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Psychology Dept | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7804 Human Development: Assignments & Rubrics

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7804 course.

Readings, Self-Reflection, & Website Activities

This website is a critical part of this course, both as a learning platform and as the site to obtain the readings, videos, and course information (both included and not included in the syllabus). Students are expected to engage in a multi-level process of critical self-reflection, an important component of multicultural competence and cultural humility development. Each session link is filled with resources, and students are encouraged to preview the class material prior to each session and then review the material after each class. The learning process is cumulative, with each session integrating the content from earlier sessions. The readings are posted in the Bibliography section but also linked in each class session. Quiz questions are generated from the content of the assigned readings posted on this website. The website is intended to optimize the learning process, and the instructor looks forward to your feedback.

Class Attendance and Participation

Students are required to keep up to date on class readings and assignments, and to be active team members. If students miss a class, they miss whatever their team did. The team process is critical to learning, and the content of each session will be reflected on the midterm and final exams. Most teams, in real life and here, will forgive a single absence for which students have a good reason, and be less forgiving of multiple or casual absences. More than one absence and/or tardiness will affect the course grade (two points per absence and one point for lateness). Attendance is taken at the beginning of class and it is expected that all students will be present at the start of class.  Brooklyn College abides to the state law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs. If you are unable to attend class for religious reasons, please notify the professor in advance to make the necessary arrangements.

Midterm & Final Participation Self-Assessment: Twice during the semester, at the midpoint and at the end, students assess their level of class participation using the following Class Participation Rubric. Students evaluate their own level of participation and award points out of 100 using the criteria described below. This will be completed using a google form; the link to the form is posted on Blackboard in the Assignments link.

Ultimately, it is the instructor’s evaluation that is used for grade purposes; but the self-assessment is an integral component that potentially maximizes the level of participation and performance outcomes.

Class Participation Evaluation


Consistently raises or facilitates discussion with peers (in every class meeting). Engages in integrative and higher order thinking in relation to the readings (e.g., integrates two or more pieces of information in the readings, integrates experience with readings, poses hypotheticals for the group based on readings). 


Respectful attention to others’ contributions; periodically (at least every other class meeting) shares comments on at least one topic discussed in readings and demonstrates understanding and relevance to classroom discussion. 


Consistently present in class; attends and responds to others’ contributions at personal level of experience but does not participate in classroom discussions.


Consistently present in class; makes no contribution to discussion; unresponsive to or argumentative with others.

Less than 45

Quizzes & Final Exam

There are weekly quizzes, consisting of 5 multiple-choice questions on the major concepts of the assigned readings. The lowest two quiz scores will be dropped; there are no make-ups for missed quizzes.

There will be a final exam consisting of a case conceptualization where students will analyze the case and integrate what they have learned in the course, using several theories. Students will also consider potential recommendations for possible interventions and/or school counseling activities.

Annotated Bibliography

Students will prepare an annotated bibliography on a chosen developmental disability. Students will use the PsycArticles database and Google Scholar to conduct a search for articles on their topic and create an annotated bibliography of at least 5 journal articles published from 2015 to 2023 that relate to how development occurs in the disability they have chosen. Students will also write a short essay (2-3 pages, typed and double-spaced) that integrates their findings and summarizes how development unfolds in the disability chosen, including but not limited to cognitive development, social-emotional development, and attachment. Submitted papers must include the first page of all the articles in their PDF version. It includes the title, author and abstract. References and citations should follow APA format. (The following CACREP standards are being assessed in this assignment: Human Growth and Development.)
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150-250 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research. First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
Cite the book, article, or document using APA style. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.
Students should review the rubric that will be used for grading.
Late submission will be penalized with a two-point/day deduction.

Final Project: My Personal Development

This project is a culminating activity for the course.  The purpose of this exercise is to ask you to consider your development and life history.  How would you describe your early years?  How have the theories studied helped you understand your own development?  Where are you are now in your life?  How does your family and cultural history relate to these issues?  This project entails integrating the readings and class discussions as well as undergoing a process of critical self-reflection. Review the rubric form for further elaboration on scoring criteria.  The typed, double-spaced paper should consist of the following sections:

Final Project: My Personal Development 

  1. Developmental History
    • Prenatal Development
    • Early Childhood (Prenatal-Birth-Infancy-Toddler and Preschool Years)
    • Middle Childhood & Adolescence
    • Young adulthood to present
    • Discussion: How these factors/events influenced my life?
  2. Contexts, culture, and environment
    • Time line of important life events
    • Family history and description (Characteristics and important events; Description of family interactions and communication patterns)
    • Ethnic and cultural background
    • Gender and sexual identity
    • Discussion: How these factors/events influenced my life?
  3. Great debates: Discuss how your own development influences your view and understanding of:
    • Nature vs. Nurture
    • Discontinuity vs. Continuity
    • Neuroplasticity and Critical/Sensitive Periods 
    • Universality vs. Cultural Relativism
  4. Conclusions: Share your final thoughts/insights regarding this assignment and the class in general.  How did this course influence your view/knowledge about your own development? How has learning about your own development influenced your development as a counselor? How has this course influenced your views/approach towards individual differences, diversity issues, special concerns, or special populations?  What theories of development appeal to you? What type of professional curriculum for further learning do you see for yourself in the future?

Late submission will be penalized with a two-point/day deduction. Note: In the Course Outline there are self-reflection prompts. These serve to facilitate the process of reflecting on the course material and integrating it for this paper.