Course Syllabus

Print Syllabus
Course ID: PSY101
Title: Introduction to Psychology
Modality: Internet
Credit Hours: 3.00
Specialty: Open Source Media Enhanced Pilot Course

Course Section Information


Section number: 


Start date: 

Selected course calendar: 

Last date to withdraw: 

Instructor name: 

Course Materials

Be sure that you have all the necessary materials prior to the start date of your course.

Required Textbook:

Title: Psychology
Author: Peter Gray
ISBN: 1429219475

Your course materials are available through the Rio Salado College Bookstore.  All materials should be verified by ISBN before purchasing at the Rio Salado Bookstore or from another seller.

Course Description and Competencies

Official Course Description
To acquaint the student with basic principles, methods and fields of psychology such as learning, memory, emotion, perception, physiological, developmental, intelligence, social and abnormal.
Official Course Prerequisites
Official Course Competencies
  1. Describe the historical roots of psychology.
  2. Describe the research methods used by psychologists.
  3. Describe the relationship between body and behavior and the mechanisms of sensation and perception and states of consciousness.
  4. Define the terms and describe the concepts and processes of learning and conditioning, thinking and memory, and motivation and emotion.
  5. Describe the basic theories of human development and personality.
  6. Define the terms and describe the issues in the area of intelligence and intelligence testing.
  7. Describe stress and its effects on behavior.
  8. Describe health psychology and factors to control stress.
  9. Identify the major categories of abnormal behavior.
  10. Describe the major therapeutic approaches used for the treatment of abnormal behavior.
  11. Describe the factors that influence group behavior and interpersonal relationships.
  12. Describe how psychology is applied in real world situations.

Course Requirements

Important: Read and understand the Welcome Letter. A general outline of the course requirements is included in this document, and your first assignments are included in the Welcome Statement. Note: The first assignments in the Welcome Letter are due by Wednesday during the first week of the course.

You must complete all required assignments in the course to get a passing grade.

Time Requirements

Remember that this is a three credit-hour class. As such, you will need to dedicate significant time to this course. Plan to spend at least three hours on course content and at least six hours on homework for a total of at least nine hours each week. Be prepared to double your weekly class and study time if you choose an accelerated calendar.

Grading Procedure and Scale

Grading Procedure

Required, non-graded assignments:
Exam Acknowledgements
0 Points
Syllabus Acknowledgement/Quiz 10 Points
Lesson Assignments 210 Points
Midterm Exam 90 Points
Final Exam 90 Points
Total = 400 Points

Note: You must earn an average of 60% on the Final Exam to pass the course.

Grading Scale

The following scale will determine your final course grade:

Grade Percentages Points

360 - 400 points = A (90% - 100%)
320 - 359 points = B (80% - 89%)
280 - 319 points = C (70% - 79%)
240 - 279 points = D (60% - 69%)
0 - 239 points = F (0% - 59%)

Please note: Extra credit is not available for this course.


Reading Assignments:

The textbook will be the primary reading assignment of this course. Therefore, it is essential that you actively read and study it. The textbook readings are listed in the individual lessons. Each week you are expected to complete all the textbook and lesson readings.

Optional Study Activities and Assignments:

There are a set of study activities and assignments listed in the Summarizing Your Learning section in each lesson. These assignments are not to be turned in; you will not be given any points toward your grade in completing these activities.

Required Graded Assignments:

You will submit written assignments and two exams for grades in this course.

Your written assignments will be scored according to the rubric provided within each lesson.

Make sure that you understand and follow the guidelines provided with each assignment. All assignments will be promptly graded with appropriate feedback. If you don't receive your graded assignment within a reasonable period (approximately two weeks), contact your instructor immediately. Do not wait until the end of the course.


There are required online exam(s) for this course. Please review the Grading Procedure and Scale section of your syllabus for details. Your course materials may give specific information about these exams and make suggestions for test preparation.

Check your Gradebook on the course homepage for specific due dates for your exam(s).

Submitting Assignments

All assignments are listed under the "Reading Assignment" box and in the "Assessing Your Learning" section. The lessons can be accessed from the "Syllabus and Lessons" links on your Course Home Page.

Note to students: Keep a copy of everything you submit.

Guidelines and Rules for Success

Planning For Success:

To successfully complete the course requirements, you must effectively plan and manage your time. There are many demands that are placed on you from different areas of your life, whether it is family, work, or school. Balancing all of your responsibilities can be challenging. To assist you in meeting this challenge, the following hints for the successful completion are offered:

Read your entire course syllabus and outline before beginning the course.

Read the entire Welcome Statement before beginning the course.

Plan on spending approximately nine hours of study time per lesson.

Divide the time into several short study sessions instead of one long period. Studying in eight 25 to 30-minute blocks of time, with a short break in between each block, is more effective than studying for four straight hours.

Answering the Written Assignments - Outlining and Creating an Answer

All of the assignments in this course are designed to help you to deepen your understanding of the material in the course, develop your communication/composition skills and your abilities to organize and think, and connect the course material with your own beliefs and values. The central goal is to facilitate the development of deep learning. For each assignment, use the following steps:

  1. Identify the question that you are answering. Make sure that you clearly understand the question and make sure that you work toward answering all of the specified parts of the question.
  2. Make a list of what you already know about the answer.
  3. Review the segments in the textbook and lesson reading that are applicable to the question.
  4. Add to your list that you created after step 2.
  5. Organize your notes - What do you want to say in your answer?
  6. Outline your answer - What are the key topics?
  7. Write a rough draft of your answer.
  8. Review the draft. Make sure that you are effectively answering the question.
  9. Write your final draft and read it over one last time before submitting it to your instructor. Perform a spell check, and check for grammar and clarity.

Checking the Logic of Your Assignment Answers

At one point of your academic career, you may have received criticism from an instructor who said that a paper that you wrote was not logical. Although logic can mean several things, one important way to check the logic of your answer is to write a sentence outline. The logic behind a sentence outline and the procedure for doing it is this: All paragraphs that are well written can be reduced to one sentence. (Remember, a paragraph is supposed to contain one thought, which is why it is called a paragraph). If your paragraph cannot be reduced to one sentence, separate the ideas and rewrite it. To check the logic of the answer that you wrote, you need to reduce each of your paragraphs to one sentence. When your paragraph is read together, the sentences should flow in a coherent and logical manner. If they do not, the logic is off. However, it should be easy to figure out a way to solve that problem with a sentence outline.

Copyright Acknowledgements

Some images used in courses are from collections licensed by Rio Salado College.

Late or Missing Assignments

Assignments that have due dates are due on time according to the due dates in your gradebook. If you need to request an extension for an assignment, a request must be made to your instructor via Riolearn. You can request a due date change by selecting "Modify Due Dates" from the "Due Dates" tab in your course Gradebook.

Late points may be applied at the instructor's discretion.

Course Completion Policy

Students are assigned specific start and end dates. It is the student's responsibility to note due dates for assignments as reflected in the gradebook and to keep up with the course work.

If a student falls behind, she or he must contact the instructor and request an extension of her or his end date in order to complete the course. It is the prerogative of the instructor to decide whether or not to grant the request.

Note: This is not a self-paced course. Students should refer to their gradebook for due dates and the course end date. Final grades are not posted prior to the course’s end date as reflected in the gradebook. Students should contact their instructor immediately if they have questions or concerns about this policy.

Submitting Assignments

Online Submission Platform

The assignment due dates in this course are structured to complete all the lessons over the span of the course. Regular and consistent progress is expected in the course through the submission of assignments. The submission of an assignment can be no earlier than 7 days prior to the due date. Consult your course gradebook for specific due dates. Assignments/acknowledgments must be submitted through the online submission platform unless otherwise directed.

Final Grade Options

  • Letter grade (A, B, C, D, F)

  • Extension (in lieu of an incomplete grade): Students may request an assessment extension because of illness or other extenuating circumstances, if they have been doing acceptable work. Assessment extensions may extend up to two weeks beyond the established course end as indicated in the gradebook. Please Note: Assessment extensions are given at the instructor’s discretion. Instructors are not obligated to give extensions.

  • Withdrawal (W) - Students may submit a withdrawal request on or prior to the "Last Date to Withdraw" indicated in their RioLearn Gradebook.

  • Withdrawn Failing (Y) – Students may be removed from their classes with a Withdrawn Failing (Y) grade for non-participation, which counts like an F in GPA calculation.

    Instructors are unable to process withdrawals on behalf of a student. A student wishing to withdraw from a class within the stated timeline must do so by visiting In extreme circumstances, students do have the option of requesting a complete withdrawal from the college by providing Student Enrollment Services with appropriate documentation.

    Before withdrawing, students should consider contacting their instructor and/or Rio's Counseling Services to see what options are available to help them stay in class.

    STUDENTS – STOP Before You Drop! A withdrawal request is irrevocable, and may affect future Financial Aid, Visa status, Veteran benefit eligibility, scholarship eligibility and may delay graduation. Please be sure that it is the right option for you before submission.


  • Credit/No Credit Option (P/Z) - Some courses may be offered with a credit/no credit option which, if offered, would be identified in the Grading Procedure and Scale section of this syllabus. See detailed information about the (P/Z) option here.

  • Note: Choosing the P/Z option is a permanent change to the gradebook. A P/Z grade will not be changed to a letter grade after the course end date.

Regular and Substantive Faculty-Student Interaction

The Rio Salado College faculty provide learners with frequent opportunities for regular and substantive interaction, which are critical components of a quality online program. At a minimum, faculty teaching online courses for credit monitor weekly due dates and initiate contact with students, post course announcements and/or "From Your Instructor" (FYI) notes that are academic and relevant, respond to academic inquiries within 72 hours, and provide detailed, personalized, and timely feedback. In addition, faculty regularly engage in synchronous and/or asynchronous interaction with students via tools such as discussion boards, rubrics, voice threads, video conferences, audio recordings, phone calls, email and/or text messages, social media, and online collaboration software. Though faculty members are responsible for initiating interaction, providing academic information, and facilitating learning, Rio students are responsible for remaining in regular contact with their instructors and engaging with the course content as active participants in the educational experience.

Requirement for Active Class Participation

Withdrawal for Non-Participation (Y) – Students need to communicate regularly with their instructor and engage in academic activities as determined by the instructor and department. Students may be removed from their classes after 14 days of non-participation with a Withdrawn Failing (Y) grade, which counts like an F in GPA calculation.

If you receive financial aid of any kind, it is your responsibility to protect your eligibility to receive financial aid by meeting the active participation requirements of this class.

Basic Needs

If lack of access to food or housing is affecting your participation and/or performance in this course, please contact Rio's Counseling Department at 480.517.8785 or via email at Your academic success is important to us.

Library Services

The Rio Salado Library is committed to student success and provides a variety of materials and services to enhance student learning. Utilizing Rio’s online library for your research is the best way to ensure that your sources are validated, authoritative, and appropriate for college-level coursework. The library's Video Tutorials page provides instruction on how to use the online library to find books, articles, ebooks, and more. Librarians are available to help you at all times via our Ask a Librarian live chat service.

Please note that when library materials (e.g., articles, ebooks, and streaming media) are integrated into your lesson content, you will see the notation “…provided to you through the Rio Salado Library.

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct includes cheating, conspiring to cheat, soliciting to cheat, attempting to cheat, plagiarism, fabrication on an assignment, or other forms of dishonest presentation.

Posting assessments on an unauthorized web site, soliciting assessment answers and the unauthorized acquisition of assessments, assessment answers, or other academic material is cheating.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.  It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of term papers or other academic materials.  Information gathered from the Internet and not properly identified is also considered plagiarism.

We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work. Any student whose work indicates a violation of the MCCCD Academic Misconduct Policy (including cheating and plagiarism) can expect sanctions as specified in the college catalog.

Rio Salado College uses software that uncovers plagiarism from student to student and other data sources on the Internet. If a student is found to have plagiarized content, grade consequences will be applied in accordance with departmental policies.

Civility Policy

The faculty of Rio Salado place a high value on the importance of general ethical standards of academic behavior and expect that communication between students and instructors or among students shall maintain the level of formality and mutual respect appropriate to any college teaching/learning situation.

Language or behavior that is rude, abusive, profane, disruptive, or threatening will not be tolerated. Activity of this type is Academic Misconduct as defined in MCCCD Policy AR 2.3.11. Students engaging in such behavior will be removed from the course with a failing grade. Additional sanctions may be applied pursuant to AR 2.3.11.

Honors Program

If you are taking this course for Honors credit, you must complete all assessments, including the Honors Project(s). The Honors Project(s) are listed in one or more lessons of the course and are designated for “Honors Students.” Failure to complete the Honors Project(s) will result in a failing grade in the course and a loss of Honors credit.

Classroom Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and its associated colleges are committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities to students with documented disabilities (e.g. mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical). Visit for more information.

Addressing Incidents of Sexual Harassment/Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, MCCCD prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The District also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, District employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in District policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by District policy. Visit for more information.

Student Solution Center

Rio Salado College is dedicated to a quality learning experience and has provided the Student Solution Center webpage as a resource for students to raise issues to our attention. We look forward to the opportunity to provide an equitable solution for all involved parties. For grading or instructional issues, students should first contact their faculty member(s) in accordance with the Instructional Grievance Process. For non-instructional complaints, students may contact the Conduct & Community Standards team by telephone at 480-517-8749 or 480-517-8152, or email at Students may also contact their state regulatory agency; the Arizona SARA Council; and/or the Higher Learning Commission to escalate their concerns.

Change of Address

Please notify Course Support at (480) 517-8243 or 1-800-729-1197 or by email at Please include your name, student number, phone number, and new address including city, state, and zip code.

Contact Us

Please see the following page for contact information.


Course content may vary from this outline to meet the needs of this particular group.

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