Introduction to Psychology
Professor Frank McAndrew
Virtual Office Hours:
I will be available Monday through Friday from 9:30 -11:00 a.m. and 1:30 - 3:00 p.m (Central Time). During these times I will be reachable by phone and I will reply quickly to email.
I will of course respond to emails sent at other times, but I will reply immediately during my office hours. I will also be glad to schedule one-on-one video conferences or phone conversations with you - just send me an email and we will set something up.
PLEASE GET IN THE HABIT OF CHECKING YOUR EMAIL DAILY! - This is the primary way in which I will communicate with you. PLEASE DO NOT TEXT ME; use email or make a telephone call if you wish to contact me.
Introduction to Psychology (11th edition) by James W. Kalat
(ISBN: 978-1-305-27155-5 (regular student edition); 978-1-305-63054-3 (loose leaf edition)
Using the 9th or 10th edition of this book is also acceptable.
Lab Assistants: Alyssa Reid, Jillian Morris, Natalia Podstawska, Zeina Sbai
Teaching Fellow: Leonard Monterey
Goals of the Course
I would like you to become a more sophisticated observer of human behavior by learning to think about humans scientifically. I also want you to understand the limitations and pitfalls of intuition.
In addition to this informal goal, the course will help you achieve the following psychology department learning goals:
1. Apply the scientific method to studying the mind, the brain, and behavior.
2. Understand the basic theoretical approaches and classic empirical findings of psychology.
3. Effectively communicate through grammatically correct writing.
Your progress toward the learning goals will be assessed by written lab reports and quizzes based upon textbook readings and other information presented in the class.
Click HERE for a video introduction to the course from the professor.
How the Online Format will Operate
The class will be run as an "asynchronous" class. This means that the class never has to be together online at the same time. The class is too large and the students too scattered around the world for that to work. Instead, each of you will be free to engage with the material at your convenience, although there will be clear due dates for lab reports and time windows during which quizzes must be taken.
The class will consist of a series of ten bite-sized modules. Plan on spending about six days on each of the modules. Each module will include assigned reading from the textbook, Powerpoint (PPT) slides narrated by me, a few video clips, and a quiz. Many of the modules, but not all, will also have an online lab experiment or demonstration that will be the basis of a written lab report. LINKS TO EACH ONE OF THE MODULES CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
Your grade will be based upon the average percentage of total possible points that you accumulate on the quizzes and lab reports. Since this term will be a learning experience for all of us, I will drop your lowest quiz score and also your lowest lab report score.
There is always the possibility that I will "curve" (i.e., that means "raise") final grades a bit at the end of the term, but my goal is to stick pretty close to the following grade cutoffs:
A = 93%; A- = 90%; B+ = 88%; B = 83%; B- = 80%; C+ = 78%; C = 73%; C- = 70%; D+ = 68%; D = 63%; D- = 60%; F < 60%.
At the end of each module, I will email a link that will allow you to access an online quiz. Each quiz will be available for a specific period of time (usually a few days). All of the quizzes will be multiple choice, and they will be fairly short - usually ranging between 20 and 40 questions.
YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO USE YOUR TEXTBOOK AND NOTES DURING THE QUIZ.
I recognize that it would be extremely difficult to stop cheating if I require a closed-book exam, and this would not be fair to the honest students who play by the rules. Having said this, your textbook and notes are the ONLY resources that are allowed. You cannot use any other electronic devices nor can you communicate or collaborate with other students while you are taking a quiz. The quiz will be timed, so you will not have unlimited time to complete it. This means that you will need to be organized when you open up the quiz. Most of the questions will not be something that you can simply look up, so do not expect to be successful if you have not studied well ahead of time. I strongly recommend that you study for the quizzes as if they were not open-book. You will receive instant feedback after the quiz regarding your score and what the correct answers were for the questions you got wrong. Please remember that I will be dropping your lowest quiz grade.
Once you begin the quiz, you must complete it. You will not be able to leave the quiz and come back at a later time to finish it.
The quizzes will be based primarily on the textbook, but it will be fair game for me to include some questions from my narrated PPT slides on information that may not be in the textbook.
You will be doing a series of online lab exercises this term. Each lab will be unique, but all of them will provide you with data or other information that will be the basis of a lab report. You will type a report and submit it via email by an assigned due date. Remember that I will be dropping your lowest lab report grade from the calculations of final grades in the class.
Each lab will be nested within one of the modules, and the instructions for conducting the lab and writing the report can be downloaded from the module page where the lab resides (these are listed below). You will also find a link to the online lab in the same place.
There is no fixed format for the lab reports. Each one is a bit different, and you will receive clear instructions for writing each report. While the length and format will differ a bit from lab to lab, the average report will be about two or three double-spaced pages in length.
LAB REPORTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED LATE. Be sure to pay close attention to the date on which each report is due. EACH LAB REPORT will be graded on a ten point scale, and the average percentage on your lab reports will be weighted the same as TWO quiz scores in your final grade.
How will you submit the lab reports?
There are four lab assistants and one teaching fellow (who also has other duties) who are helping me to manage the labs for this class. Each one of these individuals is a bright, upper-level psychology student (or a recent graduate). They help me grade the lab reports and they are in regular communication with me as our grading takes place.
You will submit your lab reports by email directly to the TA to whom you have been assigned. Here is how to figure out who your Lab TA is:
If your last name begins with the letters A through E, your TA is Alyssa Reid
If your last name begins with the letters F through K, your TA is Jillian Morris
If your last name begins with the letters L through N, your TA is Leo Monterey (email@example.com)
If your last name begins with the letters R or S, your TA is Natalia Podstawska (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If your last name begins with the letters O, P, Q, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z, your TA is Zeina Sbai (email@example.com))
Participation in Psychological Research (extra credit opportunity)
Even though Knox College (along with everyone else!) is facing highly unusual circumstances this term, research is still happening. There are a number of psychology seniors doing research, and faculty research is ongoing as well. Of necessity, many of these projects involve the collection of data online. You can earn one extra credit point toward your grade by participating in an online research project, with a maximum of eight extra credit points getting counted toward your grade.
When such opportunities arise, I will forward a link to studies for you to participate in.
(Click on the links below to access the materials for each module)