and a mutually agreed upon extension can be made in these circumstances. But, please note, an extension will never be granted after the due date for an assignment has passed. If a student believes they will not be able to make any assignment deadline they should contact the instructor as soon as possible so appropriate arrangements can be agreed upon. If a student contacts the instructor after the due date has passed, no extension will be granted.

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.