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PSYC511 - Learning and Cognition

Course Details

Course Code: PSYC511 Course ID: 4040 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course guides students through advanced level, in-depth and detailed study of classic and contemporary models of human cognition and learning through the lenses of the principle schools of psychology. Specific theories addressed include: functionalistic, associationistic, and cognitive.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Graduate learners successfully completing this course will have demonstrated an
ability to apply in-depth knowledge of:

CO1: Compare and contrast the major learning theories (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning theory).

CO2: Examine the major theories of human motivation and the relationship of motivation to human learning.

CO3: Analyze the empirical research support for the major learning theories.

CO4: Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles and techniques of the behavioral and cognitive behavioral approaches to therapy.

General Assignment Instructions
It is expected that graduate students will exhibit advanced level critical thinking, ability to synthesize multiple sources of information, high caliber writing skills and academic integrity in all course activities. With the exception of discussion forum posts and any other assignments so designated by the course instructor, assignment submissions completed in a narrative essay or composition format may not be written in first or second person (“I” or “you”). All writing must follow the citation and reference style established by the American Psychological Association (APA) in size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced with 1” margins on all sides of the page and include a cover page with the following centered vertically and horizontally: Student Name, Date of Submission, Assignment Title, Course Name and Professor Name. With the occasional exception of necessary brief quotes of specific statistical research findings or terminology used to describe research models or psychological constructs, in which case the author and publication must be properly source credited, all paper content MUST be paraphrased (summarized in the student’s own words) with proper source citations (See APA guidelines document in the classroom Resources folder).

IMPORTANT: Students engaging in graduate studies are held to rigorous standards. Absolutely NO copying of any kind is allowed in this course. When reporting on what one reads in any published source, including the course text, paraphrasing (summarizing what was read and learned in one’s own words) and providing the source(s) is required. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism. The website is an excellent, easy to understand resource for APA style formatting and source citation. APA formatting guides are included in the classroom Resources folder. Any instance of plagiarism, regardless of intent, will result in an assignment score of zero with no option for revision and resubmission for the first incident and course failure for any additional incidents.

Scholarly, peer-reviewed journals must be used for assignment completion. Unless instructed to do so for specific assignments, students may not use commercial websites as the basis for completion of course work. Encyclopedia websites, such as Wikipedia or Encarta, dictionaries, and other article summary sites, blogs or opinion slanted news media outlets may not be used for any writing assignment.


Forums: Due Weeks 1 through 8
Scholarly dialogs with classmates will be based on engagement with assigned course readings and/or related multi-media and will take place in the online classroom on designated Forums. General posting and topical instructions for each dialog are posted on its respective forum. No references are required for the discussion forums. Reply posts are required in order to ensure Forum interaction. Initial posting minimum word count is 400 words and each of the three replies minimum word count requirement is 250 words. The initial posting is due on Wednesday and the replies are due on Sunday.

Essay Exams: Due Weeks 4 and 8
Non-cumulative essay exams are required. These short essay questions exams are accessible in the classroom via clicking the Assignments link during their scheduled weeks.

Students will conduct a search of published literature discussing the conceptual differences between cognitive, behavioral, and neuroscience approaches to learning. Students will concentrate on the different areas that each approach emphasizes or deems most important in the learning process. This paper should contain a minimum of four empirical research studies. This assignment should be 5 to 7 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page and must be complete in APA format (6th ed.).


Students will conduct a search of published literature exploring the connection between learning and memory. Describe the role that memory plays in classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning and social learning theory. This paper should contain a minimum of four empirical research studies. This assignment should be 5 to 7 pages in length excluding the title page, abstract, and reference section and must be complete in APA format (6th ed.).

NameGrade %
Discussion Forums 32.00 %
Week 1 Forum 4.00 %
Week 2 Forum 4.00 %
Week 3 Forum 4.00 %
Week 4 Forum 4.00 %
Week 5 Forum 4.00 %
Week 6 Forum 4.00 %
Week 7 Forum 4.00 %
Week 8 Forum 4.00 %
Paper 34.00 %
Week 3 Paper 17.00 %
Week 7 Paper 17.00 %
Exam 34.00 %
Week 4 Midterm Essay Exam 17.00 %
Week 8 Final Essay Exam 17.00 %
Unassigned 0.00 %
RealizeIT 0.00 %
Book Title: Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*
Publication Info:

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.