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Viewing: PSYCH 4980W sheldonm : Human Relationships Capstone - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:05:07 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:05:02 GMT

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information


Psychological Sciences
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Instructor for whom you are submitting proposal:

Psychological Sciences
Subject Area’s Department Chair/Director:
Psychological Sciences

Term for Proposal

Fall 2017

Course Catalog Information

Psychology (PSYCH)
Human Relationships Capstone - Writing Intensive
Students design a study, collect data, and describe their research on some aspect of human relationships. Emphasis on survey research techniques. Enrollment limited to psychology majors with senior standing, a grade of C or better in PSYCH 3020, PSYCH 2810 or two social/personality courses.
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
Departmental consent required.

Instructor Information


Psychological Sciences
(numbers only)
NTT Assistant Professor
28 McAlester
No, instructor has never attended

The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply
Graduate Student
Briefly describe the qualifications of the known graduate instructors, or planned qualifications if graduate instructors are still to be selected, bearing in mind that graduate students teaching honors courses should be advanced students with a record of excellent teaching.

Honors Course Information

Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.



Writing Intensive Course Information

The capstone course is intended to bring together the various components of the undergraduate psychology major. Towards that end, students taking this course will conduct empirical research on some aspect of human relationships, and produce an APA format paper detailing their research. Each student is responsible for designing a study, producing an instrument to collect data, collecting and analyzing data, and describing the outcomes. Attention will be focused on the individual components of an empirical article, including the background or introduction, the methods, the statistical results, the conclusions, and the discussion. In addition, students will describe their project in a short presentation to the class.
I have migrated to more electronic feedback and revision of their writing. I'm using the very nice features of Canvas to have students submit writing electronically; I teach them to peer review electronically via track changes.
Self paced?

Should this course be considered for funding?

Large Enrollment Courses:

Writing Intensive Assignments

All Assignments
1 Goal setting essay: 500-800 words. Not revised Describe the courses taken that are relevant to Human Relationship research and areas of relationship research interests. How does this capstone fit into what you want to be doing after MU, or five years from now? Evaluated by TAs.

2 Abstract 100-200 words. 2 revisions [3 copies total]. The abstract summarizes the entire study and findings. Evaluated by Instructor.

3 Introduction: 800-1200 words 1-2 revisions Introductions review the relevant literature and set the stage for the hypothesis, which is clearly outlined at the end of the introduction. Evaluated by Instructor.

4 Methods: 800-1200 words. 2 revisions Method sections translate the hypothesis into the study design, describing the participants, instruments measures, procedures. Evaluated by Instructor or TA.

5 Results: 500-800 words. 1 revision Did the data support the hypothesis? How so? Evaluated by Instructor. 6 Discussion: 800-1200 words 1 revision. How did study contribute to understanding of the research question? Limitations, implications, future directions. Evaluated by Instructor.
Length of assignment:

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:
Additional Writing: Students communicate with me and TA's via email. Non-graded aspects of the course include writing - for example, the online survey that each student programs to collect their data (which is not graded). Students will make notes and write ungraded drafts prior to submitting drafts for feedback.

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
Peer review
TAs will also provide feedback on sections of the paper that have more standardized formats (e.g., the method sections, title page, references)
The bulk of the assignments is the empirical paper that describes a study the student conducts. First, the student may design any study that tests a hypothesis about a human relationship. The student may then explore any aspect of the hypothesis that interests them. Once they find support (or not) for their hypothesis in their data, they will speculate about conclusions, areas of future research, limitations of their study, etc. The entire process is almost entirely creative, open-ended, and allows for endless variation in the work the students produce.
Assignments are due every week or two. Starting with a goal setting essay in the first week of class, followed by a research proposal in the second, the student build their paper section-by-section throughout the semester. Each section gets feedback at least once, with some sections going through several revisions.
Teaching assistants will grade the non-drafted writing and all other assignments. They will track attendance and maintain grade records. Most importantly, they will assist students in all aspects of the study design including crafting a testable hypothesis, survey construction, data cleaning, and data analysis. Finally, they will participate in peer review sessions, giving students feedback on their written drafts. The TA's in the class are graduate students in Psychology, who have all conducted their own research and written their own empirical articles. When I am given a TA who is less capable in these areas, I do more of the tasks that they are not yet skilled enough to do.

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Education and Social Sciences


I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

Patricia Luckenotte (luckenottep) (Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:05:02 GMT): PSYCH 4980W, 01 has been added to the Fall 2017 schedule of classes and cancelled PSYCH 4980, 01 for Fall
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