Psychology (PSYC) 389

Learning Disabilities: Issues and Interventions (Revision 9)

PSYC 389 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: An introductory 200-level psychology or a junior social science course is recommended but not required.

Precluded Course: PSYC 389 is a cross-listed course—a course available in two different disciplines—with EDPY 389. PSYC 389 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for EDPY 389. PSYC 389 can be taken for graduate level credit as PSYC 589 in the MAIS program. Credit cannot be received for both PSYC 389 and PSYC 589.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 389 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This three-credit, senior-level course is designed to increase your awareness of learning disabilities from a number of viewpoints and theoretical perspectives. While the course emphasizes understanding the issues surrounding the field of learning disabilities, it also examines assessment and remediation of learning and behaviour problems. Topics range from legislation pertaining to learning disabilities to providing services to individuals with learning disabilities.

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed PSYC 389, you will be able to do the following:

  • Explain the definitions, themes, characteristics, contributing factors, and historical perspectives related to learning disabilities.
  • Discuss the various medical and educational models of learning disabilities.
  • Identify assessment strategies, and describe the different assessment tools that are available.
  • Analyze the contributions of theorists developing an understanding of learning disabilities.
  • Discuss issues in the field of learning disabilities and their impact on young children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Explore issues related to learning disabilities in the research, and analyze how the findings could be used by professionals working with individuals with learning disabilities.
  • Develop a case study complete with assessment and intervention strategies.
  • Critically assess reading material related to learning disabilities.
  • Integrate theory, research, and professional practice within the field of learning disabilities.


  • Unit 1: Foundations of Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 2: Medical Perspective
  • Unit 3: ADHD
  • Unit 4: Assessment
  • Unit 5: Educational Settings and Services
  • Unit 6: Teaching Theories and Practices
  • Unit 7: Oral Communication
  • Unit 8: Reading
  • Unit 9: Written Communication
  • Unit 10: Mathematics
  • Unit 11: Social and Emotional Behaviour
  • Unit 12: The Family and Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 13: Early Identification and Intervention
  • Unit 14: Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 15: Technology and Learning Disabilities


To receive credit for PSYC 389, you must complete the Planning Activity, five quizzes, and the Course Project. You must also achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the Course Project and an overall course grade of at least 50%. The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weight associated with each activity.

Activity Weighting
Planning Activity 15%
Quizzes 40%
Course Project 45%
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.

Mercer, C., & Pullen, P. (2009). Students with Learning Disabilities (7th Edition). Pearson.

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.

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 389 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) or higher on both the research paper and the examination.

Activity Weighting
Course Project 50%
Comprehensive Exam 50%
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 9, June 10, 2020.

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