PSYC 3110: EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Course Objectives

Last Modified: May 2009


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Chapter and page numbers following each objective refer to: Slavin, R. (2008). Educational psychology: Theory and practice (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. [Note: The online study guide materials are for the 8th ed.; each chapter in the 9th ed. has study questions at the end of the chapter.]

The Power Point Presentations can be viewed directly using Internet Explorer or can be downloaded by clicking the right mouse button and viewed using Power Point or the PowerPoint Viewer. You should be able to write an essay for each of the objectives below.

Forward to: Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Unit 7 Unit 8

UNIT #1

1. Define and differentiate the following terms: education, schooling, psychology, educational psychology, learning, teaching, and pedagogy. [Chap 1, pp. 1-8]  [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapter 1]

2. Describe why educational psychology uses the scientific method to discern truth. Define and contrast descriptive, correlational and experimental studies, giving examples of how each of these have be used in educational psychology. Define the four basic methods used to collect data in educational psychology (systematic observation, participant observation, paper/pencil, and clinical), giving an example of how each has been used in the study of important variables in educational psychology. In your discussion, define and differentiate the following terms: fact, concept, principle, law, hypothesis, and theory. [Chap. 1, pp. 8-20]   [PPT Presentation]  [Online study guide: Chapter 1]

3. Name and define the stages of mastery an individual is likely to pass through on the way to becoming an expert professional educator. Discuss the major influences and give examples of appropriate activities or goals for each stage. Define and differentiate critical thinking and self-regulated learning as they apply to classroom teachers. [Chap. 1, pp. 5-8, 10-13] [PPT Presentation]

4. Describe the importance of developing models of the teaching/learning process. Draw and discuss the significant aspects of the model of the teaching/learning process presented in class (or discussed in one of the required readings), giving specific examples of the types of variables considered in educational psychology. Describe relationships among variables you discuss. [McIlrath & Huitt, 1995] [PPT Presentation #1] [PPT Presentation # 2] [PPT Presentation # 3]

Required reading:

UNIT #2 Return to top

1. Define and contrast the three types of behavioral learning theories, (contiguity, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning) giving examples of how each can be used in the classroom. [Chap 5, pp. 127-146] [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapter 5]

2. Describe the fundamental assumption of operant conditioning. Compare and contrast the four methods used to modify behavior in operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and response cost), giving original examples of how each can be used in the classroom. Include in your answer a discussion of the four schedules of reinforcement, describing the likely response pattern associated with each. Give original examples of how each can be used in the classroom. [Chap 5, pp. 131-146; Chap 11, pp. 347-356] [PPT Presentation] [PPT Presentation - Behavior Modification] [Online study guide: Chapter 5]

UNIT #3 Return to top

1. Define cognition and differentiate among the stage, levels-of-processing, parallel distributed processing, and connectionist models of information processing. Draw and describe a model of the stage approach to information processing to learning, giving original examples as to how you as teacher could use this theory to structure the learning process to help students learn better. [Chap 6, pp. 157-195]. Discuss the following terms in your answer: (1) rote rehearsal and elaborative rehearsal [Chap 6, pp. 180-191]; (2) declarative, procedural, and imagery organizations of knowledge [Chap 6, pp. 163-166].  [PPT Presentation -- Overview] [PPT Presentation -- Information Processing] [PPT Presentation -- Stage Model] [PPT Presentation -- Additional Terms][ [PPT Presentation --Using the Theory] [Online study guide: Chapter 6]

2. Name and define the six levels in Bloom's Taxonomy for the Cognitive Domain. Describe how each level fits with the information processing theory of learning. (pp. 413-415) [PPT Presentation--Domains]

3.  Name and describe each of the steps in the SQ4R/PQ4R method of studying, giving original examples of study behaviors for each step. [Chap 6, p. 186] [PPT Presentation]

4.   Discuss Piaget's theory of cognitive development, giving definitions and examples of following terms: schema, reflex, adaptation, equilibration, homeostasis, assimilation, accomodation, object permanence, conservation, operation? Describe the age range, the major behaviors demonstrated, and how assimilation and accomodation work in each stage: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Compare Piagetís theory to that of Vygotsky. Why is Vygotsky's view called a sociohistorical theory? What is the zone of proximal development? What is mediated learning? [Chap 2, pp. 31-46] [PPT Presentation--Process] [PPT Presentation--Stages] [Online study guide: Chapter 2]

UNIT #4 Return to top

1. Compare and contrast Carroll's model of school learning and Huitt's model of the teaching/learning process discussed in Unit #1 (or a corresponding model from one of the required readings) [Chap 9, p. 263] [PPT Presentation]

2. Compare and contrast Slavin's QAIT model of effective classroom practice and the part of Huitt's model that relates specifically to effective classroom practice. [Chap 9, pp. 263-265] [PPT Presentation]  [Online study guide: Chapter 9]

3. Discuss the process of instructional planning and describe why it is an important teacher behavior. Compare and contrast goals and objectives. Name and define the six levels in Bloom's Taxonomy for the Cognitive Domain and write a behavioral objective for each level according to the standards set forth by Mager. [Chap 13, pp. 405-416] [PPT Presentation--Planning] [PPT Presentation--Objectives] [PPT Presentation--Domains]  [Online study guide: Chapter 13]

UNIT #5 Return to top

1. Describe why classroom instruction is an important teacher behavior. Name and define the specific events of instruction that would be included in your model of direct instruction and give an example of a teacher behavior and a student behavior for each event. [Chap 7, pp. 197-226; Huitt et al., 2009] [PPT Presentation--Overview] [PPT Presentation--Direct Instruction]  [Online study guide: Chapter 7]

2. Compare and contrast constructivist learning vs. direct or explicit teaching. [Review Chap. 7; Chap. 8, pp. 231-243] PPT Presentation--Constructivism][PPT-Constructivism in Spanish] [Online Study Guide: Chapter 8]

3. One way to account for individual differences is to modify the events of instruction. Compare and contrast the instructional events of a model of direct instruction (be sure to identify the source of the model) and the 4MAT system developed by Bernice McCarthy.  [PPT Presentation]

4. Compare and contrast methods of grouping to account for individual differences. Include the method of cooperative learning in your discussion. [Chap. 8, pp. 243-249; Chap 9, pp. 265-275] [PPT Presentation]  [Online study guide: Chapters 8 & 9]

5.  Define and give specific examples of the following uses of computers in education: productivity, multimedia projects, drill and practice, educational games, tutorial, simulation/role playing, problem solving/decision making, internet-based inquiry. [Chap 9, pp. 275-285] [PPT Presentation]  [Online study guide: Chapter 9]

6. A third strategy for accounting for individual differences is to modify the system of instruction. Compare and contrast direct instruction (or a master teacher model) and mastery learning (a systematic instruction model). Include an overview of research on mastery learning. [Davis & Sorrell] [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapter 9]

Required reading:

 UNIT #6 Return to top

1. Describe the importance of classroom management and its impact on academic learning time. Describe differences in the approach to classroom management from a behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspective. Name and describe three general categories of the events of classroom management from a behavioral perspective, giving examples of specific teacher activities for each category. [Chap 11, pp. 327-361; Cummings, 2000] [PPT Presentation]  [Online study guide: Chapter 11]

2. Using the research on the first-week management behavior of effective classroom teachers, state what you would do during your first week as a new teacher and why you would do that. Discuss the difference between focusing on increasing on-task behavior or decreasing off-task behavior (Give specific, original examples, not just generalities.). [Chap 11, pp. 338-341] [PPT Presentation]

3. Define and differentiate active (empathetic) listening responses and assertive responses, giving an appropriate example of each. [PPT Presentation]

4. Define and discuss academic learning time, giving specific, original examples of teacher behaviors that can be used to increase it. [review planning, instruction, management; Chap 7, p. 207; Chap 11 pp. 330-337] [PPT Presentation]

Required additional reading:

UNIT #7  Return to top

1. Determining whether learning occurs in the classroom is a vital task for a classroom teacher. Assessment, measurement, and evaluation are important terms associated with this task.  Define each term, describe why each is of value in the learning process, and give an example of how you would use each in the classroom.

As you collect data you must be concerned about timing (formative vs. summative) and standards for judging quality (criterion- vs. norm-referenced). You must also make decisions about the type of questions you use on examinations (selection vs. supply).  Additionally, whenever you collect data and make decisions about learning, you must be concerned with the issues of reliability and validity. Describe how each of these can be used in the process of evaluating learning and assigning grades? [Chap 13, pp. 416-423; 424-452; Chap 14, pp. 462-463; 473-477; Brookhart, 1999] [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapters 13 & 14]

2. Define and differentiate the following terms, stating the advantages and disadvantages of each:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of standardized evaluations? [Chap 14, pp. 459-490] [Overview of ITBS] [PPT Presentation]   [Online study guide: Chapter 14]

3. Discuss how the Georgia Teacher Observation Instrument GTOI would measure the teacher behaviors of planning, instruction and management. [PPT Presentation]

Required reading:

UNIT #8 Return to top

1. Name and discuss the principles and objectives of the humanistic approach to learning and describe how it might influence teaching. [PPT Presentation]

2. Describe the observational learning and social cognitive theories of learning. How do these reflect operant conditioning and information processing theories? [Pajares, 2002; Chap 5, 146-150] [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapter 5]

3.Name and discuss at least 5 principles of learning that most learning theorists agree on, regardless of their theoretical orientation. Give specific examples of how these principles could be used in the classroom. [PPT Presentation]

4. Define motivation and discuss why such a concept is useful when considering the teaching/learning process. Discuss the difference between external and internal motivation and what teachers can do to influence students' motivation. [Chap. 10, pp. 295-324] [PPT Presentation] [Online study guide: Chapter 10]

Required reading:


Week Objectives Exam
1 Unit 1: Objectives 1 and 2  
2 Unit 1: Objectives 3 and 4  
3 Unit 2: Objectives 1 and 2 1
4 Unit 3: Objectives 1 and 2  
5 Unit 3: Objectives 3 and 4  
6 Unit 4: Objectives 1 and 2  
7 Unit 4: Objective 3 2
8 Unit 5: Objectives 1 and 2  
9 Unit 5: Objectives 3, 4, 5, and 6  
10 Unit 6: Objectives 1 and 2  
11 Unit 6: Objectives 3 and 4 3
12 Unit 7: Objectives 1 and 2 (begin)  
13 Unit 7: Objectives 2 (complete) and 3  
14 Unit 8: Objectives 1 and 2  
15 Unit 8: Objectives 3 and 4 4

In general, when you write an answer to an essay question you should follow the format you learned in Freshman English:

Some examples of good essay writing are provided by the Educational Testing Service, developer of the GRE-Writing Test.

There are a number of common errors in student writing that you should avoid. If you are not comfortable with writing, you might want to write some sample essays have have them checked by someone in the student writing center located in West Hall, Room 204.


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Dr. William G. (Bill) Huitt
Dept. of Psychology, Counseling & Guidance
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698-0001

Office: (912) 333-5930
FAX: (912) 259-5576

whuitt AT valdosta DOT edu

Copyright (c) 2006-- Bill Huitt