Syllabus for Psych 409a (WI)  Fall  2003  G19

Instructor:  Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology, University of Hawaii  Gartley 213A
Telephone contact and messages (call during normal office hours): 261-2382   
e-mail:  Walk in office hours: Before and after classes (M, T, R)

Course Description:  Driving Psychology
Focusing on the component skills of driving behavior and their developmental stages, including adaptive techniques that are effective and successful for driver self-improvement. Students publish their reports on the Web, give oral presentations in class, and participate in an online class forum discussion on various research topics. Includes computer lab where students can do their Web work and can receive help in Web publishing. This is a WI course and requires more writing than the average class. Students will publish a minimum of three reports and will make the requested changes when the instructor reads the drafts. Students also read each other's reports online and make appropriate suggestions.

Required textbook:  Leon James and Diane Nahl (2000), Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (Prometheus Books: Amherst, N.Y.)


15 points

Two class oral presentations

5  points

Participation in class discussions

20 points

Timely participation in the WebCT electronic discussions -- 2 per week, every week -- 26 messages to be written, each based on weekly research (totaling approximately 13 typed pages).

60 points

Appearance, content, and quality of your Web site containing your Home Page and  three required reports totaling approximately 30 typed pages (20 points for each report).

A+ =95 points; A =94-90; A- =89-85; B+ =84-80; B =79-75; B- =74-70; C+ =69-65; C=64-60; C- =59-55;  D=54-50; F=49-0

Attendance is taken at the start of each class. Absence Penalty: - 3 points per absence regardless of the reason. Also: - 1 point for entering late (after class starts). It is your responsibility to talk to the instructor after class to change your "absence" penalty to the "late" penalty.  Late Work Penalty: - 1  point per day late (maximum=10 points).   See Due Dates on the Web at:  Note that opportunities are given to earn extra points for making up penalties to some extent.

Grading Policy:    (1) The grade of A cannot be earned unless you submit all work on time and show evidence of having gone beyond the instructions in a creative way. To receive a passing grade in this course you must submit all required work.  

(2) If technical reasons prevent you from uploading any required work, you must submit on time a printed version of it to the instructor.  Always keep a back up copy of your files on a separate disk besides your hard drive.  

(3) You can apply for re-grading only during the last week of classes. Send request to Dr. James by email. To be valid, your request must indicate: (a) your first and last Name, and the Pseudonym on your reports, if any; (b) class (409a, 409b, 459); (c) which report(s) you are requesting for re-grading; (d) prior grade (points) for each report being re-graded; (e) list or describe what significant improvements you've made.

(4) For publishing your work on the Web, you are allowed to use a Pseudonym that is registered with the Instructor by email, instead of your real name. Also, you can delete your own published files during the semester, or request they be removed from the Web after the semester, and at any other time in the future (just email the instructor:

(5) If you take more than one course with Dr. James, either in the same or a prior semester, you must modify the three reports so that you do not repeat the same work twice. Please consult with the instructor in class when planning the alternative. See these alternatives listed on the G12 class Home Page:

You must obtain agreement from the instructor for all three modifications you propose.

Class Structure: Every class is made up of three portions. First Portion: instructor answers your questions about doing the reports, and lectures on the topics of research. Second Portion: a student gives the scheduled oral presentation, and class discussion follows. Third Portion: Lab work in Saunders 635, reserved for this class from 2:30 to 3:30.

Computer Lab:  Times when the computer lab is reserved for this class: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 2:30 to 3:30 Saunders 635.  A personal password is needed to access lab computers.  You must register as a Lab User during the first two weeks of the semester at:    (Note that there is an underscore in the address between lab and user).

The G19 Class Home Web Page to access all course information is at:

The Instructor's Home page is at: