Lackawanna College

PSY212: Abnormal Psychology

Online Classroom: 3 credits

  Fall 2017: October 18- December 8


Dr. David DiBari






Office Hours

Monday through Friday, 11am – 5pm Mountain Time or by appointment.





Text: Abnormal Psychology, 13th Edition 
Ann M. KringSheri L. JohnsonGerald C. DavisonJohn M. Neale



This course and its syllabus are built around Abnormal Psychology by Ann M. KringSheri L. JohnsonGerald C. DavisonJohn M. Neale.  You will be presented with all of the concepts, methods, and theories common to the discipline. This course is a comprehensive approach for current research, theory and treatment modalities. In addition, this course will take a problem-solving approach, by presenting students with the investigative process used by practicing clinicians and scientists.


1.       Understand the social, psychological, educational, and intervention issues associated with each exceptionality

2.       Assess each exceptionality from the viewpoints of the theoretical paradigms presented in this course.

3.       Describe exceptionalities using the diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV).

4.       Develop a case study that includes an assessment, theoretical review, and treatment plan for one or more selected exceptionalities.

5.       Understand the social, psychological, educational, and intervention issues associated with each exceptionality



In order to benefit best from discussions, there must be consistent interaction. Therefore, you are required to answer all discussion questions. Discussions count for a large portion of your grade. The content of these posts must be substantive in order to earn points. Please see your Handouts section to find helpful hints for formulating your discussion posts. Also, for a successful online participation, be sure to:

  • Log in several times WEEKLY
  • Respond to your classmates
  • Contribute to class by answering DQs, joining in discussions about your classmates’ comments, or asking questions
  • Maintain respectful communication
  • Be prepared, and submit assignments daily as required


Your grade will be based  on a  total points possible system.  In order to determine your grade at any time during the course, simply divide your points earned  by the points possible in the course.

Online Course Attendance Policy:

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.

Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. Postings not related to the aforementioned activities will not count for attendance purposes.

 # of Days Required for Discussion in an Online Course

Maximum # of Weeks Allowed without Discussion


Twice on any four days in a week (8 total)




 You are required to engage in discussion at least TWO times on FOUR days throughout the week for a total of EIGHT posts in all, minimum.

  • You should respond to the initial DQs posted AND respond to your classmates.
  • Responses MUST be substantive. See the document titled Good Discussions in your Handouts and Links.
  • Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will NOT be counted toward your weekly score.
  • Students who miss one week of discussion will be DROPPED from the course.
  • Students who do not log on to the course within the drop/add period for the course will be DROPPED from the course.

 Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.

You MUST post no less than 8 times per week – twice on any four days.

Good Discussions in Handouts and Links will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!


Online Classroom Discussion and Interaction Rubric

50 points per week for a total of 350 points

What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?


Points Earned

Answer both Discussion Questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material, support your response with research or reading, and promote conversation (2 posts)

10 DQ 1

10 DQ 2




Respond to at least two classmate’s posts (2 posts)





Continue both conversations with at least one additional reply to each peer (2 posts)



Respond to at least one of the teacher’s secondary questions, conversing with a classmate who responds to the same question (2 posts)



Be sure all responses are detailed and clear and are posted twice on four separate days.



Be sure that all responses relate to the course reading and notes, your own everyday life, or to both



Provides the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learn from what you have contributed and can continue the conversation



Use proper grammar, spelling, and netiquette








Withdrawal Policy:

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.

Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies:


All written work must include both citations and references in APA format. It is wonderful to have an opinion, but at the college level they need to be reinforced with academic material. 

 APA Websites: (APA Style website)  (Purdue Online Writing Lab)  (tutorial developed by APA) (The University of Southern Mississippi APA Style Guide 6th ed.) (Formatting the title page – The University of Southern Mississippi)  (APA Style Guide 6th Edition – Wake Forest University) (Information about Plagiarism)  (In-text citation directions)


Show respect for the opinions of others - Especially keeping in mind that the Internet brings people together from around the world and that we do not all share the same views or background.

Communication – Effective, thorough, and respectful communication is very important in any educational setting. It often times is even more important in an online class because your instructor can’t see the expression on your face or hear the tone of your voice. Be sure to be as clear, precise, and detailed as possible when interacting with your instructors and your fellow classmates.

Respect - Even though you can’t see your classmates, always keep in mind that you are dealing with human beings. Be polite and show respect… even if you disagree with someone. 

Think first, post second – Before you submit a post, please do your best to make sure you’ve said what you meant to say. Consider how the person on the receiving end of your message might perceive what you’ve written.

 Wikipedia is not an acceptable source. This source allows any user to edit an article.

Blogs should not be used as that is simply an informal online chat where any user is afforded an opportunity to share an opinion and academic credentials are not verified.

Yahoo and Google are NOT references, they are search engines.

The following are NOT acceptable sources as they allow any user to change and manipulate the information:

 **Please note: This list is periodically updated as new unacceptable resources are discovered.

This is not an all inclusive list - other sites like them are not considered reliable. This list is updated periodically. A good rule of thumb is to avoid sites that end in .com - all sources must be scholarly. 

Journals and textbooks are what you should be using.

This school has a fabulous online library, please utilize these resources.

If you have any questions about whether or not a source is acceptable, please ask in advance.  Thank you!


80/20 Rule

At least 80% of your writing must be in your own words. This means that you need to paraphrase information with an accompanying citation.  Direct quotes should be used sparingly or not at all. If you do use a quote, it cannot stand alone – you still need to explain why it is important.

Anyone can cut and paste information, but it takes a scholar to be able to critically evaluate and analyze information. I want to know what YOU think about the information that you found.

Remember, opinions are great but at the college level you need to back them up with scholarly material.


Please keep in mind that your papers are automatically checked for plagiarism. Each discussion period I randomly select 25% of the main posts and submit them for a plagiarism review.  You cannot cut and paste information and attempt to receive credit for something that is not your own work – this is theft.  This goes against the academic integrity policy that your respective schools have established. This is a very serious issue that can result in a zero on an assignment, failure of the class, and even up to a potential dismissal from the school.

 In order to avoid plagiarism, it is strongly recommended that you do not use direct quotes unless absolutely necessary. The majority of writing (80%) should be in your own words as you paraphrase material and properly cite the source. RESIST THE URGE TO CUT AND PASTE. Also, keep in mind that once you submit a paper for a class, you cannot resubmit that work for a different course and expect to get credit for it.

 All written papers and main posts require both citations and references in APA Format. This helps to not only demonstrate an understanding of the material, but it helps to alleviate potential plagiarism issues.

 If your paper has a plagiarism score higher than 24% then there could be a potential problem with it.

Peanut Butter AND Jelly

Every assignment and main post should have both citations AND references.  If you have 100 references and no citations, then there is no way to tell where the information was taken from. If you have a citation then you must have references.  If you only have citations, that is just a jelly sandwich.  If you only have references that is just a peanut butter sandwich. You need to make a peanut butter AND jelly sandwich. 

At the college level, you should always use references and citations. This demonstrates an understanding of the material as well as conveys academic rigor. It also helps to avoid plagiarism issues.

Also, please use APA.  When your reference section just says "Textbook" that does not do me any good.  There are millions of textbooks.  APA is a universal standard that helps writers communicate clearly and effectively. 

 Written Content

 When an assignment states that a paper should be three pages, that means it needs to be three written pages of content. That does NOT include the cover page and reference page. Every assignment should contain a cover page and reference page in APA format.

 Papers need to be written in 12pt font, Times New Roman or Ariel, double spaced, one inch margins. All written work must be in APA format.

 Late Policy

Late work for written assignments will be accepted up to four days late with a 10% penalty per day. Late work does not apply to exams and discussions. Late work will not be accepted after the last day of the class. 

If a student fails to post in a discussion during the designated week, there is no way to make up missed discussion points. 


Conduct – I ask that students are respectful of the differences in opinions of others, and in fact suggest they embrace the other side of a debate as an opportunity to learn something. Insulting behavior in the Discussions or in any communication will not be tolerated, and may result in a student being expelled from the course. While a student may be tempted to surf the Net to “borrow” items for papers or other assignments, I assure my students that I’m aware of the possibility and will give any plagiarized items a zero. Remember, I surf the same Net!



The assignments in this course are tracked by points. Use the Points Value column to check your grade based on how many points you have earned. You might also estimate how many more points you need in order to earn the final grade that you want.

Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Points Value

Quality Points


96 – 100




90 – 95




87 – 89




83 – 86




80 – 82




77 – 79




73 – 76




70 – 72




67 – 69




60 – 66




0 – 59




Due Dates and Late Penalties:

All assignments are due by 11:59 PM ET. All main discussion posts are due by Thursday at 11:59 PM ET, and all secondary posts are due by Sunday at 11:59 PM ET. Any posts made after Sunday will not receive credit. If a student neglects to participate in the discussion during the designated week, there is no way to make up those points.  Any assignment turned in after Sunday will receive a 10% reduction in grade, and any assignments turned in after that extended deadline will receive a zero. ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE LAST DAY OF CLASS.

Late assignments will earn a penalty. Technical difficulties are NOT a justification for lateness.

  • The grace period for late assignments is as follows:
    • 1 day late-the assignment will be reduced by 10%
    • 2 days late-the assignment will be reduced by 20%
    • 3 days late-the assignment will be reduced by 30%
    • 4 days late-the assignment will be reduced by 40%
  • There will be no “extra credit.”

Academic Integrity:

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated either in the online or traditional classrooms. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well.

 The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course

 Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution. Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs. Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab. If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Ms. Christine Kiehart in the academic development office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State law, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and with Federal law, including Titles VI and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Inquiries should be directed to Anita Cola, Affirmative Action Officer, at (570) 961- 7815 or OR Dan LaMagna, Affirmative Action Officer, at (570) 504-1579 or Portfolio and Coursework: Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, assessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper. Course Schedule:

(Faculty: This course and its content do not take seven weeks to complete. However, the Course Schedule below is organized into seven weeks simply so that you can copy the table and replace the contents with your own schedule for use in your syllabus. Keep in mind that Assessment should match your objectives. Notice below, for example, how the objectives identified earlier in this syllabus are included. All categories of the following table are required. Enter the information into the appropriate columns on the table using the Tab key to move around. To insert rows, click on the table and then on the Table menu, point to Insert and click on the Row action you want to take. To delete rows, click on the table and then on the Table menu, point to Delete and click on Rows.)





Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity


Introduction and Historical  



Read/Watch the Week 1 Handouts and Links.

Course Navigation Quiz (10 points)

Academic Honesty Pledge (4 points)

Complete the About You forum posts (10 points)

Complete Week 1: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 1: DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 1 Essay (30 points)


Diagnosis and Assessment


Read/Watch the Week 2 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 2: DQ 1

Complete Week 2: DQ 2

Week 2 Essay (30 points)


Mood Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 3 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 3: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 3: DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 3 Essay (30 points)


Obsessive-Compulsive Related and Trauma-Related Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 4 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 4: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 4: DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 4 Essay (30 points)

Week 4 (Debate (20 points)


Substance Abuse Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 5 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 5: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 5 DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 5 Essay (30 points)


Sexual Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 6 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 6: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 6: DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 6 Participation (30 points)


Late Life and Neurocognitive Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 7 Handouts and Links.

Complete Week 7: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 7: DQ 2 (10 points)

Week 7 Essay (30 points)


Personality Disorders


Read/Watch the Week 8 Handouts and Links.

Final Assignment (50 points)

Week 8 Essay (20 points)

Complete Week 8: DQ 1 (10 points)

Complete Week 8: DQ 2 (10 points)




Rubric Title

Total Points Value


Did I do This?

Where? (i.e. slide number, page number, paragraph, etc.)

Points Available

Points Earned

Faculty, enter each requirement in this column.

Ask students to complete this column as they develop and review their work.

Ask students to be specific about where they think they met the requirement.

Faculty, enter the points available for each requirement here.

Faculty, return the rubric to the students with this column completed with the points they have earned.




Required Syllabus Supplement for Distance Education Faculty

Faculty in the School of Distance Education must adhere to the FALCONS model to ensure the most effective, successful experience for teaching and learning through the application of research-based best practice.

As such, faculty should identify the FALCONS tools that they have chosen to apply by marking the strategies used from each menu. Keep in mind that no less than two items per menu are required for each course.  Also, it is required that a third item is added from each menu at least once during the course.

Course Name:

Faculty Name:


 Menu 1

Week in which Menu 1 items are used

Menu 2

Week in which Menu 2 items are used

Menu 3

Week in which Menu 3 items are used










Voice over PowerPoints


Team Project




Interactive PowerPoints


Discussion Debate Teams




Video Lecture or Podcast


Discussion Questions & Interaction










Case Studies


Role Playing




Student Generated Content


Peer Editing/Review