Human Growth & Development

Psychology 201

Rather than focusing on a single period of human experience, the Human Growth & Development course is designed to help you understand and gain an appreciation of an entire human lifespan. Together we will analyze various theories that have influenced the field of human development—physical, cognitive, emotional, and social—at each stage of growth. We will also examine the challenges faced at each stage of human life, stretching all the way from birth to death.

This course involves large amounts of reading, and is designed to meet the BYU-I University expectation that students spend 3–4 hours each week for every credit; therefore, for this course, you will need to commit 9–12 hours each week. If you are unable to commit to the time demands this semester, please consider taking this course some other time when you will be able to commit the time necessary for the workload.

Also, even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course. It is structured so that you can interact with classmates weekly in order to teach and learn from one another. Participating in Teach One Another activities is where some of the most powerful learning experiences can occur.


Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn to:

  1. Identify various theories that have impacted the field of human development
  2. Understand theory and research in human growth and development to allow students to appreciate an entire human lifespan
  3. Examine the challenge that faces each stage of human life
  4. Give examples of how biology and environmental factors interact in development
  5. Highlight physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development factors in each stage of development: infancy & toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood
  6. Describe lifespan challenges faced in each stage of development

Course Architecture

This course runs in fourteen one-week lessons with Lesson 01 at the beginning and Lesson 14 to wrap up.

Each lesson:


Lesson 01 Online and course-specific orientation, getting acquainted; Foundations of Development
Lesson 02 Foundations of Development
Lesson 03 Foundations of Development
Lesson 04 Infancy and Toddlerhood: (0–1 Years)
Lesson 05 Infancy and Toddlerhood: (0–1 Years)
Lesson 06 Early Childhood: (2–6 Years)
Lesson 07 Middle Childhood: (7–11 Years)
Lesson 08 Middle Childhood: (7–11 Years)
Lesson 09 Adolescence: The Transition to Adulthood: (12–17 Years)
Lesson 10 Early Adulthood: (18–40 Years)
Lesson 11 Early Adulthood: (18–40 Years)
Lesson 12 Middle Adulthood: (41–64 Years)
Lesson 13 Late Adulthood: (65+ Years)
Lesson 14 End of Life

Recurring Activities

Readings, Reading Reflections, and Check for Understanding



Virtual Child Discussion Group

Additional Activities

Note: Some lessons have additional assessment activities such as Midterm Feedback and Course Evaluation.

Course Requirements

Course Texts - Auto Access

The required text is “Development Through the Lifespan” by Laura E. Berk, 7th Edition.

The required textbook for this course is a low cost auto access digital textbook. Access the textbook using the link provided in the Student Resources module of this course. You will be automatically charged for the digital textbook after the “Add” deadline (the end of the 2nd week of the semester).

It is very important that you do not opt out of this option or purchase the textbook from another source. It is cheaper and includes all of the materials you will need for this course. Those materials include the Berk textbook as an ebook, access codes to the virtual child program and the My Development Lab.

You must have access to the My Development Lab resources as they will help you prepare for the unit exams and allow you access to the virtual child program.

Grading Policies

Final Grade Distribution

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
93+ 90–92 87–89 83–86 80–82 77–79 73–76 70–72 67–69 63–66 60–62 below 60

A= 93+; A- = 90–92; B+ = 87–89; B= 83–86; B- = 80–82; C+ = 77–79; C= 73–76; C- = 70–72; D+ = 67–69; D= 63–66; D- = 60–62; F = below 60

Grade Components 

Grades will be determined as follows: 

Class Policies 

Course Questions, Problems, and/or Concerns

In the Questions and Conversations Discussion Board, you are encouraged to post general questions, problems, concerns, etc. Using this board will inform other class members, the instructor, and Online Course Improvement of the issues you find, which will allow the proper people to correct them for everyone. Unless your instructor indicates otherwise, please check this board throughout the semester. If you are experiencing the same problem as another student who has posted on the Questions and Conversations Discussion Board, you can post as well to alert others of the seriousness of the problem. If you know the answer to a problem, you are encouraged to post solutions. Helping to solve your classmates’ problems is another way to teach one another. Additionally, your instructor is monitoring this board and will inform you of fixes and solutions here. 

Note: You should only email your instructor directly if the problem is of a personal nature OR your instructor says that is the way he or she would like to be informed of questions, problems, concerns, etc.


Throughout the course, you will be required to participate in Group Meetings with other classmates. In order to participate fully in these meetings, you will need a microphone for your computer. Many computers come with microphones built in, but if you do not have this feature, you will need to buy one. You can make sure that your microphone works properly in the Virtual Classroom meeting with your instructor in the Introduction week.

Late Work Policy

Late work hampers your ability to fully participate in the course and will be accepted only at the instructor’s discretion. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty determined by your instructor. Two exceptions exist where the late work policy is not at the discretion of the instructor:

Each lesson opens several days in advance to allow flexibility. Do not expect an instructor to bend the course due dates to accommodate your personal scheduling conflicts, including weddings and vacations. However, if you know you will be unable to meet a due date for any particular assignment, an instructor may be able to work with you if you make prior arrangements to submit your work.


This course is designed to engage both your mind and your heart. Thus, it is important to prepare both intellectually and spiritually each week. Consistent personal prayer, scripture study, and attention to your covenants will provide a great support to your academic studies. While this is not a religion course, what you study here will help you grow spiritually. When you are prepared, the Holy Spirit can provide guidance and direction that will make a difference in your life. As you interact with others in various assignments, please remember to be kind, considerate, and respectful of differing viewpoints. You can differ in opinions (sometimes the best learning comes when others challenge your thinking) but still be civil. Any violation of basic common courtesy—including interaction with the instructor—will negatively impact your grade. 


Materials on BYU Idaho I-Learn and related sites may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.

Pacing Yourself

Your ability to pace yourself will be essential to your success in this course. If you organize your time well, you will be able to complete all of the assignments without becoming overwhelmed. Below is a suggestion of one way that you could organize your time throughout a typical week:

The first half of the week
Reading 1 hour 30 minutes
Reading Reflections 1 hour
Share Your Learning 30 minutes
Weekly Report 15 minutes
Exam (if applicable) 45 minutes
Total 2 hours 45 minutes
The second half of the week
MVC Activity 30 minutes
Virtual Classroom Sign-up/Meeting 45 minutes
Share Your Learning write-up 30 minutes
Weekly report 15 minutes
Exam (if applicable) 45 minutes
Total 3 hours 15 minutes


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.

Once you have read through and understood the course requirements, take the Syllabus Quiz to complete the activity.