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Course Materials

Learning Outcomes

When you successfully complete this course, you will be able to

  1. Express a reasoned position on the enduring questions, issues, and concerns of the discipline of psychology that is grounded in and faithful to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. Identify various gospel-centered perspectives on psychological science (both in theory and practice) that have been offered by prominent LDS (and other Christian) scholars, as well as prophets, apostles, and other general authorities.
  3. Demonstrate basic critical thinking skills by comparing and contrasting the basic assumptions about human nature found in the restored gospel and in the various secular traditions of mainstream psychology.
  4. Identify and evaluate the various implications that these assumptions about human nature have for both the theory and practice of contemporary psychology.

Course Materials

The course readings will consist of a collection of online articles written by practitioners and researchers in the field who are also LDS or Christian scholars. The readings are divided into modules centered around topics.

All readings are included in the course materials.

One of the primary purposes of this course is to familiarize learners with the writings of psychologists who are approaching their work from an explicitly Latter-day Saint perspective, as well as some of the teachings of Church leaders that are relevant to psychologists. The readings have been compiled accordingly.

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Course Organization

This course includes 20 modules. Ten of them are “required” modules, which you will complete as the core of the course. Each module includes a short introduction with the learning outcomes and reading assignment, an online lecture portion, and a quiz.

In addition to the required modules, you will choose five of the remaining “optional” modules to complete as well.  Of course, you may certainly complete more than five of them—in fact, I encourage you to explore all the topics that you are interested in!

There is one “pre-module” (for a lack of a better term), Module 0. Preparation and Background: Logical Arguments, that is graded simply on completion—you may take the quiz for this module as many times as you need to master the material.

Because it’s such a necessary foundation for the rest of the course, you will not be able to continue with the rest of the modules of the course until you have a passing score on the quiz. This is to ensure that you know and understand how to complete the quizzes on later modules, which will require an understanding of logical syllogisms.


Module Quizzes

Each module includes a quiz covering the material for that module. These quizzes are timed; you will have 20 minutes to complete each one. Be sure to study the reading and lecture material carefully before you begin, because you will not have time to look up the answers after you start the quiz.

You will need to complete the quizzes for the ten required modules, then complete the quizzes for at least five of the optional modules. If you do complete more than five modules, only your five highest scores will count toward your grade.

For each required module, the quiz will be worth 30 points. For each optional module, the quiz will be worth 60 points. The quiz will be closed-note, closed-book, and this will be enforced on the honor system.

Note: When you have finished the quizzes for the ten required modules and at least five of the optional-module quizzes, you will submit the Elective Module Completion assignment. This assignment doesn’t count toward your grade; it simply tells me (and the Gradebook) that you have finished all the elective modules that you want to count toward your grade and are ready to finish the course.

Position Papers

You will write two papers, in addition to completing the quizzes. You will submit them electronically, so please save them as DOC or DOCX files.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “PSYCH353_JaneSmith_InitialPositionPaper.doc.”

Initial Position Paper

At the beginning of the course, you will submit a five-page, double-spaced paper (in Times Roman 12-point font or the equivalent) in response to these five questions:

You will write a one-page response to each of these questions. This assignment is worth 50 points, and will be graded on completion, and will be due prior to the completion of any of the modules. (You will need to complete this paper before you can move on to the quizzes and other paper.)

This assignment is entirely for your benefit to help you clarify your own ideas and give you a foundation for learning in the rest of the course.

Here is the rubric I will use to grade this assignment.

25 points, 5 points per question Did you thoughtfully respond to each of the questions (no silly, throwaway answers)?
25 points, 5 points per question Did you meet the length and mechanics requirements (no wide margins, large font, incomprehensible rambling, and so forth)?

Final Position Paper

At the end of the course, you will submit a five-page, double-spaced paper detailing how your answers to the previous questions have changed while taking the course. This paper is also worth 50 points.

You should write about one page for each question, just as you did before, for a total of five pages. This assignment will also be graded on completion, and will be due after you have completed last module. 

Note: You will need to submit the “Elective Module Completion” assignment before you can submit your final position paper.

Here is the rubric I will use to grade this assignment.

25 points, 5 points per question Did you thoughtfully compare your current position to your initial response to each of the questions (no silly, throwaway answers)?
25 points, 5 points per question Did you meet the length and mechanics requirements (no wide margins, large font, incomprehensible rambling, and so forth)?

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There will be two exams covering the material in the required modules.

Each consists of 75 items and is worth 150 points (2 points per item).The exams are closed-book and closed-notes, but do not have a set time limit.

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Here is the breakdown for the assignments and exams:

Initial and Final Papers 10%
11 Required Quizzes 40%
5 Optional Quizzes 20%
2 Exams 30%
Total Points: 100%

Grade Scale

Your letter grade is based on these percentages.

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%
E (fail) 59% and below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

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