Psychology (PSYC) 323

Developmental Psychology (Revision 7)

PSYC 323

Revision 7 is closed for registrations, see current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 290 is strongly recommended but not required.

Precluded Course: PSYC 228 (PSYC 323 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 228.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 323 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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PSYC 323 studies the basic concepts and mechanisms inherent in the process of human development from conception to adolescence. This course describes the nature and context of development, as well as the research methods used to study human development. The course examines the biological, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral aspects of development through various theoretical models. The major emphasis is on typical growth and development.


Unit 1: The Nature of Child Development

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

Unit 2: Biological Processes, Physical Development, and Perceptual Development

  • Chapter 2: Biological Beginnings
  • Chapter 3: Prenatal Development and Birth
  • Chapter 4: Physical Development and Health
  • Chapter 5: Motor, Sensory, and Perceptual Development

Unit 3: Cognition and Language

  • Chapter 6: Cognitive Development Approaches
  • Chapter 7: Information Processing
  • Chapter 8: Intelligence
  • Chapter 9: Language Development

Unit 4: Socioemotional Development

  • Chapter 10: Emotional Development
  • Chapter 11: The Self and Identity
  • Chapter 12: Gender
  • Chapter 13: Moral Development

Unit 5: Social Contexts of Development

  • Chapter 14: Families
  • Chapter 15: Peers
  • Chapter 16: Schools and Technology


To receive credit for PSYC 323, you must complete the course quizzes, assignments, a major project, and a final examination. You must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Four Unit Quizzes (6% each) 24%
Two Tutorial Quizzes (3% each) 6%
Three Q&A Assignments 10%
Major Project 25%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Santrock, J. W., Conrad, N. J., & Closson, L. M. (2015). Child development (Canadian ed.). Whitby, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 323 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on the exam and obtain a composite mark of at least D (50 percent) to pass.

Activity Weighting
Research Paper 40%
Exam 60%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 7, June 20, 2018.

View previous syllabus