Psychology 311

Required Materials

1. Text: Educational Psychology, Woolkfolk, 6th Ed.
2. Enrollment form "ParScore" , plus 3 Santrons #20788-ER1
3. Psychology 311 Resource Materials

Unit 1. Introduction to Educational Psychology

The Value of Theory and Research
Ed. Goals and Objectives, Types of Learning
Exam I

Unit 2. Student, School and Teacher Characteristics

 Student Characteristics-IQ
 Family, Home and School Influences
 Personality and Environmental Influences
 Exam II

Unit 3. Teaching Processes

 Learning Theory
 Learning Theory Applications
 Open Education
 Discipline & Classroom Management
 Exam III

 Unit 4. Evaluation of Teaching and Learning

Effective Teaching
Standardized Tests
Test Construction, Grading
Unit 4 Exam


Course grades will be based on four unit examinations. Each unit exam will be worth 100 points. The first part of each exam will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions (each worth one point) covering the reading assignments. The remaining part of each exam will consist of several essay questions emphasizing the lecture material. This section of the exam will be worth 50 points. In order to help you prepare for the essay section of the exam, I have developed a set of instructional objectives (study questions) for each unit. Most of these objectives come from my lectures and cannot be found in the book. The best way to use these objectives is to review them after each lecture. Try and "hook-up" each objective with the correct answer which can be found in my lecture notes. If you do this systematically, you will be very well prepared for the essay portion of the exams. If you have trouble finding an answer to one of the objectives, see me before class or during my office hours. Since most of the answers to the objectives can only be found in the lecture material, it is imperative that you attend all the lectures. You are required to attend all class meetings. Also, please be on time to class. I start the class promptly, and I expect you to be on time.

Final letter grades will be assigned on the basis of the following percentage of total possible points.

Total possible points = 420

Percent Required Pts. Letter grade
90-100% 376 A
80-89% 334 B
70-79% 292 C
60-69% 250 D
<60% 0-249 F


Examination Dates 

You are required to take the exams on the dates specified in the Course Syllabus. Failure to take an exam on the date specified will result in a score of zero, unless you have a written medical excuse.

Class Attendance 

Twenty points will be awarded for class attendance. Class attendance will be taken at the start of the class period.

Class Withdrawal

 Authorization to withdraw after census shall be granted for only the most serious reasons, i.e. a documented physical, emotional or other condition which has the effect of limiting the student's full participation in class. Poor academic performance is not evidence of a serious reason for withdrawal. You must have my signature and the department chair's signature.

Instructional Objectives

Unit 1

 Based on the lecture and reading assignments for Unit One, you should be able to answer the following questions on the examination:

 A. Methods of Educational Psychology

1. State the differences between descriptive, experimental and correlational research methods.
2. Discuss the disadvantages of using common sense and modeling approaches in teaching.
3. Given an experiment, identify the independent and dependent variables.
4. Given a correlation (example
r = -.70), be able to interpret it.
5. Why is it important to conduct "true" experiments in education?
6. Discuss the impact on academic performance of
not conducting "true" experiments in the classroom settings.
7. Discuss three reasons why it is difficult to conduct "true" experiments in actual classroom settings.
8. Design a true experiment to test the effectiveness of an instructional program.
9. Discuss how educational research should be validated.

B. Instructional Model

1. Describe the basic parts of the teaching model presented in class.
2. Discuss three possible uses of the teaching model.
3. Discuss why teaching is considered part art and part science.

C. Instructional Goals

1. Identify six educational goals.
2. Discuss the importance of specifying and ranking educational goals.
3. Discuss why it is usually necessary to reduce the number of educational goals.
4. Discuss four factors that influence the selection of educational goals.
5. Discuss the proposition that educational goals and instructional objectives should be linked to instruction.

D. Instructional Objectives

1. Given a passage of the material from a textbook, write a complete instructional objective.
2. Identify the basic elements in Mager's system for developing instructional objectives.
3. Discuss the major differences between Mager's and Gronlund's system for constructing instructional objectives.
4. Given a specific instructional objective, classify it using one of the major taxonomy systems.
5. Discuss the difference between an educational goal and an instructional objective.
6. Identify and discuss five arguments for and five against the use of instructional objectives.
7. What sources of information should a teacher use in developing a new set of instructional objectives.

E. Taxonomy

1. Be able to order objectives in the affective domain from less to more internalized.
2. Be able to order objectives in the cognitive domain from simple to complex.
3. Identify the basic parts in each of the three major taxonomy systems.
4. Discuss four advantages of conducting a task analysis.
5. Given a content area, conduct a task analysis.
6. Given a content area, construct a behavior-content matrix.


F. Teachers as Educational Leaders

1. Why is it important for teachers to be educational leaders?
2. Describe three characteristics of teachers who are educational leaders.
3. Identify three reasons who many teachers fail to subscribe to the scientific approach to teaching.

G.  Define as specifically as possible the following terms:

task analysis
Stull Bill (AB293)
empirical analysis
superordinate skill
Bloom 1956, 1964
affective education
behavior-content matrix
Melton, 1978
Slavin, 1989
positive transfer
Boyer, 1987
expressive objectives
Goals 2000

Instructional Objectives

Unit 2

 Scholastic Achievement

1. Describe the national trends over time in the following areas:

(a) academic achievement, 1958 to 1964
(b) academic achievement 1964 to 1973
(c) SAT scores, 1952 to 1994
(d) percentage of ninth through twelfth grade students enrolled in courses, 1960 through 1972
(e) Average GPA average at 100 American colleges
(f) readability
(g) CSUF GPA's by major

2. Describe five major strengths of public education in the United States.
3. Outline the major findings presented in "To Save our Schools."
4. Discuss the major findings in "A Nation at Risk."
5. Discuss some of the possible solutions to the problems identified in "A Nation at Risk."
6. How serious a problem is the decline in academic achievement? Justify your answer.

Intelligence and IQ

1. Discuss the relationship between IQ scores and scholastic achievement.
2. Discuss the educational implications if one assumes that intelligence consists of one general ability. Discuss the implications if one assumes that intelligence consists of a number of specific abilities.
3. Distinguish between the concepts intelligence and IQ.
4. Describe the various relationships that exist between the age at which an IQ test is given and an individual's IQ score.
5. Discuss the issues involved in the "IQ-Controversy."
6. Be able to write a defense of the use of intelligence tests.
7. Discuss four possible harmful educational consequences of IQ testing.
8. Discuss the predictive value of general ability vs. specific ability test scores.
9. Discuss the distinction between intelligence and achievement in terms of the content of the tests and the test results.
10. Discuss the relationship between job success and IQ.
11. Discuss the extent to which racial differences in intelligence exist. Identify two important qualifications relating to these findings. Discuss how one might account for these differences.
12. Describe the statistical characteristics of most IQ tests.


 Identify or define the following terms:

a) reliability i) BITCH TEST
b) Pygmalion effect j) IQ overlap
c) test bias k) Coleman, 1960
d) Herrnstein, 1982 l) social promotion
e) Neil, 1960 m) readability
f) literacy hoax n) Larry P. vs. Riles
g) Rosenthal, 1988 o) truth in testing
h) ability grouping p) validity


 Instructional Objectives

Unit 3

Behavioral Approaches to Teaching

1. Construct an operant conditioning matrix showing the four basic procedures. What basic procedure is omitted from the matrix? Give an educational example of each.
2. List and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the five basic procedures.
3. Describe how teachers can develop reinforcers.
4. List the major variables that influence the effectiveness of a reinforcement procedure.
5. Define the following terms:

(a) reinforcer
(b) primary reinforcement
(c) secondary Reinforcer
(d) Premack principle
(e) operant conditioning
(f) shaping
(g) BTES

6. Describe how single-subject experimental designs are utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral management programs.

7. Discuss the steps included in developing a program for behavioral change.

8. Discuss the advantages and limitations of using operant conditioning procedures in the classroom.

Assertive Discipline 

1. Discuss why assertive discipline is needed.

2. Describe five "roadblocks" to use of assertive discipline.

3. Describe the program elements of assertive discipline.

4. Discuss Covaleskie's criticisms of assertive discipline.



1. Identify and describe two major orientations concerning the nature of motivation.
2. Explain how one's theoretical orientation towards motivation can influence one's teaching practices in the classroom.
3. Discuss two problems relating to the classroom use of extrinsic rewards.
4. Discuss three problems relating to the use of intrinsic rewards.
5. Discuss the relationship between locus of control and academic achievement.
6. Give three examples of environmental changes that could be made in our schools to minimize the attractiveness of motivational factors that compete with academic performance.
7. Discuss how motivational factors outside the classroom influence and often lower the academic motivation of children in the classroom.
8. Discuss why psychologists who adhere to behaviorism find limited use for the concept of motivation.

Open Education

1. Identify five characteristics of open education.
2. Discuss the factors which led to the development of open education in the United States.
3. Describe the educational environment of Summerhill.
4. Discuss the research findings relating to the effectiveness of open education. (Giaconia & Hedger 1982)
5. Explain three factors which have contributed to the decline of open education.
6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of open education.



Instructional Objectives

Unit 4

 1.Distinguish between content, construct, and criterion validity.

2.Describe two procedures that can be used to improve test reliability.

3.Discuss three advantages and disadvantages of standardized tests.

4.Discuss the difference between an aptitude test and an achievement test.

5.Be able to construct a behavior-content matrix.

6.Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of essay and multiple-choice examination questions.

7.Identify the following terms:

(a) reliability
(b) validity
(c) norms
(d) standard error of measurement
(e) standard score
(f) percentile
(g) median

8. Identify six ways of distinguishing norm-referenced tests from criterion-referenced tests.

9. Discuss the six steps a teacher should follow in developing an evaluation system.

10. Discuss why it is important to construct a behavior-content matrix.

11. Identify four uses of evaluation.

12. Identify four current problems related to evaluating student performance.

13. Identify four controversies currently existing in the area of evaluation.

14. Discuss the advantages of requiring schools to evaluate students using both standardized (norm referenced) and criterion-referenced tests.

15. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of "authentic" testing.


Minimum Competency Tests

1. Discuss the reasons why legislators have passed laws mandating the use of competency tests.

2. Describe the purpose of minimum competency tests.

3. Discuss three advantages of requiring minimum competency tests.

4. Discuss four problems faced by schools requiring minimum competency tests.

5. Identify and discuss one alternative to the use of minimum competency tests.


Measuring Teaching Effectiveness

1. Present three definitions of effective teaching.

2. What is the "measurement problem" in evaluating effective teaching?

3. Identify five criteria used to measure effective teaching.

4. Describe four different methods for measuring effective teaching.

5. What is Merit Pay?

6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of merit pay.

7. Discuss the major findings in the two articles on students' evaluation of teaching.

Last updated: April 22, 1997