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EDUC 260 Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology is an advanced course that surveys current psychological research and theory to address issues of teaching and learning. Instruction will focus on developmental theories, research methods, classroom management, and instructional techniques. The course will utilize readings, films, lectures, and small group projects, and is well suited for anyone interested in learning more about children, schools, learning, and/or teaching. This course meets the Maryland State Department of Education Human Learning requirement for an initial certificate in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Secondary Education. A 15-hour field experience outside of class time is required. Students are placed in a Howard County Public School or may use a K-12 school where they are employed.

Credits             3
Prerequisites    Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121 or ENGL-117
Fees                  This course has fees totaling $55.00.
Instructor          Barbara Maestas
Phone                443-518-4457

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation |Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams | Course Web Site

Course Outcomes: The student will:

  1. know the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive stages of development from infancy through adolescence
  2. know the major approaches to 9theories of) human learning
  3. reflect onthe approches to learning/geaching
  4. Understand the impact of culture, privilege, and oppression, as they influence personal growth and development
  5. relate culture, privilege and oppression to their impact on schooling, student performance and success
  6. Understand basic theories of motivation
  7. understand the construction of curriculum as responsive to developmental, cultural, and social need of children
  8. know that there are different approaches to and methods of teaching
  9. recognize that there are different approaches to teaching and that materals and objectives are specific to the approach selected
  10. recognize valid sources of educational information
  11. reflect on the approaches to learning/teaching
  12. relate principles and practices of group dynamics to educational practices
  13. be introduced to the strengths and needs of individual students and how to plan instruction that is responsive to the strengths and needs
  14. be introduced to a range of evidence-based instructional strategies, resources, and technological tools and how to use them effectively to plan instruction that meets diverse learning needs
  15. engage in critical thinking and problem solving
  16. recognize instructional practices that enhance, or impede critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills
  17. be introduced to how to engage students in collaborative learning experiences so that they learn the skills necessary to work effectively in project teams
  18. be introduced to how to help learners work productively and cooperatively with each other to achieve learning goals
  19. be introduced to how to work with students to collaboratively set and monitor elements of the learning environment including norms, expectations, routines and organizational structure to assure access for all students
  20. understand creative thinking processes and will be introduced to how to engage students in producing original work
  21. know effective verbal and nonverbal techniques
  22. be introduced to efective media communication techniques
  23. be introduced to verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster K-6 students' active inquiry
  24. be informed to verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster k-6 students' collaboration and supportive interaction
  25. be introduced to a range of types and multiple purposes of assessment and how to design, adapt or select appropriate assessments to afdress specific learning goals and individual differences
  26. be introduced to how to analyze and interpret various kinds of student data to guide planning and instruction and to provide meaningful feedback to each learner
  27. understand the positive impace of effective descriptive feedback for learners and knows variety of stategies for commnicatiing this feedback
  28. understand how examining one's own thinking deeperns learning, and knows how to engage students in this metacognitive process
  29. be introduced to how to prepare students for assessments and how to modify assessments and testing conditions for students with exceptionalities and English language learner needs
  30. know and articulate the value of life-long learning

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Overall Course Objectives The student will be able to:

  1. Describe the psycholobical theories, concepts, and principles that apply to teaching and learning.
  2. Identify indicators of development through observations
  3. Recognize developmental level of child based on observing child behavior and recognize importance of these issues in curriculum and instructional materials
  4. Identify and explain the major components of the major approaches to learning
  5. Write and speak on how learning occurs in students and in themselves
  6. Recognize behaviors that enhance and impede learning
  7. Recognize behaviors that indicate that learning has occured
  8. Define and explain culture, privilege and oppression
  9. Discuss how culture, privilege and oppression influence growth and development
  10. Discuss culture, privilege and oppression in relation to schooling, student performance and success
  11. Reflect onpersonal motivational patterns in relation to basic theories
  12. Construct appropriate objectives for specific students
  13. Identify and explain the different domains of development
  14. Write objectives specific to the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains
  15. identify appproaches to teaching such as cooperative learning, direct instruction, etc.
  16. Identify the type of teaching being employed ina field experience
  17. Identify materials that are specific to a particilar approach
  18. Discriminate among various educational source
  19. Recognize how learning occurs in students and in oneself
  20. Identify behaviors of students and of professionals which enhance learning and impede learning
  21. Identify behaviors that indicate that learning has occured and justify behaviors identified
  22. name and explain major principles and practices used n group dynamics
  23. Recognize similarities and differences in uses of group dynamic principles and practices to those of educational principles and practices
  24. Demonsrate use of group dyanmics principles
  25. Adapt teaching techniques for students based on an understanding of the physical, social, emotional, cultural, and cognitive characteristics of the learner
  26. Discuss the similarities and differences in human development, characteristics of diverse learners, and educational implications of diverse cultural and learning differences
  27. Describe how issues of human diversity (age, mental ability, thinking style, ethnic backgroupd, socioeconomic status) impact families and schools and how these influence learning and planning
  28. Define, explain, give exa,ples of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills
  29. Explain the problem solving process and methods that facilitate the development of these skills
  30. Critically evaluate theoretical understandings about principles of learning and approaches to teaching.
  31. Describe how primary language, culture and familial background interact with the individual's academic and social abilities, attitudes, values and interests
  32. Formulate effective approaches to instruction based n an understanding of the learning process
  33. Describe how each theoretical understanding serves as a basis for the development of techniques for motivating students in th classroom
  34. Evaluate strategies to create learning environments that foster cultural understanding positive social interactions, and active engagement of all learners and in which diversity is valued
  35. Reflect critically on topics related to the teaching-learning process
  36. Determine when to utilize various assessment tools and the prupose for each type of assessment
  37. Describe hiow assessment information is used for a variety of educational decisions
  38. Determine how instructional practices effectively respond to each learner's needs and capabilities
  39. Discuss life-long, learning and its effect ont he quality of life
  40. Identify and explain the value of action research

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Major Course Topics

  • Research Methods
  • Psychosocial and Cognitive Development
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Social Cognitive Theory
  • Constructivist Learning Theory
  • Assessment
  • Motivation
  • Higher order Thinking Skills
  • Devising and using Objectives
  • Problem Solving and Transfer of Learning
  • Cultural and Socioeconomic Diversity
  • Behavioral learning Theory

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Course Format

This course format includes but is not limited to the following:

  • There is a lot of material to cover this semester. The key to success is to keep up and submit your work on time. Therefore, this course is not self-paced as an assignment is due every week. Assignments may be submitted early.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Does require threaded discussions online.
  • The communication in the class will take place through Canvas emails, online threaded discussions and announcements posted on Canvas.
  • The course material is sequential.
  • There is a specific timeline for the completion of each assignment in this class.
  • By electing to take this class online, you are assuming responsibility for your own learning complete assignments in order to learn the course material.
  • This class does not require on-campus meetings.

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This course does not have a face-to-face, on-campus orientation.  Please log-on to the course the first day of the term to begin the on-line orientation that is available for enrolled students.

Course Requirments

  • Review the "What you shuld know before you register" section of the eLearning Homepage
  • Log in to participate in the online orientation.
  • Review the syllabus and all material in the Modules section of Canvas.
  • Active participation in all aspects of the course.
  • Weekly Assignments.
  • Short papers
  • Exam
  • Simulations
  • 15 hours of Field Experience in a Howard County Public School classrom.  Return the "Application for Field Experience" by the end of the first week of the semester so that your classroom assignment can be made.

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Texts and Materials

Snowman, J. (2012) psychology appled toteachin, Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:
Review the Technical Requirments link above.  The following plug-ins are required for this course:
  • Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.  NOTE: There have been reported difficulties when using internet Exployer with Canvas.
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don't have the full version of microsoft powerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don't have the full version of microsoft Word
  • Windoes Media Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Flash
  • Quick Time
  • Real Player

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Difficulty Loggin on to Canvas

Students and faculty may call 443-518-4444 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to report problems or they may send an e-mail to the Help Desk at  After hours, students and faculty may leave a message at the same number. The Technology Help Desk staff will handle the problem or direct it to the correct person to handle. When leaving a message, be sure to leave your name, the course you are enrolled in, your course instructor's name, your phone number, your e-mail address, and a description of the problem. Be sure to speak slowly so staff may easily take down your message.

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for maintaining copies of all of their written work on your computer or travel drive in case of the need for retransmission. Students are responsible for keeping the instructor informed in the event of emergencies or unusual circumstances leading to extended absence from class participation.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Barbara Maestas,

Last updated on February 9, 2013

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