Course Syllabus


Rather than focusing on a single period of human experience, this course in human growth and development is designed to help students understand and gain an appreciation of an entire human lifespan. Students will analyze various theories—physical, cognitive, emotional, and social—that have influenced the field of human development at each stage of growth. Students will also examine the challenges faced at each stage of human life.

This course involves large amounts of reading and is designed to meet the BYU-Idaho expectation that students spend 3–4 hours each week for every credit, so 9–12 hours will be required each week for this course. If students are unable to commit to the time demands this semester, they should consider taking this course when they have the time necessary for the workload.

Even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course. It is structured so that students can interact with classmates weekly in order to teach and learn from one another. Some of the most powerful learning experiences can occur while participating in teach one another activities. This course includes required synchronous meetings.

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn to do the following:

  1. Identify various theories that have impacted the field of human development.
  2. Understand theory and research in human growth and development to allow students to appreciate an entire human lifespan.
  3. Examine the challenges faced by each stage of human life.
  4. Give examples of how biology and environmental factors interact in development.
  5. Highlight physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development factors in each stage of development: infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.
  6. Describe lifespan challenges faced in each stage of development.

Course Architecture

This course is divided in fourteen weeks with Week 01 at the beginning and Week 14 at the end.

Each week, will open at the end of the week prior to accommodate students who want to get started or need some flexibility in their schedules. For example, Week 02 will open at the end of Week 01.

Additionally, each week, will have all its due dates located in the calendar. Students can also see due dates in each week under modules, in the grade book, and in the course schedule.


Week 01 Online and course-specific orientation, getting acquainted, Foundations of Development
Week 02 Foundations of Development
Week 03 Foundations of Development
Week 04 Infancy and Toddlerhood: (0–1 Years)
Week 05 Infancy and Toddlerhood: (0–1 Years)
Week 06 Early Childhood: (2–6 Years)
Week 07 Middle Childhood: (7–11 Years)
Week 08 Middle Childhood: (7–11 Years)
Week 09 Adolescence: The Transition to Adulthood: (12–17 Years)
Week 10 Early Adulthood: (18–40 Years)
Week 11 Early Adulthood: (18–40 Years)
Week 12 Middle Adulthood: (41–64 Years)
Week 13 Late Adulthood: (65+ Years)
Week 14 End of Life

Recurring Activities

Reading, Reading Reflection, and Check for Understanding

  • Reading: Complete the weekly reading. This will come predominately from the textbook Development through the Lifespan by Laura E. Berk, 7th Edition. Reading assignments are posted on each week's introduction page.
  • Reading Reflections: This assessment will test the student's knowledge and understanding of the readings to prepare for participation in the rest of the assignments posted on each week's introduction page. The reading reflections questions have been carefully chosen to help students prepare for the exam. If students answer these questions in depth, then the answers will become a study guide for the exams.
  • Reading Reflection Insights: This is a discussion board where students can discuss the reading with classmates. The purpose of this discussion board is to give students an opportunity to share what they've learned, thus increasing retention of the material. It is also an opportunity to receive answers to questions and to prepare for the exam. This discussion board will be graded.
  • Check for Understanding: This quick check will help students become familiar with the kind of information that will be on the test and it will provide extra practice to help them prepare.


  • Chapter Quizzes: Each chapter has a chapter quiz. Students may take the quiz up to three times and will receive the highest score of the three attempts.
  • Weekly Reports: This short report will allow students to give important feedback about your experiences in completing the course assignments. The reports open with the rest of the week.
  • Unit Exams: This course has five examinations that cover the material in your textbook. A study guide will be available the week prior to the exam. All exams open at the end of the week prior to their due date. These exams are closed book tests that will be proctored using an online service called Proctorio. There will be five unit tests, each varying in length, from 60 questions to 100. Each question will be worth two points. The examinations together are worth 760 points.
  • Disability accommodations: If students have disabilities requiring them to take exams under different circumstances, they must let their instructor know as soon as possible so that fair, alternative arrangements can be made.

Additional Activities

  • Study Group on Zoom: In W02, W04, W07, W10, and W13, students will meet with a Study Group via Zoom. Students will meet in the Zoom room of the Lead Student. They will discuss questions, dilemmas, concerns, and/or insights associated with course material in preparation for each Unit Exam. Each member of the group should be prepared to discuss the study guide for each unit. 
  • Interview Project: Throughout the course, students will conduct interviews with people in various life stages. After each interview, students will be asked to do a write-up of the interview and a one-page analysis where they compare what they are learning in the course with what they observed in their interview. Beginning in Week 05, students will interview one individual between the ages of 2–6. Each student will interview one individual in each successive age range in Weeks 07, 09, 11, 12, and 13. They will also complete a conclusion write-up in Week 13. The interview questions will be provided, and the same interview questions will be used in each interview. This link includes examples of the interview project write-ups: Project Examples.
  • Tutoring Center Quizzes: There is a new resource available through the BYU-I Tutoring Center. These quizzes are not required, but are another resource to help prepare for exams. These quizzes were prepared by the professor who created the course (and chose the exam questions) and a student who had just taken the course.

How to access the PSYCH 201 Quizzes:

  1. Go to
  2. Press Tutoring at the top.
  3. Click on Quizzes.
  4. Press Tutoring Center.
  5. Search for the quizzes by course at the top.
  6. Look up PSYCH201 and all quizzes should pop up.

Note: Some weeks have additional assessment activities such as the W05 Student Feedback to Instructor and the course evaluations.

Course Requirements

Course Texts—Auto Access

The required text is Development Through the Lifespan by Laura E. Berk, 7th Edition.

The required textbook for this course is a low-cost, auto-access digital textbook. Access the textbook using the link provided in the Student Resources module of this course. Students will be automatically charged for the digital textbook after the “Add” deadline (the end of the second week of the semester).

Grading Policies

Final Grade Distribution

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 93%–100%
A- 90%–92%
B+ 87%–89%
B 83%–86%
B- 80%–82%
C+ 77%–79%
C 73%–76%
C- 70%–72%
D+ 67%–69%
D 63%–66%
D- 60%–62%
F 59% and below

Grade Components

Grades will be determined as follows:

  • Introduction Activities: 5 or 9 points each (2 Assignments = 14 points total)
  • Reading Reflections Study Guide: 5 points each (14 Assignments = 70 points total)
  • Reading Reflections Insights Discussion Board: 12 points each (9 Assignments = 108 points total)
  • Gospel Application: 5 points each (3 Assignments = 15 points total)
  • Interview Projects: 20 points each (7 Assignments = 140 points total)
  • Weekly Reports: 6 to 17 points (14 Weekly Reports = 108 points total)
  • Zoom Meeting & Report (5 Assignments = 16 points) and Lead Student Summary (1 assignment = 20 points) = 356 points total
  • Chapter Quizzes: 5 points (14 Quizzes = 70 points total)
  • Exams: 120–200 points each (5 Exams = 760 points total)
  • Miscellaneous: 5 or 10 points (4 assignments = 25 points total)
  • Total Points = 1,641

Class Policies

Course Questions, Problems, and/or Concerns

On the Announcements page, students are encouraged to post general questions, problems, concerns, etc. Using this board will inform other class members, the instructor, and Online Course Improvement of the issues you find, which will allow the proper people to correct them for everyone. Unless your instructor indicates otherwise, please check this board throughout the semester. If students are experiencing the same problem as other students who have posted on the Announcements page, you can post as well to alert others of the seriousness of the problem. If you know the answer to a problem, you are encouraged to post solutions. Helping to solve classmate's problems is another way to teach one another. Additionally, the instructor is monitoring this board and will inform students of fixes and solutions here.

Note: Students should only email their instructor directly if the problem is of a personal nature, or if the instructor says that is the way he or she would like to be informed of questions, problems, concerns, etc.


Throughout the course, students will be required to participate in group meetings with other classmates. In order to participate fully in these meetings, students will need a microphone for their computer. Many computers come with microphones built in, but if they do not have this feature, students will need to buy one. Students can make sure that their microphone works properly in the Virtual Classroom meeting with their instructor in the introduction week.

Late Work Policy

Late work hampers the student's ability to fully participate in the course and will be accepted only at the instructor's discretion. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty determined by the instructor. The two exceptions existing where the late work policy is not at the discretion of the instructor are as follows:

  • Discussion board posts will not be accepted late. One of the purposes of those boards is to discuss things together with classmates, and if a student's work is late, their classmates will already be on to new assignments. Thus, points for the discussion boards cannot be made up once the pertinent week is over.
  • Exams must be taken during the specified exam dates. I-Learn will not allow the late submission of an exam.

Each week opens several days in advance to allow flexibility. Students should not expect an instructor to bend the course due dates to accommodate personal scheduling conflicts including weddings and vacations. However, if students know they will be unable to meet a due date for any particular assignment, an instructor may be able to work with them if they make prior arrangements to submit their work.


This course is designed to engage student's mind and your heart. Thus, it is important for students to prepare both intellectually and spiritually each week. If students are consistent with personal prayer, scripture study, and attention to covenants, it will provide great support for academic studies. While this is not a religion course, what student's study here will help them grow spiritually. When students are prepared, the Holy Spirit can provide guidance and direction that will make a difference in their lives. As students interact with others in various assignments, they should remember to be kind, considerate, and respectful of differing viewpoints. Students can differ in opinions (sometimes the best learning comes when others challenge their thinking) but should still be civil. Any violation of basic common courtesy—including interaction with the instructor—will negatively impact a student's grade.

Pacing Yourself

A student's ability to pace themselves will be essential to their success in this course. If students organize their time well, they will be able to complete all of the assignments without becoming overwhelmed. Below is a suggestion of one way that students could organize their time throughout a typical week:

Reading 3 hours 
Reading Reflections 1 hour
Weekly Report 15 minutes
Study Group 45 minutes
Weekly report 15 minutes
Exam (if applicable) 60 minutes
Total 6 hours 45 minutes (7 hours 30 minutes with Exam)


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. Students will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.

Once students have read through and understood the course requirements, they will take the syllabus quiz to complete the activity.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course requires synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

The materials in this course are also intellectual property and taking any materials from the course and posting them outside of this course in any manner (such as posting on Course Hero) will be construed as theft. If you post course materials without authorization, the instructor has the right to impose an appropriate academic sanction (e.g., give you a failing grade for the assignment and/or fail you from the course).

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


If you need assistance, visit the I-learn help tab located on the left-hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center. 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due