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Required Materials
Grading and Assessment

BYU Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Comprehend the dynamic and complex interaction among the domains of human development (e.g., biological, cognitive, emotional, social, etc.).
  2. Critically apply information learned in class to your own life.
  3. Provide knowledge and skills that will benefit the lives of the children for whom you will have stewardship in this life.
  4. Acquire a broad base of knowledge of human development.
  5. Be conversant with the major human development theories as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
  6. Improve your writing and critical thinking skills.
  7. Understand the research methodology utilized in the study of human development.

Required Materials

The textbook for this course is Berk, Laura (2013). Child Development. 9th ed. Allyn & Bacon.

I feel confident that you will enjoy the text. Having taught for many years, I am confident that this is the best textbook in the field. Laura Berk, with whom I am personally acquainted, is an exceptional individual. Every three years when a revision comes up, she begins with a stack of new research that stands about as tall as she is. She reads, sorts, and searches through this prodigious stack to provide the best and most updated information that she can. I highly recommend a careful reading of the text. The book is very well written. The chapters are long, but well organized. The amount of information provided is prodigious, but the concepts and ideas are succinctly stated.

In trying to be objective and even-handed, our textbook author treats some issues differently than our LDS belief system does in areas such as homosexuality, working mothers, ideas about the family, and so on. Even then, she is quite conservative and has really made an attempt to report research more often than she indulges in offering personal interpretation. However, measured by the gospel rod, there are concepts with which members of the LDS church might take exception. That is OK. I will address some of these points from an LDS perspective in other aspects of the course. For the most part, this is an exceptional textbook and it will be your greatest resource in this course, so I again encourage you to thoroughly read its content.

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Course Organization

The course contains twelve lessons with step-by-step instructions for completing each lesson.

In each of the lessons, there will be reading out of the textbook, discussion material in this manual, and a video or two which are intended to bring the content to life (these sections are titled “Bringing It to Life”). After reading the textbook, you will read the discussion material, which I titled “A Deeper Look,” because it takes you deeper into a certain aspect of the chapter’s topic. Some of these discussions also bring in gospel content; others include actual application of the material in the form of tips for parents or teachers.

Each lesson also contains one or more crossword puzzles. After the reading material and videos, download and fill out the puzzles. This is a fun way to help you learn the terminology from the chapter and prepare for the assignments and exams.


You will complete twelve computer-graded quizzes. These quizzes are in the same format as the exams and help you prepare for the exams.

You will also submit three papers:

I have included detailed instructions on how to complete three papers in the appropriate lessons. Feel free to read the instructions now to prepare for the assignments.

Formatting Written Assignments

You will submit your completed paper electronically. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as Word .DOC or .DOCX file.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, SFL201_LarryNelson_TakingSidesPaper.docx.

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This course includes two exams. The midcourse exam covers the first half of the course (lessons 1–6 and chapters 1–8), while the final covers the second half of the course (lessons 7–12 and chapters 9-15).

Questions on the exams cover material from all aspects of the course including the textbook readings, videos, and material from the course.

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Grading and Assessment

Your scores on these assignments and exams make up your course grade:

Lesson Quizzes (3% each) 36%
Taking Sides Paper 8%
Adolescent Autobiography Paper 11%
Social Competence Paper 15%
Midcourse Exam 15%
Final Exam 15%

Grading Scale

The letter grade equivalents and their corresponding percentages are as follows:

A 100-93
A- 92-90
B+ 89-86
B 85-83
B- 82-79
C+ 78-76
C 75-73
C- 72-69
D+ 68-66
D 65-63
D- 62-60
E (fail) 59-0

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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 t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report 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 http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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