University of Utah
Psychology 328- Adult Development and Aging
First taught: Winter 1998
Instructor: Cynthia A. Berg Ph.D.
801-581-8239
berg@freud.sbs.utah.edu

This course will cover the psychological development of adults from young adulthood (and late adolescent) to late adulthood and will introduce some of the basic ideas and research methods in life-span developmental psychology. The course is a survey course and is designed to examine many areas in life-span psychology. The course is designed to (1) develop skills to evaluate research, (2) develop an understanding of how research is directed toward theoretical frameworks, and (3) develop an understanding of how research is directed to inform practical problems of a developmental nature (e.g., working parents, retirement, institutionalization of the elderly).

Students in the course will have the option of participating in a service learning track. Service learning students will be placed at one of three facilities that work with the elderly. One site has been secured, Neighborhood Networks at St. Marks Tower. The goal of this site is to assist elderly individuals in interfacing with the computer (e-mail, Internet sites, etc.). Two other sites are being explored at Life Care Services, and the Multi-Ethnic Senior Citizen High Rise. Students will spend at least three hours each week under the supervision of a volunteer coordinator. Bimonthly discussion groups will help students process and learn from their experiences. Required papers will focus on integrating practical experiences and assigned readings.

(1) Students will provide a needed service. Students in the class will provide a needed service to elderly individuals. For instance, The Neighborhood Network site is just opening in October and needs volunteers who have the type of expertise that many college students possess to start the project.

(2) Relation of service learning content to subject matter. Few college students have a personal understanding of the challenges and opportunities that are experienced by adults in late life. Service learning will allow students the opportunity to observe some of the emotional, social, physical, and cognitive changes that we will discuss and read about in class.

(3) Learning derived from service learning. Students will be asked to incorporate their experiences into structured papers which allow students to integrate their observations with the material in the course. These activities will serve as the basis for class discussions.

(4-) Assessment of Learning. These activities will be graded and will count toward their final grade. Volunteer coordinators will also be asked to evaluate each student as a volunteer.

(5) The volunteer supervisors will provide feedback regarding student's functioning and contribution to the program. Each of the agencies in which students will be placed have volunteer coordinators who will be supervising student activities.

(6) Civic education of service learning opportunities. The service learning experience will make students aware of the benefits provided by nonprofit community-based agencies and the needs of the elderly. It is hoped that such experience will encourage students to continue their support for such agencies in the future.

(7)Knowledge from course work will enhance service. The issues in the course will translate into better student volunteers. In addition, we hope that our students may help to identify and fill areas of social need to the agencies. This is already the case at the Neighborhood Network site.

(8) Peer Group Learning. My course already utilizes collaborative learning experiences extensively so that students will learn from each other. The service learning component enhances this component extensively as students will be encouraged to share their experiences.

Textbook: Adult Development and Aging (1996).. D. E. Papalia. McGraw Hill Readings on reserve at the library up to Exam 1.

Course Description. The course will cover the psychological development of adults from young adulthood (and late adolescent) to late adulthood and will introduce some of the basic ideas and research methods in life-span developmental psychology. The course is a survey course and is designed to examine many areas of research in life-span psychology. This means that students will be introduced to many names, facts, findings, and arguments, in a relatively short period of time. An effort will be made to integrate the wealth of detail provided into a more coherent view of development, focused around major theories of development.

The course is designed to (1) develop skills to evaluate research, (2) develop an understanding of how research is directed toward theoretical frameworks, and (3) develop an appreciation for how research can be utilized to inform practical problems of a developmental nature (e.g., working parents, retirement, institutionalization of the elderly). Multiple teaching formats will be used in this course including lecture, discussion, and small collaborative groups in class.

Students in the course have the option of participting in a "service learning track." Service learning students will be placed at one of three facilities that work with the elderly. Students will spend at least three hours each week working with older adults (under the supervision of a volunteer coordinator). Discussion groups will help students process and learn from their experiences. Assignments will focus on integrating practical experiences and assigned readings.

If you decide to do the service learning track, you must have completed your orientation and begun your service learning by the end of the second week of class or you automatically forfeit your the option of doing the service learning track.

Evaluation. Your grade will be based on your performance on two exams, and different writing assignments (depending if you choose the service learning track).

Exams. Each exam will consist of short essay and multiple choice questions. Each exam will cover one half of the material in the course, both class material and material covered in the text and readings. There will be modest (approximately 60%) overlap between the material covered in class and that covered in the text. Study questions will be available for each exam that cover information that you are required to know fi7om both lecture and the readings. If you can answer these questions you should do very well on the exams. There will be no make-up exams. Instead, if a student misses one of the exams, he or she will take an exam (consisting of integrative short essays) during finals week (to be arranged). Students who miss an exam and do not take this exam will receive NO credit for the exam missed.

If a student has a disagreement with the way that an exam has been graded, I will consider the grading after a request has been made in writing, pointing out why a higher grade should be given. This request must be made within five days of the return of the exam.

Paper Assignment. You will have two options for conducting the paper (depending on whether you choose the service learning option).

The first option is for those on the service learning track. You will be expected to write bi-weekly papers based on a topic that is relevant for your service learning site. Topics will be prepared to assist you in making connections between the service site and the material in the course. (2 pages)

The second option is for those who are not involved in the service learning track. The project will involve interviewing an adult (either young, @ddle-aged, or older adult) with respect to issues of aging covered in this course. You will select specific areas of interest (e.g., cognitive changes, fhendship changes) and explore with the adult changes that have occurred or are anticipated to occur. You will need to conduct a literature review of relevant articles and your paper will be a write-up of this interview in APA format (1 0- 1 5 double-spaced typewritten pages). The paper is due February 29th.

You will receive a lengthy handout describing these paper options during the second week of class.

Activities. For students not involved in service learning, you will be asked to complete five short activities throughout the quarter. These activities are designed to stimulate class discussion and to illustrate a point made in the readings and in class. Each Tuesday you will be informed of whether an activity will be assigned that week and if so, when the activity is to be completed. As the activities are designed to prepare you for selected lectures, they will be due in class as they are assigned (i.e., if you turn the activities in late you will receive no points).

Course Requirements Service Learning

  1. Volunteer Experience (24 hours minimum)+Discussion groups (4/5 meetings) (20%)
  2. Exams (30%)
  3. Bi-Weekly papers (25%) integrating service learning component and course material.

Course Requirements

  1. Activities (I 5%)
  2. Exams (50%)
  3. Interview with adult and paper (35%)

Readings should be completed before the relevant lectures. Please note that chapters refer to readings from Lemme and articles refer to readings on reserve at the library. In addition to the readings listed, I have included in each day's readings, short selections from literature (e.g., poems and/or short stories) that will complement our readings in the psychological literature.

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 08:43:44 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <RBUCHAN@ssb1.saff.utah.edu>