Everything you need to know about Intersession Online Introduction to Psychology!

Katie Townsend-Merino will NOT BE TEACHING during Fall ’14


About Introduction to Psychology . . . . .

Have you ever wondered WHY human and non-human animals behave the way they behave? Think the way they think? Feel the way they feel? If your answer is yes, then you are well on your way to being a psychologist! Welcome to the wonderful world of wonderers.

This course is designed as an introduction to the MANY areas of psychology. Thus, in one term we will just have time to briefly introduce you to many different perspectives, ideologies, explanations, theories and people in the field of psychology. My hope is that you are left wanting more psychology and with a new set of tools with which to improve your life!

In the end, you will develop a holistic perspective about psychology as a scientific process that is as rigorous as it is elegant. We will work fast and furiously during intersession– and have fun along the way.

Important Note! There is now a prerequisite of eligibility for ENG 100  being enforced for Introduction to Psychology (you don’t have to complete ENGLISH 100–just be eligible to enroll!). PLEASE be sure that you will be able to demonstrate eligibility by the first few days of the class, or you will not be allowed to continue! For more information see this page:


And, note about workload in my fully online courses!

My intent with this posting is not to dissuade you from taking this course (it is life-changing for many people, is absolutely an inherently fascinating class, and often FUN!!), but I thought that I should be honest about the workload in an online course that is completed in a mere four weeks. Be aware: there is not LESS work in this class than in my 16 week course! You’ll get the same deep, rich content, but you’ll have to work four times as fast each week.

I have had many students succeed in my online classes, but a high number do not, due to time constraints, or lack of the necessary computer skills and false belief that an online course will be “easier”. With adequate information you can determine if you truly have the time and technical computer expertise to be successful in this course.  To begin, you should review this website called “Are you ready to be an online student?” to determine if you are prepared for success:  http://www.palomar.edu/areyouready/

In a face-to-face course you’d be in the classroom for 3 hours per week and you would be expected to spend 6 – 9 additional hours per week studying, reading and writing outside of class. That’s a total of 9 – 12 hours per week! To do well in this four week fully online course, you can expect to spend 40 hours per week working to master psychology. This is not an exaggeration; a one-month class is a full-time job!

Despite the fact that this is an online course it is not self-paced and there are firm due dates and times and you must work at the pace that is set for you.  You will need very stable and easily accessed internet; it would be extremely unwise to plan a trip for any length of time, even one day, that would leave you without internet access!

Each week you will read three chapters of material, complete a comprehensive study guide for each chapter, and using a mastery-based, multiple-take quizzing system take three 20-point quiz as many times as is necessary to earn a B on each quiz (or you earn zero), watch about three to five hours of video and then write three two-page thoughtful, clear and reflective discussion post regarding the videos you have viewed and readings for the week, and respond to four discussion posts of other students. In addition, you’ll be taking four 100-question midterm exams, applying psychology to your life and critically thinking about what you are learning. Whew!

You can see that I am NOT exaggerating about the time you’ll need to be successful in this course. It is critically important to me that I provide you with the same robust learning experience that I would in a F2F course over the course of a regular semester. If, looking at your life or schedule, you are now thinking  “Heck, oh gee, I think I made a HUGE mistake. I have to work 40 hours, take care of my kids/parents/partner, have many other classes this Spring, hmmmm . . . .“ then I would LOVE to see you in one of my classes next semester.

If you are up for the challenge, have the time and are open to an interesting, useful learning experience, then WELCOME! I can’t wait to meet you!

Important Information about crashing this class!!

The enrollment in the fully online courses is limited to those officially registered in the course.  Over the course of registration, it is common that some students may sign up for courses, then drop (or are administratively dropped for non-payment) even before the class starts, so, if the class is currently “closed,” you should keep checking online DAILY so that you can sign up for any space that becomes available in any of my TWO course sections or waitlists!!

I will accept all of those on the waitlists but you MUST CONTACT ME  between May 15th and May 19th to obtain an add code! If you do not contact me during that time frame, obtain and USE your code, you’ll lose your seat in the class.

If you are unable to get a seat in the class and would like to “crash” the course you need to email me (ktownsend-merino@palomar.edu) to leave your name, verify you understand the workload and I will contact you by late May 19th if there remains room in this class. If you do not hear from me, then there were no remaining seats available. I do not accept crashers after classes begin, please do not ask!

Important Information to be ready for class!!


I REQUIRE that you have the BOTH the text and study guide for Karen Huffman’s 10th edition of Psychology in Action.  You’ll be able to increase your weekly quiz grades by 10% overall for study guide completion.

In order to provide you the best resources at the lowest cost, I have ordered the Looseleaf editions (not bound & comes three hole punched). The ISBN is 9781118291351

2) BLACKBOARD SITE AVAILABILITY The blackboard site will be available to you by Sunday, May 18th.  You will know it is has been released because I will send you an email from Bb with further orientation information. A mandatory orientation quiz is due by the end of the first day of class, May 19th. If you do not complete the multiple-take orientation quiz with a perfect score you will be dropped. The URL for the course is https://palomar.blackboard.com/ 


3) EMAIL COMMUNICATION I communicate with you via announcements posted in the site which I also send directly to your email. But you MUST check that email at least once a day!! Please be sure your “preferred” email in e-services is the one you actually will check.  I cannot do this for you, please determine today if it is correct.

Please email me at ktownsend-merino@palomar.edu with any questions you might have.

I look forward to “seeing” you in class!




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