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Duration of the course: 10 weeks
Required Text: Myers, D.G. (2013). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Purpose: The purpose of the course is to introduce students to central concepts and principles of psychology.
Student learning outcomes
- to understand major concepts, theories and principles in psychology
- to understand similarities, differences and ties among theories and concepts in psychology
- to apply theories, concepts, methods in students’ life
- to develop the necessary skills to continue studies in the field
- Week 1: History of psychology, modern methods, ethical issues in psychology.
- Week 2: Biological psychology, human brain and its functioning, neurons.
- Week 3: Human perception, behavior, perceptual development.
- Week 4: Consciousness, hypnosis, dreaming.
- Week 5: Learning, types of conditioning, reinforcement.
- Week 6: Intelligence, creativity, memory.
- Week 7: Emotions and motivation, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, positive psychology.
- Week 8: Personality, genetic and social effects on personality, Freudian theory, personality traits.
- Week 9: Social psychology, stereotypes, aggression.
- Week 10: Psychological disorders and their treatment.
Participation points will be provided to students who take an active part in the discussion. The discussion will be based on materials provided in class (videos, texts, online resources). The points will be given in terms of relevance of contribution and novelty as compared to contributions of other students.
Written assignments will also be a part of the evaluation. Each week, students will provide a brief reflection essay on the week discussion (with a focus on their learning process). Students will also write 5 papers (700-1000 words) during the course. One paper will be written each two weeks.
The final exam will include a test of 100 multiple-choice questions and a paper (1000-1300 words) on an issue discussed during the course.
Evaluation of the Syllabus
The syllabus is developed in terms of the principles of heutagogical principles. Gazxi (2014) states that heutagogical is based on the principle of students’ self-determination and reflection as well as orientation on students. It is also stressed that adult education should include these components as adult learners are somewhat different from younger students and methods used for younger learners may be less efficient. Hence, the course in question contains these elements. Of course, it equips students with a set of knowledge and skills on particular topics in psychology. Importantly, it presupposes a lot of student’s reflection and development of skills of a lifelong learner. Blaschke (2012) stresses that the heutagogical learning involves development of learners’ skills as well as capacity to learn.
The written assignments (which are prevalent types of assessment) focus on reflection and they are consistent with the heutagogical principles. They will be central in achieving this heutagogical goal. These tasks will help unveil students’ ideas on learning, their own academic goals and learning peculiarities. These assignments will also help them explore the challenges they face or might face and their own capacity to learn. Students will be able to reflect on their progress and ways they have developed to address the challenges they face. Importantly, these reflections should also be a part of the class discussion. The educator will guide students in their self-exploration and will draw students’ attention on the skills necessary for lifelong learning. Notably, some topics are closely connected with perception, learning and motivation. These sessions will be especially important for the heutagogical component of the course. The educator will draw students’ attention to various techniques and methods of learning they can apply in their studies. Again, it essential to launch discussions and encourage students to share their ideas and the techniques they use.
Importantly, a lot of attention will be paid to discussion and students’ contributions. Mundhe and Herkal (2013) note that heutagogical approach requires a special focus on learners’ needs and development of students’ capability to learn. The discussions will help the educator as well as students identify students’ needs. Msila (2013) claims that higher education should be characterized by the use of interactive methods and materials as this equips students with skills necessary for lifelong learning. Wang and Kania-Gosche (2011) also stress that the use of technology is vital for adult learners as it facilitates the learning process and makes it more student-centered.
It is possible to note that the syllabus incorporates certain traces of MOOC as it involves interaction of students and interactive tasks. Researchers stress that MOOCs are effective in adult learning as they help develop lifelong learners through interaction and availability of resources (Beaven, Hauck, Comas-Quinn, Lewis & De Los Arcos, 2014). This course involves the use of various online resources that will help students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the course in question is based on heutagogical principles as it helps students develop skills necessary for lifelong learning. The students will not simply learn some information on psychology but they will develop certain skills to become effective learners. Discussion and reflection as well as the use of a variety of resources will help achieve this educational goal.
Beaven, T., Hauck, M., Comas-Quinn, A., Lewis, T. & De Los Arcos, B. (2014). MOOCs: Striking the right balance between facilitation and self-determination. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 31-43.
Blaschke, L.M. (2012). Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1). Web.
Gazxi, Y. (2014). Proceedings from 121st ASEE: Issues surrounding a heutagogical approach in global engineering education. Indianapolis, IN: Texas A&M University.
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Msila, V. (2013). Teacher-learners’ search for relevance: Lessons from a principals’ leadership/management qualification in South Africa. Int J Edu Sci, 5(4), 443-452.
Mundhe, K.L., & Herkal, S.C. (2013). Life long learning: Progression from pedagogy to andragogy then to heutagogy. An International Peer Reviewed Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies. Web.
Wang, V.C.X., & Kania-Gosche, B. (2011). Assessing adult learners using Web 2.0 technologies. International Journal of Technology in teaching and Learning, 7(1), 61-78.