Course Name:

Lifespan Psychology

Course Number:

PSYC 290



Section A:


Instructor’s Name

Robert E. Beneckson, M.S.

I.  Instructor’s Contact Information, Course Pre and Co-Requisites

Phone Number:



Office location:


Office hours:

Tuesday 5-6 PM.



Course Equivalencies:


Course Prerequisites:

PSYC 160 or equivalent

Course Co-requisites:



II. Mission and Outcomes

University Mission:

At West Coast University, we embrace a student-centric learning partnership that leads to professional success.  We deliver transformational education within a culture of integrity and personal accountability.  We design market-responsive programs through collaboration between faculty and industry professionals. We continuously pursue more effective and innovative ways through which students develop the competencies and confidence required in a complex and changing world.

Program Mission:

The General Education program has been designed to facilitate students’ acquisition and application of knowledge through intellectual stimulation, scientific methodology, information and computer literacy, and communication competencies.  Students master problem solving abilities necessary for success in the core curriculum and with application to personal and professional growth and well-being beyond the curriculum.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Following completion of the General Education curriculum, students will be able to:


1.      Demonstrate competent written communication skills.

a.       Demonstrate an understanding of creative, academic, and other professional written communication.

b.      Demonstrate competence in written English communication through intensive, research based practical application of basic and advanced writing principles.

c.       Demonstrate the ability to organize, develop, and present coherent written work that reflects a strong command of English grammar, sentence mechanics, paragraph structure, and paper formatting, and be able to employ these competencies effectively in a range of writing. 

2.      Employ effective oral communication skills.

a.       Demonstrate the ability to effectively apply verbal and non-verbal communication in a range of academic and non-academic settings.

b.      Demonstrate the ability to analyze and address usages of ethos, pathos, logical fallacies, audience reception, cultures of communication, language choice, nonverbal cues, effective listening, and speech delivery.

3.      Interpret quantitative data using mathematical principles to effectively identify core issues and solve problems.

a.       Demonstrate competence in quantitative reasoning by applying mathematical concepts and basic quantitative literacy to real-world applications.

b.      Demonstrate the ability to effectively synthesize, analyze, and interpret mathematical data to draw inferences and connect findings to a range of other disciplines.

4.      Illustrate competence in the biological, physical, and natural sciences.

a.       Demonstrate an understanding of scientific concepts, theories, and principles.

b.      Demonstrate an ability to analyze, interpret, and apply scientific theory and investigative methodologies through laboratory and practical experiences.

c.       Demonstrate an effective connection of quantitative and critical reasoning to the biological, physical, and natural sciences.

5.      Demonstrate technological and informational literacy by locating disparate information through multiple sources.

a.       Demonstrate the effective use of a multidisciplinary and ethical approach to electronic and print information access, retrieval, analysis, and synthesis of general and specialized information.

b.      Demonstrate the application of critical and quantitative reasoning skills to determine reliability and validity of information.

6.      Analyze ideas and make decisions using critical thinking skills.

a.       Demonstrate an understanding of how to differentiate and analyze critical reasoning, perception, cognitive development, decision making, emotional intelligence, deductive and inductive reasoning, and formal and informal logic.


b.      Demonstrate an understanding, recognition, and construction of critical reasoning in relation to written and spoken arguments.

c.       Demonstrate competence in the application of critical reasoning techniques to address real-world situations and issues.

7.      Describe and interpret diverse perspectives, value systems, histories, cultural traditions, and artistic expressions.

a.       Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the profound interconnectivity of diverse human behaviors, value systems, societies, cultures, and traditions.

b.      Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the complexities and interconnections of society and culture across a variety of historical and contemporary contexts.

c.       Demonstrate the ability to explain how global culture and diversity impact students’ own values, ethics, character, and judgment.

8.      Articulate issues and arrive at a defensible conclusion, given a set of ethical dilemmas.

a.       Demonstrate the ability to recognize contexts in which ethical dilemmas arise.

b.      Demonstrate the ability to apply ethical values and principles to discipline-specific and other real-world situations.

Demonstrate the ability to delineate competing ethical claims in the process of articulating a values-based, critically reasoned defense.


III.  Course Information


Sp1 2018

Class Meeting Dates:

Tuesday:  1/23/18 – 3/20/18

Class Meeting Times:

6:00pm – 11:00pm

Class Meeting Location:

Room 304

Class Credit Hours:

3 semester credits/5 contact hours/week (Lecture)/ 45 hours per term

Out of Class Time Hours:

Tuesday: 5:00-6:00pm

Class Credit Length:

9 weeks

Class Required Texts, Learning Resources:

Santrock, J.W. (2015). Life-span development with Access.(15th Ed.).

McGraw Hill: New York.

ISBN 13:9781259876660


Class Recommended Texts, Learning Resources:






Course Catalog Description:

Covers basic concepts and theories of child and adult development.  Studies findings from classic as well as recent studies of physical growth, brain development, perception, language, cognitive development, social interaction, emotional, personality, and moral development. Interplay between an individual’s biology with the environment, family, and culture is discussed.  Covers topics in seven major periods of life: prenatal, infancy, preschool, school-age, adolescence, adulthood, and old age/death. 

Course Learning Outcomes:

·      Course outcomes are comprised of the knowledge, skills, values and/or behaviors that students should be able to demonstrate upon completion of the course.

·      Course outcomes map to the Program Learning Outcomes

·      Must be assessed in the course to determine if learning outcomes are met

·         Describe methodology and typical lifespan psychology research designs

·         Examine the interaction of nature and nurture in their combined effect on human development

·         Summarize the major developments in physical, cognitive and socio-emotional domains throughout the human lifespan

·         Classify Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development by comparing the specific cognitive abilities of each stage

·         Compare and contrast Erik Erickson’s eight stages of psycho-social development


Teaching and Learning Strategies

·       Updated per course reflecting the instructional strategies appropriate to the subject area.

·       Examples:. simulation laboratory, clinical experience, discussion, case studies, blended learning, on line assignments, quizzes or other electronic teaching devices, lecture, guest speakers, community projects, class presentations, videos/DVD,  kinesthetic learning activities

This course is presented in a lecture/class discussion format with the use of modern technology and media to enhance the written material.  Student projects and class presentations enhance the learning experience.


IV.  Evaluation Methods, Grading


Formative Assessment of Student Learning:

·         Will not count more than 80% of final grade

·         Examples -- Evidenced-based Research, presentations, Case Studies, Specific class projects, Weekly quizzes, homework assignments, clinical or lab assignments/assessment, practice exams

Summative Assessment of Student Learning:

·         Will not count more than 30% of final grade

·         Examples – Final Exam, Term Paper or Term Project


·         Student Participation will not account for more than 10% of the final grade.


Due Date


Midterm Exam



Final Exam






Longitudinal Study Term Paper



Class Presentation



LearnSmart (class participation)



Signature Assignment
















V.  Policies and Procedures

West Coast University Grading Scale (reflective of final course grade.  See associated policy in Catalog)



WCU Grading Scale




































59 or below



Transfer Credit










Attendance Policy

West Coast University has a clear requirement for students to attend courses.  Students should review the Attendance Policy in the “Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the University Catalog.

Academic Integrity Policy

Students are expected to approach their academic endeavors with the highest academic integrity.  They must cite sources, and submit original work.  Academic honesty is central to the institution/student partnership towards student success.    Students are accountable for adhering to the Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty policies in the “Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the University Catalog.

Academic Dishonesty

Students should review the Academic Dishonesty Policy in the “Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the University Catalog.  

Reasonable Accommodations

West Coast University strives to provide reasonable accommodations to students who have a defined need and who follow the appropriate steps towards seeking the accommodation.  The Reasonable Accommodations Policy is found in the “Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the University Catalog. 

West Coast University Make-up Work Policy

·      In order to meet course objectives, students may be required to make up all assignments and work missed as a result of absences.  The faculty may assign additional make-up work to be completed for each absence.

·      Students are required to be present when an examination is given.  If unexpectedly absent for a documented emergency situation (i.e. death in the immediate family), it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for a make-up date by contacting the faculty member within 48 hours of the original assessment date.  The make-up work must be completed within five (5) school days of the originally assigned date.  Students who do not take the exam on the scheduled make-up date or who do not contact the instructor within 48 hours will receive a zero score for that assessment activity.  The highest score possible on a nursing or dental hygiene make-up examination is passing grade (e.g., if a student obtained a perfect score (100%) in the make-up examination, the grade will still be recorded as a passing grade). 

Classroom Policies

·     Students are expected to dress professionally during class time.

·     No children are allowed in classes or to be unattended on campus.

·     Use of cell phones, smart phones, or any other electronic devices in the classroom during class time is strictly prohibited.  Unauthorized use may lead to faculty member confiscation of the device for the remainder of the class. 

·     Behavior that persistently or grossly interferes with classroom activities is considered disruptive behavior and may be subject to disciplinary action.  A student responsible for disruptive behavior may be required to leave the class. 

Testing and Examination Policy

·      The university testing policy stipulates that no phones or other electronic devices, food or drink, papers or backpacks can be taken into the examination area.   In specific courses the faculty may have additional requirements. Talking during testing or sharing of information regarding the test questions is not allowed. 

·      Once the exam results are available, students may schedule reviews of their exams with their instructors. Once the exam results are available, the instructor may review the test with students. This review is intended to help students learn, and is not intended for further distribution to other students.   

Additional Program or Accreditation Requirements



Section B:  Course Outline

·         Class objectives reflect the teaching activities that, if engaged in, are intended to lead to specific, measurable student learning outcomes as identified in Section A.

·         Content outline provides the student with a course roadmap.  Which topics are intended to be covered each week?

·         Specific course activities outline the teaching strategies used

·         Student assignments identify the learning and assessment requirements that students are to fulfill throughout the duration of the course. 



Class Objectives/Course Learning Outcomes


Content Outline

Specific Course Activity

Student Assignments



Describe methodology and typical lifespan psychology research designs

The Lifespan Perspective & Theories of Human Development

Physical Development in Infancy

Cognitive Development in Infancy


Explanations of Assignments



Lecture:  Chapters 1 & 5


Longitudinal Life- Span Study Part One 7 Up



Chapters 1, 4,5, 6 and 7



Examine the effect of nature and nurture on  infant development. Summarize physical and cognitive changes during  infancy and early childhood

Socioemotional Development in Infancy


Physical & CognitiveDevelopment in Early Childhood


Journals Due for Chapter 1 and 5


Lecture:Chapters 6&7


Longitudinal Life -Span Study Part Two-14 Up



Chapters 8&9



Summarize  socioemotional change during early childhood and physicla and cognitive develoment in middle and late childhood


Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood



Physical & Cognitive Development in Middle and Late Childhood

Journals Due for Chapter 6 and 7


Lecture: Chapters 8 & 9


Longitudinal Life- Span Study Part Three-21 Up



Chapters 10&11








Examine the effect of nature and nurture on middle and late childhood development. Summarize physical and cognitive changes during adolescence


Socioemotional Development in Middle and Late Childhood


Physical & Cognitive Development in Adolescence

Journals Due for Chapter 8 and  9


Lecture: Chapters 10 &11


Longitudinal Life- Span Study Part Four-28 Up


Review for Midterm Exam


Prepare for Midterm Exam



Examine the effect of nature and nurture on adolescent social development

Socioemotional Development in Adolescence


Midterm Exam:

Chapters 1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11


Journals Due for Chapter 10 and 11


Lecture: Chapter


Longitudinal Life- Span Study Part Five-35 Up



Chapters 12, 13, 14



Summarize physical, cognitive and socioemotional changes during early adulthood

Physical & Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood


Socioemotional Development in Early Adulthood


Journals Due for Chapter 12


Lecture: Chapters 13&14


Longitudinal Life -Span Study Part Six-42Up



Chapters 15& 16




Summarize physical, cognitive and socioemotional changes during middle adulthood.

Physical & Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood



Socioemotional Development in Middle Adulthood

Journals Due for Chapter 13 and 14


Lecture: Chapters 15&16


Longitudinal Life- Span Study Part Seven-49 Up




Chapters 17, 18 & 19




Summarize physical, cognitive and socioemotional changes during late adulthood

Physical Development in Late Adulthood


Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood


Socioemotional Development

in Late Adulthood


Review for Final Exam, finish class presentations., finish the longitudinal life- span films if needed.


Signature Assignment Due Today!

Journals Due for Chapter 15 and 16


Lecture: Chapters 17, 18,19, 20


Longitudinal Life -Span Study Part Eight-56 Up

Signature Assignment Due Today!

Prepare for Final Exam



Review chapters 12-19

Longitudinal Life-Span Study Papers Due


Final Exam:

Chapters  12-20

Journals Due for Chapter 17, 18 and 19







·         When a student arrives in class after the 6:00 PM starting time, they must sign-in the class roster indicating the time that they arrived to class.  Remember that any tardy is counted as 1/3 of a full absence (100 minutes).  Returning late from a break requires that you sign in as returning late before taking your seat and likewise results in a 1/3 absence.  There is no grace period to the start times of class.

·         It is the student’s responsibility to insure that they have signed the class roster for each class. If a student should later indicate that they were in class, but did not sign the roster, the attendance will not be changed and it will be counted as an absence.

·         When a student leaves before the end of class, they must sign out on the class roster.  Should a student leave class without signing out, they will be given attendance credit for the first 60 minutes of the class, only.

·         Any student that repeatedly arrives late to class or leaves early will be referred to the Academic Dean.

·         There will be no exceptions to the 30% limit on absence to pass the class.

Leaving the class except during break time

·         Students will be given regular breaks and are expected to remain in the class at all other times.  No student is to leave for any reason other than an emergency, except during break times. 

Crosstalk during class

·         Students are expected to attend to class activities during lectures and discussions.  Individual discussion distracts those students as well as surrounding students.  Those who do not respect this policy will be assigned seats in the class for the remainder of the term.

Electronic devices

·         Cell phones must be turned off and put away in the class room. The only exception to this policy is the rare event of a legitimate emergency, where the student may leave their phone turned on “silent” to quietly leave the class to take the emergency call.  In this rare case, the student must notify the instructor.  Any other use of a phone in class is prohibited.  In the event that a student uses a cell phone in class without permission, the phone will be impounded until the class ends & an incident report may be filed with the WCU Conduct Committee.

·         Computers, Bluetooth or other electronic devices are not allowed for use in class.  If a student wishes to use their computer to take notes, they must sit in one of the first three rows of seats and email the instructor a copy of their notes immediately after class.  Failure to do so will void the right to use the computer in class.


Midterm & Final Exams

            Exams may be made up with the permission of the instructor. Each situation will be                       decided on the merits and specifics.





Guidelines for the Assignments:


Lifespan Psychology, PSYCH 290


Guidelines for the Journal Assignment


The study of psychology is based on the observation of human behavior, mental processes, and growth and development.  Because this is a study of human beings, rather than an abstract science like some aspects of mathematics or quantum physics, it should be possible for the student to apply the knowledge gained from psychology to real events in their lives: to themselves and other people they come in contact with. These journals provide the student the opportunity to apply the material studied to themselves in a practical and useful way which is intended to help the student gain insight in a manner that is helpful to them in an applied, meaningful way.


Each  student will write a minimum of five journals applying the material from the text to aspects of their life as they see fit.  The journal will be typed, double spaced in a 12 pt. font. The paper should be two pages in length.  Further explanations of this assignment will be provided in class.


Guidelines for the Longitudinal Life-Span Analysis Paper Assignment:


In 1964, Michael Apted, a British film maker, embarked on a project that continues to this day.  He filmed a group of British seven-year old children and interviewed them in depth about their

lives, aspirations, and futures.  Every seven years he has met with and re-interviewed those children.  The most recent film, made in 2012, found the children at age fifty-six. We will be viewing these films which are essentially a longitudinal study of human development.  We will see the same children at age seven, fourteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight, thirty-five, forty-two, forty-nine, and at age fifty-six.


Your assignment is to pick one of the children to focus on and write an in depth analysis of their life using your knowledge gained  from our study of human development in this course. Your job is to apply the material we will be studying to the real lives of your chosen child.  As you follow them through life you will use your knowledge of human development and document the growth of your chosen subject.  Areas of development that can be addressed are physical development, social development, emotional development, intellectual and psychological development, career development, family relationships¸ values, and moral development.


This paper should be at least five pages and follow APA format guidelines.


Guidelines for the Class Presentation:


Each student will chose a topic from any chapter of the text that attracts their interest and a desire to learn more about that topic; information that goes beyond the textbook discussion of the subject.  Based on this interest, the student will prepare a presentation of at least ten minutes and share what new information they have learned with the class.  The presentation may be in a format of the student's choosing.  In the past, the students have used power point presentations, videos, group participation exercises, and old-fashioned note card guided lectures.  Be creative and try to have fun learning something new and teaching it to others.



Guidelines for the Signature Assignment:


PSYC 290 Signature Assignment:

Research Paper The Signature Assignment assesses the following General Education Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) 1. Demonstrate competent written communication skills. 2. Demonstrate technological and informational literacy by locating disparate information through multiple sources. Because the development of informational literacy and effective writing skills are key learning outcomes of the General Education Program (see #1 and #5 above), each student will select a research topic from one of the textbook chapters and write a scholarly, 4-5 page paper (not including the required cover page or references pages). Students should select a specific topic from the course that may be framed in the form of a question. The student then researches the topic from a minimum of 3 authoritative literature sources in seeking to answer the topic question. (The text is not considered an appropriate literature resource for your paper.) The paper is written to report on that research and offer answer(s) to the original question. Upload your paper to Blackboard by the 8th week class meeting. The papers will be returned to the Blackboard Gradebook as an attachment. Points are deducted for any paper written in less than 4 full pages. 5 pages are sufficient, not more.

Points will be deducted for:

· Disorganized, excessively wordy papers · The use of improper grammar and/or syntax · Misspelled words · Failure to use the WCU standard, APA format exactly as prescribed by the APA · Sourced material that is not properly cited Points will be added for: · Concise, organized papers that clearly and effectively make their major points Papers will receive no credit for: · A similarity index in excess of 25% (All papers are automatically submitted to evaluate originality.) · Plagiarized work (in addition, the student will be referred to the WCU Conduct Committee) Do Not: · Email your paper (Any paper not uploaded to Blackboard will receive no credit.) · Do Submit a printed copy in class (Any paper not uploaded to Blackboard will receive no credit.) The following suggestions are emphasized: · Begin your work early (certainly no later than the 4th week of the term). Procrastination and hurriedly researching a question to write a paper in the final days before the due date results in little learning and usually produces poor results. · Do write an initial first draft and spend an equal amount of time editing that first effort. Do not submit a first draft. · Be sure to use spell-checking and grammar checking software. · Be sure to proof-read your work. Have others proof-read your work. · Be sure to follow all aspects of the APA format including a cover page, abstract, bibliography, page numbers and running headers on each page.