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Cathleen McGreal

PSY444: Developmental Psychology: Adolescence through Youth
Best Blended
“Face-­to-­face and virtual team collaboration.”
- Cathleen McGreal -

PSY 444 explores research and theory regarding development between puberty and adulthood including physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Contexts of adolescence within the family and within the peer group including sexuality and romantic relationships are studied. According to psychologist John Santrock widespread generalizations in U.S. culture have been formed by viewing a limited set of highly visible adolescents. Our course provides a detailed look at adolescence in order to move beyond pervasive societal stereotypes.

What are the contexts for development when individuals approach puberty? How do increased cognitive capabilities influence the adolescent's view of identity and morality? What challenges occurred in development as a time of "not a child" but "not an adult" emerged in the 20th century? What changes have occurred recently? Why is adulthood “emerging” in this century? How does taking a cultural approach give us greater insights into the diversity of developmental possibilities? Research studies and theoretical perspectives are analyzed in order to answer these, and other, questions about the years of adolescence and early adulthood.

PSY 444 is a blended/hybrid class taught in a REAL classroom. F2F sessions in the REAL classroom are technology enhanced. Room layout allows students to work as a team throughout the semester. During every class session individuals in each team analyze questions in depth and work collaboratively on a Google Doc problem designed for their individual team. Students generate solutions in the document, reach a consensus and explain their results to the entire class using the REAL classroom large monitors. Students participate in lectures online in D2L, complete low stakes “Readiness Assessment Quizzes” to prepare them for the F2F class, and raise a virtual child from birth to age 18. Student performance is assessed through low-stakes activities (Muddiest Point, Quizzes) and through papers directly linked to the Virtual Teen assignment and to the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). The midterm/final exams are essays. The Quality Matters framework informed the course design.

Technologies included in this course:

Design Framework: