ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY – Fall, 2013

SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY - SCI 1000C – Distance Learning

Miguel Roig, Ph.D.

e-mail: roigm@stjohns.edu   ---  Homepage: http://facpub.stjohns.edu/~roigm  Phone: 718-390-4513

Skype: roig-reardon

 

OFFICE HOURS: My office is in DaSilva Hall, Room 338, Staten Island campus. During the Fall and Spring semesters I am in school on Tuesdays and Fridays and my official office hours are between 7:00 and 9:00 on those two days. However, I am usually available after noon on both days and on Fridays I usually stay until about  4:00PM. During summers sessions I can be available by appointment only.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS: Carey, S. S. (2011). A Beginner’s Guide to Scientific Method (4th Edition). Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth/Thomson. ISBN: 10: 1-111-30555-2.


Lilienfeld, SO., Lynn, SJ., Ruscio, J., & Beyerstein, BL. (2010). 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior.
Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell.  ISBN: 978-1-4051-3112-4.

 

ASSIGNMENTS – All assignments should be completed with the highest degree of scholarly excellence and must demonstrate an effort to seek relevant information beyond that found in the textbook. Thus, the student will be expected to provide at least one reference citation that does not derive from the course textbook (Wikipedia will be acceptable). I suggest that for the first few assignments you work with the staff of the Writing Center, which can be done via e-mail.

 

DISCUSSIONS – These should similarly indicate an effort to engage in a scholarly exchange (e.g., use of citations). Use appropriate terminology and be mindful of good grammar and spelling. Posts with two or more spelling and/or grammatical lapses will not be deemed acceptable and may be deleted.

 

CLASS EXAMINATIONS: There will be five 50-question, mostly multiple-choice examinations and each exam will cover between 3 or 4 textbook chapters. Each exam will be posted as per the schedule below (see page 5) and will cover material from the previously assigned chapters. Once you access to the test, you will have 50 minutes to complete it and once all students complete the examination, you will be able to see your test grade. Exams will be accessible for a period of 72 hours after they are first posted.

 

GRADING SYSTEM: Your grade in this course will be determined by the following components


20%
- Discussion posts (At least two acceptable posts per discussion)

30% - Individual Assignments (all assignments must be completed and they must earn a P (pass in  
          
order for them to count)

50% - Multiple choice Tests consisting of 50 items

 

00.00 - 56.99 ----- F               57.00 - 65.99 ------ D                 66.00 -  69.99 ------ D+
70.00 - 72.99 ----- C-                               73.00 - 76.99 ------ C                               77.00 -  79.99 ------ C+
80.00 - 82.99 ----- B-                               83.00 - 86.99 ------ B                               87.00 -  89.99 ------ B+
90.00 - 92.99 ---- A-                 93.00 - 100 --------- A

 

CALCULATING YOUR GRADE: You can easily determine your performance in the class at any time by calculating the percent allocation for each of the 3 components of the course. Let’s say that a student has completed 15 of the 16 assignments and has earned a P in all of them (30% of the grade). S/he has contributed to 12 of 17 discussions (minimum of 2 posts per discussion; 20% of the grade) and has averaged 90 in all exams taken (50% of the grade). What would be this student’s grade?

 

Assignments - 15/16 = .94; 94 x 30 = 28.2

Discussions - 12/17 = .70; .70 x 20 = 14.11

Exam Average = 90/100 = .90; .90 x 50 = 45.00

Total points = 28.2 + 14.11 + 45 = 87.31.  The student would get a B+

 

Please use the above formula to calculate your grade.

 

LEARNING RESOURCES

The Online Psychology Laboratory, http://opl.apa.org/

          This website represents a joint project between NSF and the American Psychological Association and contains a variety of interactive studies, simulations, and demonstrations that will help students understand and apply basic psychological principles.

 

The Psych. Files, http://www.thepsychfiles.com/

          A site that contains critical presentations and interviews about various concepts and problems in psychology.

 

The Ted Lectures, http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks

          Short lecture presentations by our best minds in various areas of science and the arts on cutting-edge areas of research. There are a few presentations related to psychology.

 

Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/

          Contains video clips of a variety of behavioral phenomena that will be used to elucidate some of the material from the textbook and other readings. Specific clips will be posted for classroom discussion.

 

PsychCentral, http://psychcentral.com/

          Contains a variety of resources, including videos, related to mental health issues that will help students apply some of the key concepts learned during the course.

 

PsychWeb, http://psychcentral.com/

          Contains lots of psychology-related information for students, including an entire introductory psychology textbook, which will help elaborate the material from our readings and on-line discussions.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES. 

 

   An appreciation of the methods of research used in science.

   An understanding of how psychology is a science and how psychological questions are investigated through the use of the scientific method.

 

    At the end of the course, students should be able to describe and apply, conceptually, the scientific method to questions of a psychological nature. They should also be able to discern the difference between the scientific way of knowing and other ways of knowing.

 

The above course goals will be accomplished through readings from your textbook as well as through other supplementary reading and video material from various Internet sources, including Youtube. I will be posting on a regular basis, various questions and activities related to the topics covered. In turn, you will be required to actively respond both, individually and in small groups, in a way that reflects a thorough grasp of major concepts covered in the readings.

As this is a distance learning course, your posts to the course forum will be one of the primary means by which you will be evaluated. Therefore, your responses should be carefully crafted; they must be grammatically correct free of misspellings, and show evidence of thoughtful analysis and reflection based on the reading materials.

 

The following template explains how your written contributions, especially written assignments and forum posts, will be graded in this course. 

 

 

Excellent

P

Very Good
P

Good

P

Fair

U

Conceptual understanding

Consistently demonstrates exceptional mastery of the subject matter

Typically demonstrates sufficient mastery of the subject matter

Demonstrates partial mastery of the subject matter

Understands the problem but does not show necessary mastery

Use of Terminology

Always uses terms correctly and meaningfully  reflecting a thorough understanding of the material

 

Often uses terms correctly and meaningfully  reflecting a good  understanding of the material

 

Uses terminology sparingly reflecting a superficial grasp of the material

Consistent poor use of terminology or complete lack of it

Research and outside readings

Consistently makes specific reference to various readings other than the book

Usually uses at least 2 readings other than the book

Uses at least 1 reading other than the book

Relies only on textbook material

Organization 

Creative, visually appealing, exceptionally organized

Material is well organized and has an attractive format

Material is organized in a way that distracts or impairs readability

There is complete lack of organization  that significantly impairs readability

Writing Mechanics

No spelling or grammar errors

On average, there is 1, perhaps 2 spelling errors and 1 or 2 incorrect grammatical constructions

Usually, there are 3+ spelling errors and 3 or more incorrect grammatical constructions

Many errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, usage and generally poor grammar

Content

The content is always written clearly and concisely with a logical progression of ideas and supporting information

 

 

The content is  typically written with a logical progression of ideas and some supporting information

The content is usually vague in conveying a point of view and does not create a strong sense of purpose

The content lacks a clear point of view and logical sequence of information

 

ALWAYS STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE IN YOUR WRITING: In ALL e-mail correspondence, written assignments, and discussion posts you must write in proper English and never use IM lingo (e.g., “dat’s for u 2 know”). I do not acknowledge nor respond to messages using such language or messages without an identifying signature. For additional tips on sending e-mail see the following: http://gradpsych.apags.org/webexclusives/emailetiquette.html and use that guide when corresponding with all of your professors.

 

For other specific instructions for handing in papers or assignments, point your browser to http://facpub.stjohns.edu/~roigm/requirements for papers.html. Please note that you may NOT use direct quotes from any sources that you consult. That is, your paper must consist of information that has been summarized and/or paraphrased from the original source. Any paraphrasing that you do from the original must conform to the guidelines provided in the following resource: http://facpub.stjohns.edu/~roigm/cheating%20and%20plagiarism.html. Inappropriate paraphrasing will be interpreted as plagiarism as per these guidelines, thus I strongly encourage you to review them before submitting your written work.

 

LATE OR MISSED ASSIGNMENTS AND STUDENT EXCUSES: I strongly advise never to wait until the last day, let alone the last hour, to complete your work. My deadlines for all course work are final and I do not extend them for any reason. In other words, I do not entertain student excuses for missed or late work. Please do not message me asking me for extensions.

 

TENTATIVE READING ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAM SCHEDULE  (Underlined dates will be exam days).

 

WEEK          Coverage               Exam dates    

09- 04-07    - Carey chapts. 1 & 2

09- 08-14    - Carey’s chapts. 2 & 3
09- 15-21    - Carey’s chapt. 3 - EXAM 1 on 09/19 – 09/21 covers Carey’s chapts. 1-4

09- 22-28    - Carey’s chapts 4-5

09/29-10/05 - Carey’s chapts. 5-6

10- 06-12    - Carey’s chapt. 6 - EXAM 2 on 10/10 – 10/12 covers Carey’s chapts. 4-6

10- 13-19    - Lilienfeld, et al., chapts. 1 & 2                                                                                

10- 20-26    - Lilienfeld, et al., chapts. 2 & 3                                                                                

 

10/27-11/02 - Lilienfeld, et al., chapt. 3 - EXAM 3 on 10/31 – 11/02  covers Lilienfeld, et al’s chapts. 1-3

11- 03-09    - Lilienfeld, et al., chapts. 4 & 5

11- 10-16    - Lilienfeld, et al., chapts. 6 & 7

11- 17-23    - Lilienfeld, et al., chapt. 7- EXAM 4 on 11/20 – 11/23 covers Lilienfeld, et al’s chapts. 4-7

11- 24-30    - Lilienfeld chapt. 8

12- 01-07   -  Lilienfeld Carey’s chapts 9 & 10

12- 08-11   -  Lilienfeld chapts. 10 &11                                                  

12- 12-18     -  EXAM 5 on 12/12 – 12/17 covers Carey’s chapts. 8-11

 

HOW TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS: On-line courses demand considerable active participation on your part. However, responses lacking in substance or analysis such as “I agree/disagree with what so and so said” or the expression of a personal opinion without any critical or evidentiary basis will not be counted toward your participation grade. Thus, your posts to the course forum should reflect knowledge of the assigned course readings or other authoritative material that you have consulted. Do not wait until the last minute to study or submit an assignment. You should always begin studying a few days before an exam and submit any written work at least a day before it is due. I strongly encourage you to use the services of the Writing Center before submitting your written assignments as these can be accessed on-line.

 

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Your written work is expected to be original. If PLAGIARISM or any other type of academic dishonesty is detected in any of your work, it will result in an automatic F for that assignment. Refer to the web version of the academic dishonesty policy for the various forms of plagiarism and correct paraphrasing.

 

STANDARDS FOR TAKING EXAMINATIONS – The exams for this course must be taken exactly as you might take any other classroom examination. Therefore, while taking examinations, you are not allowed to consult any materials, such as textbooks, notebooks, encyclopedias, etc., nor are you allowed to search the internet for answers to exam questions. WARNING: IN THE EVENT THAT AN INCIDENT OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY COMES TO LIGHT AFTER THE COURSE IS OVER, THE ABOVE RULES WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY AND, IF WARRANTED, THE COURSE GRADE WILL BE RETROACTIVELY ADJUSTED.

 

See also SJU’s Academic Honor Code:

 

St. John's University is a diverse community of teachers and scholars committed to the principles of truth, love, respect, opportunity, excellence and service.  Members of the St. John's University community strive to create an atmosphere which embodies the University's Vincentian mission.  Students and faculty commit themselves to the pursuit of wisdom and academic excellence, while fostering a responsibility of serving others.  As members of this community, students are expected to maintain the principles of compassion and the values of honesty and academic integrity.

 

In accordance with this pledge, students acknowledge their commitment to the values and principles of the mission of St. John's University. 1) I will not tolerate or participate in any form of academic fraud by cheating, lying or stealing, nor will I accept the actions of those who choose to violate this code. 2) I will conduct myself both honorably and responsibly in all my activities as a St. John's University student, both academically and non-academically.

 

If you have any questions about the course, consult your course syllabus. If you need further clarification then contact me. You should always have your course syllabus handy (you should staple it to your notebook) and refer to it from time to time to remind you of deadlines, policies, etc. If you lose your course syllabus, however, you can always view it through BlackBoardText Box: ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
 St. John's University is a diverse community of teachers and scholars committed to the principles of truth, love, respect, opportunity, excellence and service.  Members of the St. John's University community strive to create an atmosphere which embodies the University's Vincentian mission.  Students and faculty commit themselves to the pursuit of wisdom and academic excellence, while fostering a responsibility of serving others.  As members of this community, students are expected to maintain the principles of compassion and the values of honesty and academic integrity.

In accordance with this pledge, students acknowledge their commitment to the values and principles of the mission of St. John's University. 1) I will not tolerate or participate in any form of academic fraud by cheating, lying or stealing, nor will I accept the actions of those who choose to violate this code. 2) I will conduct myself both honorably and responsibly in all my activities as a St. John's University student, both academically and non-academically.

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