Date Submitted: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:51:24 GMT

Viewing: PSYCH 4974W hackleys : The Human Senses Capstone - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:14:28 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:09:19 GMT

Changes proposed by: hackleys

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information

Psychological Sciences
Are you submitting this proposal on behalf of an instructor?

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)
The Human Senses Capstone - Writing Intensive
Psychophysical data, sense organs, psychological attributes, and theories of vision, hearing, and the vestibular (motion) senses. Elementary aspects of psychophysics.
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
grade of C better in PSYCH 3020. This course is restricted to psychology majors with senior standing.

Instructor Information

Psychological Sciences
(numbers only)
Tenured Associate Professor
108 Psychology Building
Yes, in the last five years

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

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

This capstone course has three foci: Sensory-perceptual processes, research methods, and technical writing. In the Fall 2017 semester, there will be 13 lectures on sensation, a textbook on how to write research reports, a sample journal article, two standardized in-class labs, and the individualized capstone project. One of the in-class labs involves staring at a fluorescent lamp in order to produce an afterimage. The subject then stands different distances from a wall and judges the apparent size of the after image. An example of a capstone project would be to compare balancing on a narrow wooden beam while focusing solely on that task versus simultaneously doing mental arithmetic problems. Data are collected in small groups (two individuals, for the capstone), but analysis and writing are done independently.

Reports for the two in-class labs will not be revised, but they will be thoroughly critiqued by the TA. Component sections of the capstone thesis will be submitted separately for critique. The first draft will then be critiqued by the TA and instructor. Its revision, the final thesis, will receive a global evaluation, but little editorial marking. Other writing assignments include the consent form, thesis proposal, and essay exams. Students will also be required to give an oral presentation of their experiment using PowerPoint slides.
The first offering is this semester. The main change vis-a-vis the proposal is that I am converting the lectures from transparency to PowerPoint.
Self paced?

Should this course be considered for funding?

Large Enrollment Courses:

Writing Intensive Assignments

In-class Lab (Weber's Law)
To familiarize students with the methods of psychophysics research, with a prominent theory, and with scientific writing.
Length of assignment:
teaching assistant

Capstone proposal
To suggest a possible research project.
Length of assignment:
Instructor (me)

In-class Lab (Afterimage Size)
To learn more about conducting and writing up a research report.
Length of assignment:
Teaching assistant

Consent Form
To learn how to obtain informed consent for human research participation and to create the document that will be used for this purpose in their capstone project.
Length of assignment:
Teaching assistant

Thesis components
Over a period of four weeks, students will submit preliminary drafts of the abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and reference sections of their capstone thesis.
Length of assignment:
teaching assistant

Capstone thesis
To learn how to plan, conduct, and report a psychology experiment.
Length of assignment:
teaching assistant and instructor
teaching assistant and instructor

PowerPoint slides for oral presentation
To learn how to give an oral research presentation.
Length of assignment:
teaching assistant

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:
Writing Assignments
1. In-class lab reports (6-9 pp). These two reports are written in traditional scientific format (abstract, purpose, methods, results, conclusions, references) and submitted one week after the data are collected. Only a single draft is allowed, but this will be carefully critiqued by the TA. My policy in the past has been to read the best report, the one with the lowest grade, and any submitted by students who I suspect will ask me for a letter of recommendation.

2. Capstone proposal (1 p). This 1-page document will be returned with comments on both on composition and scientific merit.

3. Consent form (1-2 pp). Multiple drafts will be submitted until both style and substance meet the TA’s and instructor’s standards. This is the only assignment that will be team written, that is to say, by the two lab partners involved in a given capstone project.

4. Preliminary references (1 pp). The TA’s editorial comments will focus on conformation to APA stylistic guidelines.

5. Thesis components (9-16 pp). Draft versions of the methods, introduction, results, abstract, and discussion sections will be submitted over a 3-week period. These will be critiqued by the TA.

6. Capstone thesis (12-16 pp). The first complete draft will be critiqued by the TA and instructor using different color pens. The revised version will be the final draft. Editorial marking will be minimal; marginal and concluding comments will be more global.

7. PowerPoint slides (4-8 slides). The TA’s critiques will include visual design issues as well as English composition.

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
All assignments are prepared individually, except for the consent form. The two lab partners will each be given the same grade.
The thesis and oral presentation will report original research by the student which they must analyze, interpret, and evaluate. Reports of the standardized, in-class experiments are more constrained, but they still require analysis and interpretation.
Written assignments are due about once per week, beginning with the third week of the semester.
The TA assigned to my class will be a graduate student in the Department of Psychological Sciences who is a native English speaker. I’ll have her look over reports graded by previous TAs and grading rubrics. She will be given guidelines about the typical distribution of grades and advice on common problems students have. I will read about a third of the first few assignments she grades in their entirety, and scan all marginal comments. We will discuss hard-to-grade papers. Both of us will grade the first draft of the thesis, her first, then me. I’ll have her look over my comments before handing these documents are handed back to the students.

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Education and Social Sciences


I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

Christine Kintner (kintnerc) (Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:09:19 GMT): Cancelled PSYCH 4974-01. Added PSYCH 4974W-01 to Fall 2017.
Key: 569