Industrial/Organizational Behavior

Course Objectives/Description

This course offers a broad description and examination of the psychology of behavior at work, including the major theories, their applications in the work place, and research investigations of both. The course will examine job analysis, employee selection, employee training, the performance appraisal process, worker motivation, job satisfaction, worker stress, groups and teams, leadership, and human factors. A thorough understanding of social scientific research methods and current psychological research findings are emphasized.

This course requires a service-learning activity. Service-learning is an educational philosophy whose goal is to enhance student learning in a more profound and lasting way by having students engage in experiential learning in a real world context.

Other notable goals of service-learning include:

  • Service-learning takes place in the context of charitable community development work or a social change project.
  • Service-learning benefits the community and is directly linked to course curriculum, content, and goals, and it entails ongoing self reflection exercises through which students:
  • Reflect on the social context of the learning process
  • Analyze their own relationships to other people and the world
  • Challenge their own assumptions about social problems and issues
  • Cultivate a more committed sense of civic responsibility and ethical sense of personal agency.
  • This course emphasizes critical thinking and inquiry
  • Students who successfully complete all core requirements will have a solid understanding of the issues related to human behavior in the workplace, and the impact of organizations on work life. You will understand how individuals are assessed in organizations, trained, and how their behavior is analyzed. You will learn how to employ the tools associated with successful individual and organizational assessment, from the perspective of psychologists working in/for an organization.

The course is currently structures so you will be involved with Plant City High School (or other approved non-profit entity). You will engage in individual and organizational assessment to help students in the lower 25 percentile on standardized reading assessments to improve their scores. There are three components to this activity.

  • Individual Analysis: Utilize focus groups and individual interviews to determine motivational status of each student.
  • Organizational Analysis: Evaluate and assess organizational factors that enable or inhibit reading teachers from utilizing on-going testing feedback scores to target student improvement.
  • Propose an organizational learning intervention to address the individual and organizational analysis findings from steps one and two.

PREREQUISITE: Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 2012), Psychological Statistics (PSY 3204), Research Methods (PSY 3213)

REQUIRED TEXT
Spector, P. E. (2009). Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Behavior (5th edition). Wiley.

REQUIRED SOFTWARE
Elluminate Live! This is accessed through Backboard under communications.
Information regarding this software is available at the following web site:
http://www.elluminate.com/support/

All assignments must be uploaded via Blackboard AND a hard copy turned in by the beginning of class.

Follow instructions to test your access in Blackboard prior to the second class.

See the Elluminate live! web site for information and documentation.

Useful websites for the course material:
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: http://www.siop.org/
Training and Development: http://www.astd.org/
Occupational Information Network: http://online.onetcenter.org/

About this Course

The course consists of fully integrated parts: independent study, quizzes, lecture, exercises/projects, and exams. Please complete the assigned readings and obtain any relevant materials from the class web site prior to lectures and/or meetings as appropriate. If you are late or fail to attend a lecture you will not be able to make up a missed quiz or exercise. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy. Grades will be based on unit examinations, reciprocal peer tutoring exercises, and out of class quizzes posted on Blackboard. Missing a lecture may prevent you from adequately learning material that will prepare you for taking unit exams. YOU are responsible for obtaining all materials and information presented during any class meeting for which you are not in attendance.

  • Attendance is required for lectures and reciprocal peer tutoring. Failure to attend any meeting will incur substantial penalties.
  • Cell phones may not be used during class (e.g., no texting).
  • Lap top computers may not be used during class.
  • Quizzes posted on Blackboard are due according to the schedule posted on the class calendar. Quizzes are timed and you have one attempt. Select a secure connection because once you start a quiz it must be completed. If your connection drops and you fail to complete the quiz, you will receive a zero for that quiz. The only exception to this is if you provide to me a note from academic computing stating there was an unplanned network outage.
  • Do not contact academic computing and ask them to reset your quiz. They cannot reset a quiz, only I can and the only justification I will accept is a network outage impacting Blackboard.
  • Recordings of any type (e.g., audio, video, photographic) during class are prohibited. If you make a recording of any type you will be referred to the USF Counsel General.
  • Recordings that accommodate individual student needs must be approved in advance and may be used for personal use during the semester only; redistribution is prohibited. You must provide me a written note from the Office of Academic Support and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities approving and describing the type of accommodation.

Grading

Let me be very clear on grading. You start the class with zero points and must earn points to achieve a grade other than F.
Points are earned by taking: 1) Service-learning activities, 2) class exercises, and 3) quizzes on BlackBoard. It is important that you take all quizzes and complete all exercises.

When the class is over do not ask me if there is anything you can do to impact your grade. The answer is ‘NO’!

Attendance/Discussion Points: Attendance is mandatory as is participation in class discussions.

Make-up quizzes will NOT be given. If you are late for class in which a quiz has been given, you will receive a zero for that quiz or exam. Do NOT miss a quiz; if you do you will receive zero points for that quiz. Attendance is required and I reserve the right to shade your grade up or down depending on your contributions to class.

Service-learning

  • This course requires you to spend time outside of class conducting I/O field research in the context of service-learning with a locally operating nonprofit organization concerned with issues related to industrial/organizational psychology.
  • An arrangement currently exists with Plant City High School in Plant City for you to perform your service-learning. If this is impossible for you, contact me by the end of the first class to determine if another site is suitable.
  • 15 service-learning hours are required during the semester. A suggested distribution is provided on the course calendar (below).
  • Service-learning hours will be logged in Blackboard on a weekly basis. Each hour is worth 10 points for a total of 150 points (10% of your final grade).

I/O Fieldwork Journal Blog

  • The purpose of the fieldwork journal blogs are for you to demonstrate how specific topics, issues, and aspects of industrial/organizational psychology that you learn about through service-learning can be understood psychologically by applying some aspect of relevant industrial/organizational psychological knowledge, construct, theory, or method you learned about through course content and readings.
  • For the field work journal blogs you will
    • Record descriptive observations about the individual and organizational context in which you conduct your service-learning and research
    • You will write critical reflections about what you learn through interviews, focus observations, and training
    • Analyze the connections between what you learned during your field work activities and the weekly topics and assigned readings.
  • Each student will submit 15 blogs during the semester. Blog entries are worth 20 points each, and are 30% of your final grade.

Deliverable to the Community Partner

  • At the conclusion of your community based research project, your community partner will be expecting you to deliver a final product (or “deliverable”).
  • Around the fourth week of your service-learning you should negotiate with your community partner about what you deliverable will be.
  • Agree to a deliverable that is realistic and actually doable within a three month time span. Do not be overly ambitious and do not promise to ‘save their world’. If you work as a student group, you should be able to offer more than if you were working as an individual.
  • Your deliverable may take a number of different forms or formats. For example, it may be an action plan, or require that your community partner continue some aspects of the project beyond the end of the semester. I will provide guidance on community partner deliverables throughout the semester.

Course Reflections Final Essay

  • The final exam for this course is a self-reflection essay (4-5 double-spaced pages or 1000-1250 words)
  • The objective of the final reflective essay are for you to review, summarize, and reflect on what you have learned about industrial/organizational psychology during the course of the semester by doing service-learning based field research.
  • The final essay is therefor part course summary and part critical reflection, and its purpose is twofold:
    • It allows you to demonstrate that you comprehend the ‘big picture’ regarding industrial/organizational psychology and how it can be used to help both individuals and organizations.
    • It allows you to demonstrate that you can critically reflect on the significance of the contexts and processes involved in your own experiential learning.
  • The course reflections final essay should include a short synopsis of the research findings from your service-learning fieldwork project and explain how what you learned though this course helped you arrive at those results and conclusions.

Reciprocal Peer Tutoring

You will be randomly assigned to work with another student throughout the term. There is to be no changing of partners. Before each exam you will meet, inside and outside of class, and complete certain structured assignments. There are four components to this process.

  • Prior to each exam each student must prepare a multiple-choice “practice” exam of 30 items total. You should select an equal number from each chapter based on the information covered in the chapters for that exam. These items must be original; they cannot be taken from the chapter quizzes you will be taking on Blackboard. The exam is administered to your partner during a reciprocal peer tutoring meeting. Each student must also prepare an answer sheet with the right answer for each test item, along with a brief explanation of why the answer is correct. You will meet, take each other’s exams, and review and discuss the correct responses.
  • Each student provides a brief constructive “critique” of your partner’s exam (confusing items? Too difficult? Etc.).
  • All of these materials-completed practice exams, answer sheets, and test critiques – are to be submitted to me in hard copy and also are to be uploaded to Blackboard. Clearly identify and label the sections as follows:
    • Multiple choice questions
    • Answers to multiple choice questions
    • Critique/Feedback to your peer on his/her test

These are due no later than the start of class on the day indicated on the schedule. Failure to turn in these exercises on time will result in a zero.

  • You are to turn in a printed copy to me in class AND upload it to Blackboard.
  • Be sure to keep copies of all assignments to guard against loss.
  • DO NOT email them to me or place assignments or projects in my mailbox as they will not be accepted.

Grading
The I-grade policy prohibits the assignment of an “incomplete” unless the student is passing the class and has only a small portion of the work to complete. University policies for “I” grades are clear. I can only grant “I” grades that meet the criteria.

This course uses the plus/minus grading policy. Course grades, at a minimum, will be determined as indicated in the table below.

PERCENTAGE LETTER GRADE
97 to 100 A+
94 to 97 A
90 to 94 A-
87 to 90 B+
84 to 87 B
80 to 84 B-
77 to 80 C+
74 to 77 C
70 to 74 C-
67 to 70 D+
64 to 67 D
60 to 64 D-
0 to 60 F

To avoid any omissions, the upper limit of a range must be equal to the lower limit of the range directly above. Thus a range of 87 to 90 includes all grades up to, but not including 90. The highest range, however, includes 100%.

Extra credit points earned during class will be added to the next exam score PRIOR to the score being posted on Blackboard. The score you see on Blackboard includes your test score AND earned extra credit points.

Course Point Allocation Scheme:

Points, Activity, Percent of final grade
150, Attendance and participation, 10
400, Blackboard quizzes, 20
200, Reciprocal Peer Tutoring, 10
150, Service-learning hours, 10
300, Fieldwork Journal blog, 30
250, Deliverable to Community Partner, 10
100, Course reflections final essay, 10

1550 points total 100 Percent

 

School: University of South Florida
Professor: Michael D. Coovert, Ph.D.
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