North Seattle Community College's


Instructor: Nancy Jago Finley,


FALL 2013


Developmental Psychology online explores human development from conception to old age, death, and dying. We’ll examine the interrelationship among biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial factors as we progress through the lifespan. One goal of the course is to develop an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing each age. Psychology 200 online is equivalent to the Lifespan Developmental Psychology course offered each quarter on campuses in the SCCD.

Note: Please contact DISABILITY SERVICES at NSCC if you want to discuss accommodations you think might be necessary to succeed in this class.


  • Understand the essentials of major biosocial,cognitive, and psychosocial theories of developmental psychology.
  • Understand the complexity of individual and social factors in development and that interactions between individual and environment are two-directional, characterized by reciprocity.
  • Increase ability to communicate effectively in diverse settings with people from diverse experiences and situations.
  • Gain multi-cultural literacy with regard to human development across the lifespan.
  • Become aware of language indicating bias in relation to gender, age, religion, ethnicity, and sexual or affectional orientation.
  • Increase appreciation of the United States as a multi-cultural society by learning to compare and contrast how various systems (e.g. family, educational, economic, political, religious, etc.) affect the psychological development and health of individuals and communities.
  • Increase writing skills.


The Developing Person Through the Lifespan,7th or 8th edition, by Kathleen Berger, Worth Publishers. You can buy the book at the NSCC bookstore or anywhere else that you can find a good deal.


Your responsibility as a student will be to read the text assignments, read all class instructions and announcements posted in ANGEL and in our course website, read (or at least skim) all the seminar posts, take the quizzes, demonstrate your learning by submitting answers to essay questions, and contribute to seminar concerning that reading. Your essay writing and seminar contributions should include frequent and judicious use of the vocabulary you are learning.

See Assignments and Calendar page for specific due dates and assignments. All work will be submitted in our ANGEL classroom.


I see learning as a developmental process. For your evaluation I will be looking for ongoing development in your commitment, contribution, and achievement in the following four areas:

I. Seminar preparation

This includes reading assignments in a timely manner in order to participate in an informed way in the discussion rooms/seminars. Many find the power point presentations (tab at right) helpful. Most students watch the supplied videos (found in the weekly assignments folders in ANGEL) to supplement their learning and to make the seminar discussion topics more varied.

Seminar preparation also includes completing open book and untimed true/false quizzes (15 points each) and responses to essay questions (20 points each) and submitting them on time. Carefully review essay grading criteria each time you write an essay. (Note: Essay questions are not the same as Seminar Discussion questions. Please see FAQ page so you will know the difference.)

Essays and quizzes are due early in the week (Tuesdays at midnight) so that class discussion will be more informed and enriching.

Discussion rooms, quizzes and essay drop boxes for each week are found by clicking on ANGEL's Lessons tab.

Assignments must be submitted by the deadline.

I do not accept or grade late papers.

Total quiz points possible: 345. At the end of the quarter, you will be given full credit for your two lowest quiz scores.

Total essay points possible: 440. At the end of the quarter, you will receive full credit for your two lowest essay grades, with one exception. If there is even one sentence that is plagiarized in an essay,the student will fail the assignment. If a student gets no points for an essay due to plagiarism, this essay can not count as one of the "free" essays for the quarter. If you plagiarize, you can not earn any grade for the course higher than a 3.4, no matter how the points total up. If plagiarism happens more than once, further disciplinary action will be taken.

II. Seminar participation

Making thoughtful contributions to the class, sharing your thoughts about course topics, asking questions, helping to clarify text material for others, pointing to the book and to other sources, and reading other students' posts are several of the criteria by which you will be evaluated. You will also be asked to take responsibility for the quality of the discussion and show a commitment to learning by demonstrating interest, enthusiasm, a willingness to be coached and joining the discussion prepared. And, remember, ample use of chapter vocabulary in your seminar contributions is desired and expected.

Access the discussion rooms at least five times per week, read the posts, and post your questions, responses to posts and interpretations of text material. Each post/reply earns 2 points toward the "quantity" part of the seminar grade up to 10 points maximum for each of weeks 2-11. Only two posts are required for weeks one and twelve. You can earn up to 108 cumulative points by the end of the quarter for your total number of posts.

Please click here for more detailed instructions about how to effectively participate in seminar. Seminar participation will be evaluated based on quantity of postings, quality of posting, the number of posts you read/skim written by your classmates and the teacher, and the timeliness of your posting (i.e., did you post enough before the closure of the discussion room to allow your classmates to respond if they want?).

You can earn up to 5 points for reading 90% of your classmates' posts at mid-term and 5 points for the second half of the quarter for a total of 10 cumulative points for the quarter.

At mid-term, you can earn up to 5 points for posting 90% of your posts before midnight of the Sunday before the room closes and 5 points for timeliness of posts for the second half of the quarter (cumulative points for timeliness is 10 points).

For the "quality" part of the grade, 50 points are possible at mid-term and 50 points for the second half of the quarter (total 100 cumulative "quality" points for the quarter). Carefully review the criteria for good quality seminar participation by clicking here. You will participate in the evaluation of the quality of your own posting by completing the self evaluations described below. So including quantity of posts read/skimmed and written, timeliness of posts, and quality, the total points possible for seminar at the end of the quarter = 224.

III. Proper and timely completion of self-evaluations

Click on the link to the right and above to see instructions in our course website. A self-evaluation will be due at mid-term and at the end of the quarter. Each is worth 25 points.

IV. Autobiography.

See instructions in ANGEL's Week one folder regarding how to complete this assignment. It is worth 5 points toward your final grade.

The total number of points possible for the course = 1068

If you earn 90-100%, your grade will likely be between 3.5 and 4.0.

If you earn 80-89%, your grade will likely be between 2.5 and 3.4.

If you earn 70-79%, your grade will likely be between 1.5 and 2.4.

If you earn 60-69%, your grade will likely be between 0.7 and 1.4.

If you earn below 60%, your grade will be 0.0

© 2004 Nancy Finley