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Becoming You: Human Development Across the Lifespan

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

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Course Description

What made you who you are? How do you see yourself changing in the future? Human development is brought to life in this course through the use of online simulations and engaging class discussion. You will create a "virtual self" and see how your decisions impact your simulated future self over time. You will also raise a "virtual child" from birth to age 18 to see the effects of your parenting decisions over time. From infancy through elderhood, we will explore the biological, psychological, and social influences that shape who we become.

This human development course is organized chronologically from infancy to elderhood, with each class period reflecting a new stage of life. The importance and interconnectedness of biopsychosocial development across all life stages is emphasized. Students are encouraged to thoughtfully apply the material to their own experiences--past, present, and future. Varied modes of instruction are used in addiction to lecture, including an online "virtual self" and "virtual child" simulations, engaging class discussions, small group activities, and expert guest speakers. Students' understanding of developmental concepts will be assessed through mini quizzes and a lifespan portfolio project that ties the course material directly to the students' personal experiences.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the role of biological, psychological, and social influences for human development.
  • Distinguish between developmental tasks achieved at each stage of life.
  • Explain how development at each life stage builds upon prior life stages.
  • Identify the biopsychosocial influences that affected their own personal growth and development.

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