Course Syllabus


The course is designed to familiarize students with the historical movements and intellectual antecedents associated with psychology. Students will learn about early pioneers in the field of psychology and their impact on contemporary psychology.



Take the following:


The course materials are available in the Course Materials List.

Hergenhahn's An Introduction to the History of Psychology by Tracy Henley is the required textbook for this course.  Find out more by reading About Your Textbook: Hergenhahn's An Introduction to the History of Psychology

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.


Course Outcomes

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to this help guide article.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize the names of the individuals responsible for the founding and development of the discipline of psychology.
  2. Identify the major philosophical positions that have influenced the discipline of psychology.
  3. Identify and describe the major schools in the history of psychology.
  4. Name the important dates in the history of psychology.
  5. Describe how the discipline has evolved over time and identify major paradigm shifts.
  6. Explain how the events of the past have shaped the current discipline of psychology.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes (CO).

Major Assignment Description CO#
W04 Exam 01 Review material from W01–W04
W07 Exam 02 Review the material from Chapters 08–12
W10 Exam 03 Review material from W08–W10
W14 Final Essay Exam Cumulative Exam

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions. 

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Teach One Another Discussion Contribute to the discussion on the topic of the week.
Midweek Ponder/Prove Quiz Review the terms of the week and complete the quiz.
End of week Ponder/Prove Quiz Review the terms of the week and complete the quiz.

*Set your time zone within user preferences so the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Learning Model

The course follows a weekly cycle of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder and Prove activities.

  • Students will prepare for each week by completing a set of assignments including:
    • Reading chapters in the textbook
    • Learning Exercises.
  • Students will teach one another by working in groups to complete:
    • Simulation assignments
    • Weekly assessments
  • Students will ponder and prove what they have learned through:
    • Weekly assessments
    • Four unit exams


Students will earn points towards their final grade via the following. They will be discussed in more detail below:

  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Group Discussions
  • Other Assignments
  • Final Paper
  • Final Essay Exam

Exams: There will be four exams administered during the semester. All exams will focus on lecture and chapter material with an emphasis on lecture. These tests will be a combination of multiple choice and essay items. Each test will cover only the material directly preceding it. Each exam will be worth 100 points for a total of 400 points.

Supplemental Reading Discussion Board: There are a number of supplemental readings. You will select one reading each week and create a discussion board post on the questions associated with that reading. Annotations are due by midnight of the due date. Late submissions will be accepted but will receive a reduction in points based on instructor judgment.

Final Essay Exam: This exam will be open-book and open-note but must be completed during the final exam period. There will be four essay items that you will be expected to respond to. Questions will be based on the topics addressed throughout the semester. The Final Essay Exam will be worth 100 points.

Time Commitment

The online class policy is that for every credit hour, you should expect to spend three hours of work per week. For example, in a three-credit course, there would be nine hours of work each week. For this class, you should plan on spending about nine hours per week.

Grading Scale


400 points

Final Essay Exam

100 points

Discussions (10 pts each)

170 points

Final Paper

150 points

Quizzes (10 pts each)

 170 Points

Other Assignments

 20 Points


1010 points

Grades will be assigned based on the following scale:

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 100%—93%
A- 92%—90%
B+ 89%—87%
B 86%—83%
B- 82%—80%
C+ 79%—77%
C 76%—73%
C- 72%—70%
D+ 69%—67%
D 66%—63%
D- 62%—60%
F 59%—00%

Policy on Plagiarism

Students who use material from other sources must use appropriate citations or quotations. Failure to do so will incur a severe penalty on the final grade. If uncertain, see the instructor before you hand in the assignment. Plagiarism is an issue in all classes, but especially in this one. Most cases of plagiarism are due to sloppy work, not bad intentions. In either case, penalties will be severe.

Policy on Cheating

Any student caught engaging in such behavior will be given an automatic F in the course.


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.

Paper Criteria

Final Paper: You will be asked to prepare a paper on an important figure in psychology’s history or on some movement in the history of psychology. This paper will be at least 8 pages long and not more than 20. This paper will be prepared in stages:

  • Stage 1: Tutorial on APA style. (5 points) Your paper will need to be in APA style and thus it will be of benefit to have a basic understanding of APA style. You will be required to go through the tutorial here.
  • Stage 2: A one to two sentence description of your topic. All topics must be approved before you can proceed to the next step. You will need to find a topic and submit it in W02. 
  • Stage 3: A detailed outline of your paper and a list of references. This outline will contain explanations of the different sections of your paper. You will also provide a complete list of 5 sources you will be using.
  • Stage 4: First draft. Submit the first two pages of your paper. This is not a draft but a final product with in-text citations. You do not need to submit a cover sheet, abstract or reference list with this assignment. (Such items will need to accompany the final draft, however.) This draft is worth 50 pts.
  • Stage 5: The final draft of your paper. This will be submitted on the due date noted in the Course Schedule below. Score will be based on the rubric below.

Total: 150 points

Students often wonder what instructors are “looking for” when they grade papers. For this purpose, the psychology department has designed a general rubric for papers within our discipline. Please review the information below as you will be held accountable for it. This is what I will be using to grade your papers. The letters in parentheses are shorthand marks used by the instructor for correcting. The letter above a sentence or passage will indicate the problem with that sentence or passage.



Content and Focus

20 points

(C) The content and focus of the paper is appropriate for the class. (For Psych 311, the paper should be discussing a person or topic from psychology within an historical context.)

You must also have at least five appropriate sources for your paper.


20 points

(R) There are problems with the soundness of the arguments, ideas, and conclusions.

  • (Un) Unsupported: the conclusions do not follow from the arguments and ideas that have been presented.
  • (I) Illogical: the premises and conclusions don't match; there is no real argument or structure; it is random.
  • (C) Clarify: a point needs to be developed or is unclear.
  • (Th) Thesis: the thesis or topic of the paper is not stated or is unclear.
  • (Pr) Premise: the premise of an argument is incorrect.


20 points

(S) There are issues with how ideas are presented even though the ideas, arguments and conclusions may be reasonable.

  • (O) Organize: the structure makes it difficult to understand but reorganization would make it more clear.
  • (N) Unnecessary: the point isn’t important to this part of the paper or perhaps doesn’t contribute to the overall organization of the paper.
  • (Red) Redundant: the point has already been made and the paper is not improved by including it again. Perhaps limiting it to a different part of the paper would help.
  • (T) Transition: there isn’t a transition between one point and another or the transition is unclear.
  • (U) Unpack: the points are too condensed and the paper would benefit from elaboration on a point or points.


15 points

(M) There are problems with the technicalities of writing such as grammar, word usage, punctuation, spelling, etc.

  • (G) Grammar: the grammar is incorrect.
  • (Use) Usage: a word is used incorrectly.
  • (Ref) Referent: the referent word is unclear.
  • (P) Punctuation: incorrect punctuation.
  • (Sp) Spelling: word is misspelled.


25 points

(Sty) There are problems with the style of the paper.

  • (APA) APA style has not been used or has been used inappropriately.
  • (Cit) Citation: a citation is missing or an incorrect citation format.
  • (K) Awkward: the sentence is grammatically correct but doesn’t read well; it could have been worded better.
  • (Q) Quotation: too many quotes or there is plagiarism.
  • (W) Wordy: the point could be made more succinctly.
  • (WC) Word Choice: the word being used is technically correct but not stylistically correct.
  • (Cas) Casual: too many colloquialisms or the tone is unprofessional.
  • (E) Unengaging: the writing style makes the paper dry and uninteresting.

Common Problems with Student Papers


Friendly advice designed to keep you from irritating your instructor who has to read ninety-plus papers written by well-intentioned Psych 311 students

Do not.This means under no circumstances should this be found in your paper and if it is found, it will probably result in a loss of points.

  • Do not do the following:
    • Do not start your paper with a question.
    • Do not confuse the word “effect” and “affect”. If you’re not sure about the difference, check with me.
    • Do not use a semi-colon unless you know its proper use.
    • Do not put an extra space in between paragraphs. APA style requires that the entire document be double-spaced with no additional spaces between paragraphs or headings.
    • Do not procrastinate the writing of the paper. Rush jobs are generally easy to spot.
    • Do not use the word “since” as a synonym for “as” or “because”.
    • Do not write the introduction to your paper in such a general way that it is impossible to tell what your paper is about.
    • Do not use the word “pretty” or “really” as a synonym for “very”.
    • Do not spell “psychology” with a capital unless you’re referring to a book or course title. This goes for most areas of the discipline as well.

Do.” This means that you definitely should do this as it will lead to a much improved paper.

  • Do:
    • Make sure that the running head is the same font and size as the rest of your paper.
    • Read over your draft one more time before you submit it.
    • Have someone else read your draft for clarity and errors.
    • Make sure your topic is appropriate to the class (not all psychology or history topics are)
    • Use direct quotes from your sources but use them sparingly. Don’t include the quote if you can easily paraphrase it.

Avoid” This means that for the most part don’t do this, but there may be a few (rare) instances where it is appropriate.

  • Avoid:
    • Avoid using websites as sources for your paper, meaning you should not use a site like Wikipedia or as a source. There are many appropriate online sources available. Try going through the library web page to identify such sources.
    • Avoid using questions as transition points between paragraphs.
    • Avoid using the word “spark” as a metaphor for “inciting change.”
    • Avoid using personal pronouns in the paper.
    • Avoid going into detail as to why you selected this topic (not relevant generally speaking)
    • Avoid using the following words or phrases in your paper:
      • “get”
      • “vast”
      • “age-old question”
      • “world-wide”
      • “Since the beginning (or dawn) of time…”
      • “a lot”
      • “kids”
      • “it is safe to say…”

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 (Links to an external site.) at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations (Links to an external site.). 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 may require 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

Please read through the document called University Policies (Links to an external site.). 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.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due