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PSYC 3684 Developmental Psychology


Dr. Chelsea Pierotti


Please include the following in your email subject line: PSYC 3684-581


In-depth consideration of human developmental processes across the life span. Includes coverage of the major topics in human development, such as physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral development. Recommended prerequisites: PSYC 1001 and either PSYC 2111 or PSYC 3111.


This course examines developmental psychology throughout the lifespan, from conception through adulthood and death. In this class you will be introduced to several major theories that help summarize and organize the understanding of the course of human development. We will also review empirical studies relevant to these theoretical perspectives. The primary focus of the course is on normal development, and pathological developmental processes are generally out of the scope of the course. The goal of this course is to provide a basic framework that will serve students who wish to further study development and students who will use this knowledge as parents, health care providers, educators and/or public policy makers. This online course will explore the same topics that are covered in the on-campus PSYC course, but the content is delivered and discussed in a different format. PowerPoint slides will be available for each week’s topic, which will highlight some of the most important and/or difficult aspects of the unit (these are not meant to be comprehensive reviews of all of the material for the unit). Additionally, there will be media items in some of the units that will accompany the text and the readings for that topic, which help provide real-life examples of many of the academic topics we will cover. Access to all course material will be through the course D2L at The depth of the discussions in online courses is striking, and students tend to communicate very openly because they have time to think about their initial response and their responses to the instructor and other students. Additionally, many people feel more comfortable discussing their opinions in an online format compared to a traditional lecture hall (after all, the number one fear in the United States is public speaking). This allows for more in-depth discussion and candid assessments of one’s own personal understanding of the material. Furthermore, an online course is generally smaller than a comparable on-campus course, which allows the instructor to devote more time to interacting with students via discussions, chat, and email. With that, please conduct yourself in the same respectful manner you would in a traditional classroom, allowing for a difference of opinion and healthy debate. I strive to make this course a safe place for students to ask questions, share ideas, and express their opinions even if they may be in the minority during more polarizing discussions. A respectful online classroom environment will facilitate more lively discussions and in turn result in a richer learning experience for all of us. I also expect you to use the tools learned in this course in analyzing the issues we deal with, rather than just stating opinions. Throughout this course you will learn to:

  • Define and describe the basic terms and elements of developmental psychology
  • Identify research methodologies and results from empirical studies and summarize findings
  • Begin to learn to analyze empirical research, in written form, using the language of psychology
  • Identify, compare and contrast major developmental theories
  • Apply several different developmental theories to your life, career aspirations, and/or contemporary social world through experiential and written assignments
  • Generate an applied assignment to evaluate a theory and it’s application to your contemporary world


Note on required book: This book can be purchased at the CU Bookstore or from Cengage Learning directly. Please note that this is an online only version of this book that comes with other online study material and assignments through “MindTap”. If you purchase through Cengage, it is an ebook only. If you purchase through the bookstore you will receive an access card to have a loose-leaf version of the book printed. It is exactly the same thing as a regular textbook if you like the physical book, but printed on 3 hole punch paper and significantly cheaper. With either choice, you will have everything you need to complete the course, but you must purchase one of these rather than on older traditionally bound textbook as some assignments will be completed through MindTap online. I assure you this is cheaper than a regular textbook anyway!

For separate documents regarding instructions and technology support for Cengage and Mindtap please refer to “Content” “Mindtap” in the course D2L.

  • CU Bookstore: Bundle w/ MindTap: Sigelman/Rider – Bundle: Cengage Advantage Books: Life-Span Human Development, Loose-leaf Version, 8th + LMS Integrated for MindTap® Psychology Printed Access Card 9781305415317; $86
  • MindTap only: Sigelman/Rider – LMS Integrated for MindTap® Psychology, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card for Sigelman/Rider’s Life-Span Human Development, 8th 9781285840178; $71.25

All additional readings will be provided on the course D2L



Reading Responses (5) 15%
Discussion Posts (5) 15%
Applied Learning Assignments (5) 15%
Concept Reviews (9) 10%
Midterm 20%

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