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EPSY 5550: Theories of Learning in Education Development and Family Studies; EPSY

University of North Texas

Spring, 2012

Instructor: Dr. Wendy Middlemiss Office: Matthews Hall 304H

Phone: 940 369 8870 Office hours: By appointment and

e-mail: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30am -10:30am;

Text: Ormond, J. E. (2012). Human Learning. 6th Ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 10: 0-13-259518-4

Goals: Your work and participation in this class will provide you the opportunity to gain a firm foundation in

the following areas:

What is the definition of learning and how does learning occur.

What are the major theories concerning how learning occurs.

How can learning environments be structured to support learning activities.

Course Requirements


Statement regarding Discriminatory Practices: The University of North Texas’ College of Education does

not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment

or employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by

Federal laws and regulations. The designated liaison for the Department of Educational Psychology is

Devin Callahan, Room 316, Matthews Hall 204. The student has the responsibility of informing the

course instructor of any disabling condition which will require modifications to avoid discrimination.

Thinking About Learning (TAL) activities.

These activities will give us the opportunity to build our understanding of some of the specific elements

presented in each of the theories and learning concepts discussed. Each week there will be a question

posted or an activity to complete that will use the information presented. The purpose of the Thinking About Learning activities is to take the information you read and make it useable/applicable. In this

manner, we will begin the process of synthesis with the information. TAL activities are worth 10 points

each for a total of 150 points toward your final grade accumulation.

For each activity, you will learn most effectively and be rewarded by a higher number of points  if you

make sure that you use the theory principles in the work that you submit. Be thorough and thoughtful.

Interactive Discussion Points (IDP) These activities will generally be completed using the Discussion Board. Each week, in the Week folder,

you will find a link to a discussion. In the lecture, there will be a point to be discussed. Read the material,

give some thought to the question and then make a post to the Discussion Group. You will be responsible

for 2 postings (minimum) for each week. The discussion should be interactive. Please post to a thread or

conversation [for those of us who are older and started our technological lives with stationary phones

and party lines] or begin a thread. Wait for responses and then respond to the continued discussion.

Each week, you can earn 10 points for your discussion postings. [10 points each week for a total of 150


Midterm [50 points]

Final [50 points]

The format of these evaluative exercises will be determined by mid February.

Summary Paper. Compare two approaches to learning as applied to a learning context. We will discuss

this as the semester goes forward. [100 points]

Eagle mail. All students should activate and regularly check their Eagle Mail (e-mail account). Eagle Mail is

used for official communications from the University to students. Many important announcements for the

University and College are sent to students via Eagle Mail. For information about Eagle Mail, including how to

activate an account and how to have Eagle Mail forwarded to another e-mail address, visit:

Academic honesty. It is expected that students will conform to the University of North Texas’ Code of

Student Conducted and Discipline as outlined in the undergraduate catalog (see also the Student Handbook

which can be found on line at This states in part that all instances of cheating, fabrication and

plagiarism are prohibited and will be reported. Any student who assists in any form of dishonesty is equally as

guilty as the student who accepts such assistance. Any work submitted to me with your name alone on it

should represent your work alone. To the extent that others contribute ideas, suggestions, they must be

directly credited by name (and full cite as appropriate). Disciplinary action will be taken against any student

found in violation of the Code, which may include failure in the course and possible expulsion from the


If you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism or cheatin, please ask. Thank you.


TAL: Thinking About Learning Exercises IDP: Interactive Discussion Point SP: Summary Paper

WEEK of Topics Readings,


17 Jan

[week 1]

Course overview

Ch. 1 Perspectives of Learning

Ch. 1



Due: 1/20 12pm

23 Jan

[week 2]

Learning and the Brain

Ch. 2



Due: 1/27 12pm

30 Jan

[week 3]

Behaviorism and Classical Conditioning

Ch. 3

TAL 3 and 4

IDP 3 and 4

Due: 2/3 12pm

6 Feb

[week 4]

Instrumental Conditioning

Applications of Instrumental Conditioning

Chs. 4 & 5



Due: 2/10 12pm

SP 1

Due 2.13

13 Feb

[week 5]

Social Cognitive Theory

Ch. 6



Due: 2/17 12pm

20 Feb

[week 6]

Introduction to Cognitivism

Ch 7



Due: 2/24 12pm

SP 2

Due 2.27

27 Feb

[week 7]

Basic Components of Memory

Long-Term Memory 1: Storage and Encoding

Chs. 8 and 9



Due: 3/2 12pm

5 Mar

[week 8]

Long-Term Memory II: The Nature of Knowledge

Long-Term Memory III: Retrieval and Forgetting

Chs. 10 and 11



Due: 3/9 12pm

SP 3

Due 3/9

12 Mar

[week 9]

Midterm Exam

Instructions to


19 Mar

[week 10]


26 Mar

[week 11]

Cognitive-Developmental Perspectives

Ch. 12

TAL 10

IDP 10

Due: 3/30 12pm

2 Apr

[week 12]

Sociocultural Theory and

Other Contextual Perspectives

Ch. 13

TAL 11

IDP 11

Due: 4/6 12pm

SP 4

Due 4/9

9 Apr

[week 13]

Metacognition, Self-Regulated Learning, and

Study Strategies

Ch. 14

TAL 12

IDP 12

Due: 4/13 12pm

16 Apr

[week 14]

Transfer, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking

Ch. 15

TAL 13

IDP 13

Due: 4/20 12pm

SP 5

Due 4/16

23 Apr

[week 15]

Motivation and Affect

Ch. 16

TAL 14

IDP 14

Due: 4/27 12pm

30 Apr

[week 16]

Cognitive Factors in Motivation

Ch. 17

TAL 15

IDP 15

Due: 5/4 12pm

SP 6

Due 5/4

7 May

[week 17]

Final Exam

Grading Scale To earn a(n):

A requires earning 500-450

B requires earning 449-400

C requires earning 399-350

D requires earning 349-300

F requires earning 299 or fewer points

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