Child Development 292 (01)
Seminar in Exam Option
Fall, 2013 - Sheri Hembree, Ph.D.


Announcements 11/14/13





Class meetings


Required Reading



bullet Grading



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Course Description

Seminar to focus on topics/elements/expectations for the exam option culminating experience: test preparation and tips, exam writing, practice exam questions, time management, and community building with other students. Students will complete reading and writing assignments related to each exam area and prepare for an exam question related to an approved elective topic of their choice. Students will submit an exam petition to be reviewed and approved by the departmental exam committee, including an annotated bibliography and proposed exam questions for the focal topic.












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Course Objectives

The course is designed to prepare the student to study effectively for the MA comprehensive exam and enroll in CHDV 505. To this end, upon successful completion of this course students will:

  • Understand departmental expectations related to the culminating exam option

  • Identify and write about key ideas and controversies in child development

  • Demonstrate academic reading and writing skills and skills for editing and revising written work  

  • Write complete, polished essays in response to practice exam questions

  • Think critically about academic writing in the discipline  

  • Read and analyze theory and empirical research in the discipline

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature search related to a focal topic and use it to develop potential exam questions

  • Show effective study and exam preparation skills for the culminating exam








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Class Meetings



Class meets Tues  5:00 - 7:50 p.m. Eureka Hall 313E 

Some of the course is conducted as independent study (Course will not meet every week). Please check the course schedule for activities and specific meeting times.

Instructor Office Hours: Mon: 10:30am – 12 :00 pm and 1:15-2:45 pm (or by appointment)

Instructor Contact: BRH 232;  278-4365 or









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Required Reading

Readings from the course are selected from a variety of texts on academic writing, effective essay writing, exam/study skills, and critical thinking and reading. Due dates and links to readings are provided on the course schedule.

Students are also responsible for material on the exam reading list, established by the departmental exam committee, from which exam questions will be drawn. Please see instructor for password for readings.











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All of the course assignments serve the purpose of preparing students to begin study for the comprehensive exam and enrollment in CHDV 505. More detailed handouts are available on by clicking the links below:

Attendance/participation in class discussions & activities. A good deal of the course is set up for peer discussion and feedback, practice exam questions, as well as the establishment of important peer support for studying for your exam. If you do not attend regularly, you will miss out on these important sessions! Please plan to attend…and to do the assigned reading/work. Failure to attend and participate in class sessions may result in having to repeat the course.

Response Papers/Practice Essays Short response papers and other written assignments are due throughout the semester. Handouts are linked to the course schedule.

Annotated bibliographies - Annotated bibliographies (lists of citations related to a topic followed by a brief descriptive paragraph) for (b) the focal topic and (b) each of the three sections of the exam list  are required. This bibliography is submitted with the Exam Petition.

Exam Petition - The petition, a summary of your proposed focal topic, study plan and related materials is reviewed and approved by the departmental exam committee prior to enrollment in CHDV 505. Two drafts of this petition are due during the semester. Petitions will be considered by the committee during November. Thus, final petitions must be submitted by November 19th. 









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Grades and Grading Policy

This course is graded on a credit/no credit basis. Each area of review (below) will be assigned an unsatisfactory, satisfactory or excellent “grade”. To receive credit for the course, you must demonstrate at least a satisfactory grade in each of the following areas:

  1. Attendance/Participation in class discussions (missing no more than one session)
  2. Response Papers/Written assignments related to exam preparation
  3. Annotated Bibliography for focal topic
  4. Exam Petition

In most cases, assignments deemed unsatisfactory can be resubmitted. Please note that incomplete grades are only given to students with special circumstances that prevent them from finishing the course, not for unsatisfactory work. Unsatisfactory work may result in the student needing to repeat the course. Missing more than two scheduled class sessions may result in an unsatisfactory grade for participation.











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Additional Policies

  • Students are expected to practice academic honesty in completing assignments  and cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Academic dishonesty may result in an ‘F’ for the assignment and/or the course. If you have any questions about this policy, please see the instructor. 

  • Out of respect for me and the other students in the course (who may be presenting material themselves), please refrain from distracting behavior such as tardiness, leaving early, cell phone use, or side conversations.

  • Incomplete ('I') grades are not assigned UNLESS there is a compelling reason to do so. An incomplete will be assigned ONLY with prior consultation and approval of instructor.

  • I wish to include persons with disability in this course.  Please let me know if there are any accommodations I can make in curriculum, instruction, or assessment to facilitate your full participation.





Send problems, comments or suggestions to: Updated: August 25, 2013

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