General Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 1103
Section Number
PSYC 1103
Summer I 2012
( All )
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Internet section

Dr. Don Knox (view Profile)

Course Attachments


The science of Psychology, (2nd ed)

Course Objectives


1.      learn about what psychology is, and how it is applicable to the world around us.

2.      understand how we learn, think and remember.

3.      gain a basic knowledge of human developmental processes

4.      learn about human characteristics such as intelligence and personality

5.      investigate problems in human functioning (psychopathology) and how such problems are treated.


Above and beyond this, we will approach the field of psychology critically as "a way of approaching and analyzing the world (Wade & Tavris, 1990, p. xvii)." This means that we will explore how to think critically about psychological phenomena and be skeptical about what we read.


As such, class discussions and projects will be designed to encourage your own exploration of psychology. Through the study of this field, you are likely to find that much of what we know in psychology directly relates to, and has the capacity to enrich, our experience of everyday life.


Course Expectations



Important note: This is not a self-paced course so please do not try to make it one.  I do not accept late work – REGARDLESS of the reason.  You have a week to get assignments done except responding to theme papers and even there you still have 72 hours to put responses up.  One way to help each other out on the theme postings is to get your theme posting up early – you are allowed to do that - so please do and then others can respond.  Quizzes and exams open on Saturday and close on Fridays.  They will NOT be extended.  This is an Internet course and all of you are taking this course for a host of different reasons – do not try to make your decision to take an Internet course my responsibility.  Single parents, shift work, high school students – everyone has their reasons – everyone will be treated the same regardless of your personal situation – that is what is fair – do not ask me to make exceptions for you and your situation.


Discussion Questions: I will post questions on the discussion board. You will have until the time and date indicated on the discussion thread to answer my question or to reply to one of your classmates’ postings in that thread. Please remember to be respectful of others. I will not accept late postings. They are usually up for at least a week so there is no excuse for not getting the work done on time. Discussion questions will usually be worth 10 points and will be totaled in the same grade column.


Quizzes: All quizzes will be web based, which means that you will take the exam on the net. On the scheduled date, the exam will be posted for a period of time during which you may log on and take the exam. You may not log on before or after the specified time. Once you log on you have 15 minutes to take the quiz. The quizzes will help you to stay on track in the course and provide you with a study guide for the exams. Quiz scores will be totaled at the end of the semester and constitute 12% of your grade. The quizzes are multiple-choice. If you go over the allotted time, one point will be deducted from the quiz grade for each minute that you are over the allotted time for the first 5 minutes. Two points per minute for the next five minutes will be deducted and then 5 points per minute after that point. Additional instructions may be posted before the quiz date. Missed quizzes CAN NOT, for any reason be made up and they will count as a zero grade.


Examinations: All exams will be web based, which means that you will take the exam on the net. On the scheduled date, the exam will be posted for a period of time during which you may log on and take the exam. You may not log on before or after the specified time. Once you log on you have 60 minutes (1 minute per question) to take the exam. Questions will appear one at a time and you cannot backtrack.  Please do not try to backtrack or print the questions.  The exam is designed to lock up if you do those things.  If you go over the allotted time, one point will be deducted from the exam grade for each minute that you are over the allotted time for the first 5 minutes. Three points per minute for the next five minutes will be deducted and then 5 points per minute after that point. Additional instructions may be posted before the exam date. Each regular exam is worth 18% of your grade.  Missed exams will only be allowed to be made up if I get written documentation from the Office of the Dean of Students indicating that you had a valid reason to miss the seven day period to take the exam.  If your exam jams up I may reset it but only if I can verify the reason and there is still time left in the testing time frame.  That means if you wait until Friday night to take your quiz/test and it locks up that means you are out of luck.


Final Exam: The final exam is fifty (50) questions is and based on the quizzes of the semester. You will have 45 minutes to take the exam. Same rules apply for the time limit.


Theme Assignments: Fifteen percent of your grade (15%) will be determined based on your completion of three Postings to the Assignment Posting section of the discussion board.  These papers will be no less than 350 words each.  The total number of points you can earn from the Postings is 150, or 50 points per Paper.  The Papers will consist of your application of concepts discussed in the chat room or covered in your text to current events or personal experiences.  For example, you might decide to do one of your Papers on the impact of the Internet on how students learn, or the impact of teenage violence on psychological health later in life, or the impact of memory deficits on academic achievement, or the use of principles of learning to help at-risk youth acquire positive social skills.  These ARE NOT research or term papers- they should be first person.  Part of this assignment is to comment on the papers your classmates post.  I will not tolerate poor behavior or harassment.  It is your forum to share your knowledge and experiences with the class and the class to respond to your input.  Please understand that I will not tolerate cheating - if you copy and paste otherwise plagiarize - I will fail you for the course. The topic for your theme paper must be from the chapters being studied for the same exam number. Theme 1 – test 1 = chapter 1, 4 or 5.  You must respond to the theme posting of each of your classmates as well as a part of your grade.


Grading Standards

Grading: Each regular exam will represent 18% of your final grade. Fifteen percent of your grade will come from your submission of the Theme Assignments and your responses to your classmates’ postings. The remaining 10% of your grade will come from your participation in online discussions (my postings – labeled as discussion topics)!


Breakdown of Grades


6 @ 20 points each = 120 points


Regular Exams

3 @ 180 points each = 540


Theme Assignment Postings

3 @ 50 points each =150


Discussion Questions

100 points


Final Exam





Then use the following scale (there is no rounding or extra credit):



Grading Scale


900– 1000




800– 890




700– 790




600– 690




Below 600



Submission Format Policy


All assignments will be turned in on the course webpage in WebCT

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late discussion postings and late theme assignments and comments will NOT be accepted.  Missed quizzes cannot be made up.   There is no excuse for missing these timelines.  All discussion postings and theme postings are available the entire semester. All quizzes are open from Saturday until Friday.  If you can only access the course on Saturdays - then take it the first day it is open.  I really will not allow the make up of missed quizzes.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

This is an online class. Discussions and quizzes are my attendance.  If you miss the discussion or quiz -  zero - just like if you missed class.

Other Policies

Academic Dishonesty: Please do not cheat or plagiarize. The MSU policy on cheating and plagiarism is in the MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar (Code of Student Conduct, Item 11) and I encourage you to review it. Additional information regarding the Academic Dishonesty policy is available from the Dean of Students office, in Clark Student Center. Cheating or engaging in plagiarism will result in a grade of zero (0) and/or a letter grade of “F” for the course!!!!!!! If you find yourself even thinking about cheating on an exam or copying someone else’s work, please talk to me instead of doing it!!!


Dropping the course.:  This course is laid out so that a good portion of the grading will be completed prior to the drop date. I will have a section in the “my grades” that will indicate your progress to date to help you in your decision-making process.  Points total slowly at first so you may be alarmed that you have a low grade.  By the end of the semester it will all work out.

Distance education Drops:  Students who do NOT live locally and are only enrolled in distance education courses may complete an online drop slip by going to the Registrar webpage ( and clicking on "Course Drop Petition - Distance Ed. Only."  After completing the information, they click Submit and it sends an e-mail notification to the Registrar's Office.  We confirm approvals of the adviser, instructor and Financial Aid and then process the drop.  If a student is dropping all classes, this is considered a withdrawal and the student must contact the Dean of Students Office instead of completing the online drop slip.  This information should appear on all syllabi of distance education courses.

Americans with Disabilities Act: Midwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's disability and complies with Section 504 and Public Law 101-336 (Americans with Disabilities Act) in its admissions, accessibility, treatment and employment of individuals in its programs and activities. A copy of the ADA Compliance Document is available online at It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any disabling condition that will require

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at