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Online & Blended Course Welcome Letter

Professor:   Jill Urban-Bollis                             Phone: 815-224-0429

Office:   D-303                                                      e-mail: jill_urbanbollis@ivcc.edu


Hello and welcome to PSY 2001:  Child Growth and Development Online and Blended Course!! 

This course focuses on the development of children, from conception to adolescents.


Welcome to Child Growth and Development-    This course was designed to provide you with the flexibility to earn college credit by fitting the course into your personal schedule.  Using the Blackboard Learning System, students will be participating in online discussion threads, doing the assigned reading in the textbook and study guide, completing assignments, and taking tests.  You will be working on your own.  This course requires approximately five to six hours per week for reading, discussions and completing the assignments.  Below you will find a list of questions most commonly asked by students. 


Online Course Orientation

Students will need to complete an Online Course Orientation provided by IVCC either online or on campus.  The following link will provide you with further information and dates/times, http://www.ivcc.edu/dl/Orientation/about.html.


How is the course set up?

There are steps along the way that need to be completed to activate your participation in the course.  The first one is the Bio thread, complete the online course orientation and discussion thread #1 during the first week of class. If you are in the Blended section, your attendance in class and online is expected.


If you have difficulty please contact the computer resource center, 224-0318.


This course will cover 5 units (3-4 chapters per unit).  The course consists of participating in course discussions weekly, doing the assigned reading in the textbook, assignments on line, and taking the assessments.  You will be working on your own for the most part other than the discussions.  The terms that are listed in italicized black on the borders of the text must be understood in order for you to do well and you must thoroughly read the text.  


Each week you will have a discussion thread to respond to and you will need to respond to two other students’ responses in depth.  A course schedule has been developed.  You will need to stay on track. 


Check the course schedule to verify when assignments/course requirements are due.     It may be possible for you to be withdrawn from the course if these requirements are not met.     If circumstances arise that may keep you from completing this course, please notify the instructor immediately, 224-0429.


What book is required?

Infants, Children and Adolescents- by Laura Berk.  All books are available in the IVCC bookstore.


What are the course requirements?

1.      Read the textbook/student guide chapters as indicated on your assignment sheet.

2.      Participate in weekly course discussions

3.      Complete the study activities at the end of each lesson

4.      Turn in the assignments per the attached schedule and instructions.

5.      Take the assessments.

6.      Contact your instructor when needed.


What are the assessments like?

You are required to take an assessment for each chapter.  The tests cover material from the text, study guide, and discussions. Therefore, they all should be reviewed thoroughly.   The tests are moderately difficult college-level exams, so please make sure you are well prepared when you take them.  They will be timed.    Assessments will be available over a limited number of days for you to take.  These dates will be posted. 



Where can I take the assessments?

Students can complete the timed assessment from any computer that has reliable internet access.


What happens if I do not complete assessments? 

All assessments are due by the scheduled test dates (see course schedule).   Be aware that an (I) incomplete can eventually turn into an (F) if no effort has been made to complete the remaining assignments/exams.  This grade can remain on your permanent record if no effort is made to complete the course.


What assignments are required?

There will be three major categories of assignments plus the discussion activities.  See Assignment Section for complete instructions for each of these assignments.

Assignment     #          Assignment name                                




Theory Summary




Discussion Threads


Assignment #1:  Time-line-   This assignment has three parts and all three parts need to be completed to earn full credit.  Part 1 can be hand written on an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper or typed.  Part 2 will need to be typed.  Part 3 can be printed from the computer and you can attach them.  This assignment can be attached and submitted to instructor.


Assignment #2:  Theory Summary -Select theories from your text; summarize in a paragraph or two the basic principles of the theory; how it applies to you, your career, to life in general; and the theorist responsible for the theory. 


Assignment #3-#8:  Learning Activity Observations-You will be provided with observation suggestions in which you will need to select one from each age range, observe/collect information, and write a reflection on your findings.  These are to be typed, double spaced, ½-1 page in length (maximum).  Content and grammar/punctuation errors will be considered in the grading process.  This will be worth 100 points (one each for each unit- 20 points each).


Discussion threads:  Each week there will be discussion threads that each student will need to respond to as well as respond to one other student’s comments.  The objectives of the discussion threads are to enhance your critical thinking skills; to assure your understanding of the course material; to apply course material; and to strengthen our learning community.   In addition, students will benefit by learning from each other and their experiences.  A discussion thread rubric will be provided to assure each response is fairly evaluated.  Plus, this will serve as a guide to assure that each students response is made in depth with quality that contributes to further exploration of the topic.  A point value will be earned for each weekly entrée and student response.


How can I receive course feedback?

Once the instructor receives your exam, it will be graded and you will be notified via Blackboard of the grade you earned.   Please feel free to contact me at any point throughout the semester if you have any questions/concerns.


Where can I get help?

My office is located in Room D-303 at IVCC, my phone number is 224-0429, or you can e-mail me with your questions/concerns at jill_urbanbollis@ivcc.edu.  If you cannot reach me, leave a message and I will call you as soon as I can.  If you want me to call at a certain time, please indicate that also. 


Who is successful in this course?

Successful students are the ones that read the chapters and participate on a regular schedule.  In other words, they approach this course much the same way they do their other courses in that they do something each week.  For many students the flexibility is an exciting new way to earn college credit, for others it is not workable.  If you find you are having difficulty getting work done, give me a call or stop in and see me.  I might be able to give you some help.  Try to stay on task according to the course schedule. Assignment and assessment dates are set to keep you on a schedule to complete the course in a timely manner.  If you have a life event that may keep you from taking the assessment on schedule, you need to contact the professor immediately prior to the assessment.


As you can see, I have set expectations for your success in this course.  It is up to you to decide your level of success. 


As Elain Maxwell has said, “Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own.  I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze.  My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.”


Hold on and enjoy this course - learn all you can to make a difference in the life of a child!