BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This is an upper division course for psychology majors and should be taken when most major requirements are finished. There are no on-campus meetings. But Wed. 2-4, needs to be available for end of semester exam. All course material is on the web. You may start the course now and finish early. Grade is based on the final comprehensive exam, taken as soon as all units are mastered, only in instructor's office and only on Wednesdays, 2-4 PM.

PREREQUISITES: Completion of 15 units of upper division psychology (and of course, Psy 200). Those who do not meet prerequisites may be dropped from course and/or ILearn. These should include the Core and Areas 1 and 2 courses (e.g. Statistics, Research, Current Issues, Learning, Perception, Motivation, Physiological, Developmental, Theories of Personality, or Social. It is not recommended that the double listed GE Segment III Sex courses count as prerequisites). Psy 601 meets the requirement for an Area II course in the major. Or, it can count as one of the 15 upper division psychology electives for the major.

DIFFICULT COURSE: Psy 601 is difficult. It will require at least 9-10 hours of work per week which is the requirement for a 3 unit course. Many students mistakenly think that an online course will be easy. This is not true. It is entiely an academic course. ILean is used only for tests preparing for the on campus comprehensive exam and do not count in the grade.

This is a history of psychology course which will cover the two thousand year background of psychology. Much of that includes how philosophical and physiological issues contributed to the development of modern psychology. Since this course attempts to integrate all fields of psychology, including the philosophical and physiological past, it is helpful to have completed a broad background of academic courses (e.g. courses in philosophy, biology, humanities, and the social sciences).

SELF PACED INDIVDUALIZED COURSE: Students work independently and may work ahead, But they must not fall behind the posted deadlines for 10 weekly ILearn tests. They need to be self motivated and self disciplined. There are no lectures and no student iterractions. The only on campus attendance is the comprehensive final. NOTE: The course grade is the grade of the on-campus final comprehensive exam, if units are mastered and deadlines met.

ELECTRONIC ILearn TESTS: To maintain enrollment in the course one must show progress through weekly electronic ILearn tests according to the outline dates. Tests should be completed by 5:00 PM. Unit 3 is longer and should be started early. There may be a grace period until midnight for those having occasional computer or other problems. There will be no make-ups or extensions. If your own computer is unreliable, campus computers are available. Location and hours of the numerous computer labs on campus can be obtained from the Computer Labs page on the web. The Library Lab is open 24 hours.

Students may be dropped who do not master the units by the posted dates. It is the student's responsibility, however, to "drop" the course before the drop deadline to avoid a failing grade in the course. Mastery of each unit is 80% right by their deadline dates.

EMAIL ACCOUNTS: A SFSU email account is required and may be obtained through the Email Account page of the Computer Services Center on the web. If you wish to use your own non-SFSU account, the university provides a way for you to link your private account to the SFSU account. Any account may be used to access the course material and write to instructor. But instructor will use only SFSU accounts to send messages to students.

WRITING TO INSTRUCTOR: When sending email messages to instructor, it is important to correctly identify the "subject" line. That must contain the following: "601 -- Your Last Name -- topic (e.g., question about Unit 4)." Otherwise it is impossible to file and retrieve student messages. When responding, include the instructor's message to which you are responding. Write again in a couple days if no answer. With many students, responding usually takes several days. Try to keep each email to one topic. It is usually not feasible to answer voice mail messages. Instructor will be available during office hours for those needing additional help.

EXAMS AND GRADES: The "Syllabus" contains information about the final comprehensive exams and grading. An on-campus comprehensive final is the basis for the course grade, assuming all unit tests are mastered. Three different forms may be taken to attempt a higher score. The exam is offered any Wednesday afternoon 2-4 PM by appointment; the last one not later than May 12. No computers, cell phones, notes, special aides, people, etc. may accompany students. Plan to start earlier than the deadline dates. No extension or make-up is offered for rain, sleet, snow, etc.

HOW TO START: Go to the Psych 601 web page for information about getting started and for all the text and course materials. All the information about the course should be there. You can always find that page by going to the link on ILearn or by typing in my name "Ronald Mayer" on GOOGLE. You will be responsible for following the Syllabus. The "Getting Started" link tells you how to begin. You may start the course right now. The text, workbook, practice quizzes etc. are all there, online.

Contact Dr. Mayer at "" if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Return to Dr. Mayer's home page.

January 23, 2010