Education | Web Based Educational Psychology
P255 | 5673 | Michael Evans

Required Text and Online Tools & Resources
The following text will be used for our primary readings in this
* Ormrod, J.E. (2000). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners,
3rd ed. Columbus, OH: Merrill. ISBN 0-13-090843-6
For those students not in the Bloomington area, the TIS Bookstore can
arrange to send the text to you. They have a toll-free phone number
especially for distance learning students: 1-800-238-1229. You can
also email them at
Additional readings will be made available online. Check the
Schedule[OoSFA1] to see if there are suggested readings for a
particular week.
We will also use the following online tools and resources to apply
what we've read in the text:
* OnCourse (
* Inquiry Learning Forum (

Learning Outcomes for the Course
Here are the things I'd like for you to take away from this class:
* A revised analytical framework for observing and interpreting what
you see out in the field
* A knowledge and understanding of principles and theories that will
allow you to talk intelligently with colleagues and like practitioners
* The skills to analyze situations that you encounter in your practice
* An understanding of the resources available to you to act on your
analyses and decisions
* An ability to locate and use information resources, both paper-based
and digital

What This Course Is All About-Purposes & Goals
Teaching is a complex endeavor that requires both a store of knowledge
and a creative skill to handle unique situations. Besides focusing on
instruction and learning, the teacher must take into consideration
social and ethical matters as well.
Thus, a primary purpose of this course is to help you determine
whether a career in teaching is right for you. To help you make this
decision, I (along with a lot of help from colleagues) have collected
resources, and arranged activities and experiences that will expose
you to the concepts, principles, and theories of Educational
Psychology and actual practices in the field. That is, I feel you will
better be able to make an informed decision about your future in
teaching if you are provided the right tools, shown how to use these
tools, and given the opportunity to test them in the class and in the
In essence, I'm asking you to develop a psychological framework that
permits you to integrate what you already know and have experienced
with what you learn in this course. The framework will then be used as
a starting point for analyzing what you encounter within the course,
deciding how to take action on what you've read and observed, and
critiquing that action for further refinement of your framework. All
of this is going to be undertaken with the idea that your goals are to
be successful, innovative teachers who enjoy their work.
The instructional goals of this course then are meant to assist you
with the following:
* Determining whether a career in teaching is a realistic goal and
desired endeavor;
* Developing a sophisticated psychological framework constructed from
concepts, principles, and theories in Educational Psychology, your
prior knowledge, experience, values, and beliefs, and dialogue with
peers, professionals, and experts;
* Applying the framework to complex situations to organize and analyze
observations, then decide the best course(s) of action while attending
to relevant sociocultural features and potential ethical implications;
* Developing a sophisticated understanding of teaching in which you
consistently critique and refine your framework and realize that your
knowledge and practice will be probabilistic at best;
* Developing a portfolio that assesses and illustrates your knowledge
and skills and contains resources and tools for use in future
development and practice.

Your Responsibilities as a Student
Attendance and Participation:  Although we will conduct the majority
of our class online, there will be four scheduled face-to-face
meetings (two orientation sessions, one mid-term check-up, and the
final class session) that you will be required to attend. Since we
won't be meeting very often in person, your participation and
contribution to class activities is critical to your learning and
final grade. It is your responsibility to notify your instructor and
classmates when either your attendance to or participation in class
activities will be inhibited.
Preparation: As you will find out as the class progresses, taking an
online course requires a great deal of discipline and self-motivation.
So, my suggestion is that you do your best to prepare for each week of
classes by having your readings completed by the Monday of each week.
Submitting Class Assignments:  Assignments are to be turned in on the
scheduled dates and times (see Calendar[OoSFA2]). For most of the
class, these dates and time will be Sundays by midnight (Bloomington
time). Late assignments will be penalized one-half grade for each day
late. When you are ready to turn in your work, please identify it by
including your name, Social Security Number, and the name of the
particular assignment.  By the way, it is a very good idea to make a
back up copy of all your work.
Midterm Check-Up:  Each student will schedule an individual, 15-minute
interview with me to take place between October 1st and 12th. In the
meeting, I want to hear your comments and concerns about, and
suggestions for improvement of the class.  Also, please bring your
up-to-date portfolio.  Besides our informal talk, I will also give you
a formal mid-term course evaluation to complete. If it turns out that
15 minutes is not enough time to cover the topics you wish to address,
we can schedule a longer meeting on another day.
Paperwork: Make sure to keep copies of EVERYTHING you submit to the
Field Placement Office and all documents received from your sponsoring
teacher.  Also, include a copy of your hours log.  Place copies of all
these documents in your portfolio.
A Note on Thoughtful Contributions to Online Discussions and
Activities: Along the lines of online discussions and activities, your
participation in this course goes beyond the frequency or length of
your posts. The degree of thoughtfulness, engagement, and
sophistication of your postings will be an important factor as well.
To give you an idea what I mean by 'thoughtfulness' and
'sophistication', consider the scenarios that follow:
Alan "OK" student: Alan posts to the forum quite often. In fact, he
has posted more times to the forum than any other person in the class.
However, his postings are typically quite brief and include phrases
such as: "Good job!" "Sounds good to me!" and "I agree!" Because Alan
is doing no more than trying to log in as many posts as possible
without being thoughtful of or attentive to the content of his
classmates posts, he will receive half credit or less for
Thelma "Summary" Student: Thelma is a good student but often doesn't
take the time to think critically about the issues that are being
discussed in the forum. Her postings in the forum tend to be quite
long, usually merely summarizing ideas that have already been
contributed to the discussion but without adding new insight. In fact,
her postings rarely contain any new ideas; most students will probably
just skim her contributions, rarely making comments on or responses to
her postings. Because Thelma's posts don't engage classmates, she will
receive 3/4 credit for participation.
Anne "A" Student: Anne contributes frequently to the course
discussion. It is obvious that she has carefully thought about the
issues that are being discussed. Her comments to others postings
provide a good critique of their ideas and often take the discussion
to the next level by sharing her own perspective. Anne incorporates
creative, analytical, and practical-thinking skills into her
discussion postings. She also is careful not to make blanket
generalizations and often uses citations from the literature to back
up and support her ideas. Thus, because Anne's posts are often (but
not always, mind you) thoughtful, engaging, and sophisticated she will
receive full credit for participation.
Because of the nature of this course, you must contribute at least
weekly (sometimes daily) to the course and keep up with the
assignments to complete the course successfully. In a nutshell, you
should balance frequency, length, and quality of your participation so
that you, first, are able to contribute as best you can to the course
overall, and, second, don't get so burnt-out or frustrated at some
point that you feel like abandoning it all.
Netiquette: Proper conduct and respect for the contributions of others
is an important part of our course. Subsequently, you will be required
to review the guidelines provided by the IU School of Education on
netiquette at

Assessment of Your Performance
Your final grade for this course will be assigned based upon how you
perform on the following activities and assignments:
* Weekly discussions
* Weekly reflection paper
* Group projects
* Portfolio
Weekly Discussions: These discussions will revolve around questions
that you or I raise in regard to a particular chapter in your text and
additional assigned readings. The purpose of these discussions will be
to help you develop your understanding of the concepts, principles,
and theories introduced in the text and, most importantly, to
articulate your emerging framework.
We will discuss the readings and field experiences weekly using an
electronic conferencing tool called OnCourse. Each week, there will be
two Discussion Facilitators who begin and facilitate the discussion
during the week. The other students will take the roles of
* Discussion Facilitators:  Facilitators share the responsibility and
benefits of supporting the weekly discussion for the rest of the group
members and for creating Weekly Chapter Activities (see details
below). The Facilitators are responsible for getting the discussion
going by posting the starts by 9:00am Monday morning (Bloomington
time). Moreover, you must ensure that all key points presented in the
chapter are addressed during the discussion week. Facilitators remain
involved in the discussion on a daily basis by responding to
submissions made by Participants and by connecting, synthesizing,
interrelating, and linking these posts to ideas gleaned from readings,
field placements, and individual experiences. As you can see, the
Facilitator's role is both demanding and essential. To help you out as
Facilitator then, chapters of the Instructor's Manual are on reserve
in the SOE library to assist you. Also, Facilitators may ask me for
help in formulating starts. In essence, as Facilitator, you are
expected to create thought provoking questions that draw the material
into the discussions, answer participant questions, and keep the
discussions rolling as well as on-track. Finally, be certain to place
a copy of the entire week of discussions that you facilitated in your
* Discussion Participants:  As a Discussion Participant, your
responsibility is to connect, synthesize, interrelate, and even
dispute ideas assembled from readings, your field placement, and
individual experience. Although I want you to be responsive to and
supportive of Facilitators positions, it does not mean that you cannot
challenge what they post. The best way to participate is to be
prepared by covering the readings assigned for a particular week. Of
course, you are permitted, and encouraged, to bring in resources that
you have located or encountered on your own.
Weekly Reflection Report: The reflection paper is a way for you to
look back at what you've done over a given week to summarize and
critique your developing framework. You can draw from whatever
resources-readings, discussions, field experience, individual
experience, personal thoughts-you think might inform your writing.
Again, the purpose is to make you a thoughtful practitioner and
continue to revise and develop your framework for teaching.
Group Project # 1-Behavior Management Plan: [Haven't finalized this
one yet. But, the foundation of this activity will come from weeks 5-7
of the course dealing with Cognitive and Linguistic Development,
Personal, Social, and Moral Development, and Individual and Group
Differences. The working title of the project is "Observing and
Understanding Differences and Diversity." Will involve a case from the
Group Project #2-Lesson Plan: [Haven't finalized this one yet. But,
the foundation of this activity will come from weeks 9-11 of the
course dealing with Learning and Cognitive Processes, Knowledge
Construction, and Higher-Level Thinking Skills. The working title of
the project is "Processing, Constructing, and Thinking-3 Metaphors for
Learning." Will involve a case from the ILF.]
Group Project #3-Assessment Plan: [Haven't finalized this one yet.
But, the foundation of this activity will come from weeks 12-14 of the
course dealing with, Learning in the Content Areas, Behaviorist Views
of Learning, and Social Cognitive Views of Learning. The working title
of the project is "Different Perspectives of Learning in the Content
Areas." Will involve a case from the ILF.]
Portfolio: This is the most important part of your grade and a
critical indicator that you have made progress in this course. Because
of the weight it carries, we'll talk more about it here.
When complete, your portfolio will contain the following items:
* Personal Statements on Teaching & Learning
* Group Projects Summary, Personal Contribution, & Self-Evaluation
* Themes Drawn From Weekly Reflections
* Teaching Tools and Resources
* Guided Field Observation Notes (see below)
Portfolios are used for many reasons. We will initially use the
portfolio as an organizer for the course.  During the first week of
the course, I want you to establish your portfolio. Eventually you
will need a title page, a table of contents, and labeled dividers for
each section in the table of contents. You may want to label the major
sections as: Personal Statements, Group Projects Evaluation,
Observation-Reflection Reports, and Teaching Tools and Resources, and
Field Placement/Lab. The Field Placement section needs to have a
Paperwork section that includes the Letter of Introduction, copies of
ALL pertinent field placement paperwork - including official logs of
your hours and the sponsoring teacher's evaluation, etc. As you
complete your assignments place them in your portfolio.
Of course, when you feel the creative spirit moving you, add touches
to personalize your portfolio.  In the past, some students have added
photographs of their field experience creating a photo-journal effect.
Other students have used digital art, construction paper, stickers,
and a variety of other expressive mediums. There have been very
professional portfolios both with and without illustration.  Every
portfolio is unique. The portfolio is one way of expressing "who you
are." The content, or what is inside, is much more important than the
"cover", although visual presentation has high impact on the interest
your portfolio generates. Digital portfolios are welcome. Here are
examples of what your portfolio might look like.
Note: I will provide more on your assignments as the class progresses.
Please feel free to ask me about them (either privately or in an
OnCourse forum) at any time and be assured you'll have instructions
well in advance of when a particular assignment is due.

Grading Procedure
Letter grades indicate the following levels of performance:
A-Outstanding performance in both individual and group work; excellent
command of the course content; shows unusually complete knowledge of
the addressed ideas and issues; incorporates extensive and insightful
analysis into discussions and work; products are of high quality and
incorporate creativity
B-Very good performance in both individual and group work;
understanding of major issues and ideas addressed; good command of the
course content and analysis, but application is either insufficient or
in need of qualitative improvement; products are of high quality, but
lack creativity
C-Adequate performance in both individual and group work; met minimum
requirements in discussions and assignments; satisfactory performance;
average command of course content although somewhat underdeveloped or
with particular ideas missing; in a word, meets minimum requirements
of course by completing all assignments as instructed
D-Marginal: below average command of course content; minimally
acceptable discussions and performance; in a word, does not meet
minimum requirements of course as instructed
F-Unsatisfactory performance; inadequate knowledge of the course
content and participation to discussion and assignments
The scores to obtain a particular grade are as follows:
A+ 97-100
A 94-96
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C 74-76
C- 70-73
D 60-69
F 59 and below

Your grades will be distributed across assignments as follows:
Weekly Discussion Participation
Weekly Observation-Reflection Paper
Group Project #1
Group Project #2
Group Project #3

Please note that I will be developing a rubric that more clearly
states what I expect from each of you, individually and in groups, so
that you know if you're doing what's required. Again, if you have any
questions, please feel free to bring them up privately or in class.

Field Experience/Lab
Course Description/Purpose: The focus of the lab work will be on
integrating the P251/4/5 course work with field experiences. It is a
way for you to apply the concepts and principles we've read and
discussed about in class to what you experience 'out in the wild'.
Requirements: For these two credits (pass/fail) you must complete 20
hours in the field and turn in your Field Observations as a portion of
your Portfolio.
Field Experiences: Since the field experience activities are
coordinated by the field placement office, any questions regarding
what to expect, what to wear, who to report to, and how to turn in
attendance forms should be directed to Julie Noble, located in the SOE
Rm. 1020.  A representative from this office will meet with us during
our orientation session to answer questions.
Guided Field Observations: Guided Field Observation questions provide
students with an opportunity to integrate course content with the
field placement.  Whether the observations take place in a formal
setting like a classroom or an informal setting like the park, they
provide students with the opportunity to see what they are learning as
well as apply course content. The Guided Field Observations include
questions and guidelines for both in-school and out-of-school
observations. I want you to participate in at least 5 Guided Field
Observations questions or activities.  Please choose questions from
the chapter that we are currently studying prior to each field
experience or observation period. Take the questions with you when you
go to the classroom.

Schedule of Topics (by Week)
Below is the schedule of lessons for each week of this course. You
will find all materials, activities, and deliverables associated with
a particular lesson by following the relevant link:
Week 1 (08/27-08/31): Intro to the Course-Purposes, Goals, Format,
Materials, Tools, & Outcomes
Week 2 (09/03-09/07): Educational Psychology and Teacher Decision
Week 3 (09/10-09/14): Instructional Strategies & Student Motivation &
Week 4 (09/17-09/21): Classroom Environment & Assessing Student
Week 5 (09/24-09/28): Cognitive and Linguistic Development
Week 6 (10/01-10/05): Personal, Social, and Moral Development
Week 7 (10/08-10/12): Individual and Group Differences
Week 8 (10/15-10/19): Midterm Week (Small Group Project Due)
Week 9 (10/22-10/26): Learning and Cognitive Processes
Week 10 (10/29-11/02): Knowledge Construction
Week 11 (11/05-11/09): Higher-Level Thinking Skills
Week 12 (11/12-11/16): Learning in the Content Areas
Week 13 (11/19-11/23): Behaviorist Views of Learning
Week 14 (11/26-11/30): Social Cognitive Views of Learning
Week 15 (12/03-12/07): Course Wrap-Up (i.e., the 'Big Wrapper')
Week 16 (12/10-/12/14): Finals Week (Large Group Project Due)

Schedule Legend
The Schedule is meant to give you a succinct view of what we will do
and what is expected of you during any particular week throughout the
course. What you'll gain by reviewing the schedule is an understanding
of the following areas:
* Week & Dates: you can reference the other areas by the week and
associated dates, e.g., Week 1(08/27-08/31)
* Topic: the particular topic in Educational Psychology we will
address in a week
* Format: the methods by which we will try to come to understand and
expand a particular topic
* Resources: the lectures, readings, and other information and media
you will be expected to use to improve your understanding and your
inform deliverables
* Deliverables: what you will be expected to submit to the class
(either publicly to the class or privately to me) that will indicate
your learning and development
* Outcomes: the knowledge and skills we hope to takeaway from a
particular week of coursework
An example using the layout from Week 1 follows:

Week 1 (08/27-08/31)
Module; group exchange; self-reflection
Lecture 1: Educational Psychology & the Teaching Profession
Ormrod (pp. iii-vi; pp. 2-23; pp. A1-A8)
* Self-intro (due 08/30)
* Weekly reflection (due 08/31)
* Gain a sense of what we'll cover in the class and how we'll run it
* Describe where you're coming from and what you'd like to gain from
this course
* Get to know one another
* Become familiar with OnCourse and other Internet tools

Please note that the course Schedule is still in the works. I promise
to have portions of it available to you no later than the 2nd week of
[OoSFA1] Need to add link here.
[OoSFA2] Need to add link here.
[OoSFA3] Bring in ideas from Brown article for discussion, i.e., four
major analytical purposes. Also, want to add a 'Wrapper' role to the
This is a draft. Please do not distribute or make copies.