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The assignments in this course are openly licensed, and are available as-is, or can be modified to suit your students’ needs. Selected answer keys are available to faculty who adopt Waymaker, OHM, or Candela courses with paid support from Lumen Learning. This approach helps us protect the academic integrity of these materials by ensuring they are shared only with authorized and institution-affiliated faculty and staff.

If you import this course into your learning management system (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.), the assignment will automatically be loaded into the assignment tool, where they may be adjusted, or edited there.

The assignment and discussion explanations are linked out to Google docs, so that they can be easily adjusted and customized for your own personal use. Assignments also come with rubrics and pre-assigned point values that may easily be edited or removed. Some of the discussions and assignments are larger, more time-consuming projects, so we recommend carefully reviewing them and including only the pieces that work well for your course. To do this, we recommend that you:

  1. Review the discussion and assignment instructions contained within the google doc.
  2. Make a copy of the google doc to make any personal edits or changes. Note that if you do make changes, you’ll want to replace the URL in the assignment page with the URL to your edited version.
  3. If you’d prefer, paste your specific instructions and rubric directly inside of your discussion or assignment page within the LMS (so that it no longer links out to the google doc.)

Note that each module contains at least one discussion and one assignment, with the discussion encouraging reflection and engagement with classmates about the material, and the assignment consisting of a somewhat larger task that has students create a product related to the content. Note that oftentimes the “assignments” are also housed inside of discussion forums so that students can share their finished products with their classmates. Because of this, you may want to select the option inside of your discussion forum to prevent students from seeing responses from others until they have first submitted their own.

Module Discussion  Assignment 
Module 1: Understanding Abnormal Behavior Discussion: Mental Health and Perception

Discuss and reflect upon the module content, focusing on the aspects of mental health disabilities and the treatment of them.

Discussion: Media, Myths, and Mental Health Facts Assignment

Choose a movie, recent news story, or media source that showcases a person (real or fictional) with a mental health condition. Consider what may or may not be accurate about how the condition is addressed and explained. Design an infographic depicting myth vs. reality for the mental health issue at hand.

Module 2: Research and Ethics in Abnormal Psychology Discussion: Spotting Researcher Bias

Find a research study on a mental health disorder via the NIMH or NLM database. Examine the study for any biases, looking closely at the limitations, conflicts of interest, and sources used/cited in the reference section, then write a brief description about the findings found.

Discussion: Research and Ethics in Abnormal Psychology Assignment

Choose a controversial treatment method to investigate and create a powerpoint video presentation discussing the method, why it’s controversial, how it matches (or does not match up) with APA general principles, and the ethical implications.

Module 3: Psychological Approaches and Treatment of Abnormal Behavior Discussion: Cultural Competence

Review information on cultural competence. Research a specific population and reflect on how to avoid bias.

Discussion: Fictional Character and Models of Abnormality Assignment

Select a fictional character who appears to have a mental health disorder. Describe that disorder through the lens of the biological model, psychoanalytic model, humanistic model, and behavioral model. Integrate two scholarly, peer-reviewed references.

Module 4: Anxiety Disorders Discussion: Childhood Anxiety

Watch the Ted talk, “How to raise kids who can overcome anxiety” about anxiety in childhood and consider the perspective of the psychologist Dr. Anne Marie Albano in approaching and treating childhood anxiety. Then create a simple “case study” about an anxiety disorder and share reflections from the Ted talk.

Discussion: Anxiety Disorders Infographic Assignment

Learn about what OER is, and create a short infographic/flyer about one of the anxiety disorders.

Module 5: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Stressor Related Disorders Discussion: OCD Podcast Reflection

Visit the OCD Stories website and reflect on the described experiences of someone living with OCD.

Discussion: Hoarders Assignment

Watch and discuss an episode of Hoarders.

Module 6: Somatic Symptom Disorders and Dissociative Disorders Discussion: Somatic Symptom Disorders and Dissociative Disorders Diagnosis

Imagine that a friend has been diagnosed with a dissociative disorder or a somatic symptom disorder. They have asked for help explaining the diagnosis to their family.

Discussion: Film Critic Assignment

Choose a film that depicts a character suffering from a dissociative disorder or somatic symptom and related disorder. Watch the film of your choosing and provide a short synopsis of what the film was about, how the character met criteria for their diagnosis, whether you believe the film accurately portrayed the character’s mental illness or not, and if you would recommend this film to others learning about psychological disorders. Create a YouTube video reviewing the film based on the criteria.

Module 7: Mood Disorders Discussion: Depression and Gender

Students find a NIMH or other article about depression and gender, then discuss.

Discussion: Peripartum Onset Depression Assignment

Option 1: Create a poster or infographic that addresses signs, symptoms, and treatment related to peripartum depression, after watching a TED talk and doing some research about it.

Discussion: Subtypes of Depression Interactive Assignment

Option 2: Pick at least two subtypes of depression and create an H5P interactive about them.

Module 8: Eating and Sleep Disorders Discussion: Eating Disorders Clinic

Look up and learn about treatments at a local eating disorder clinic.

Discussion: Eating Disorders Video Assignment

Use Animoto, Powtoon, or another similar program to create a short video about a lesser-known eating disorder.

Module 9: Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders Discussion: Addiction Treatment Program

Use Bronfenbrenner’s model to develop a community program to prevent and treat drug abuse. Review the NIH website regarding principles of addiction treatment and evidence-based practices.

Discussion: Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders Assignment

Create a public service announcement about an addictive substance.

Module 10: Sexual Deviations and Dysfunctions Discussion: Ted Talk on Sexual Deviations and Dysfunctions

Watch and discuss a TED Talk related to sexual deviance or dysfunction.

Assignment: Gender Dysphoria in the News

Find a popular news article from the past five years that addresses the topic of gender dysphoria. Consider the accuracy and thoroughness of the news article in comparison to the diagnostic criteria.

Module 11: Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders Discussion: Schizophrenia and Social Lives

Read an article about “Dating with Schizophrenia” and post a reflection about schizophrenia and stigma.

Discussion: Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia Assignment

Create a brochure about the myths and facts about schizophrenia.

Module 12: Personality Disorders Discussion: Personality Disorders and Abnormal Personality Traits

Discuss potential benefits and strengths of maladaptive traits associated with personality disorder, after watching Ted talk by Paul Fiann.

Discussion: Personality Disorder Video Assignment

Choose one of the 10 personality disorders currently in the DSM and create a video between 1-2 minutes in length demonstrating how the symptoms may appear for a person with that diagnosis.

Module 13: Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence Discussion: Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Research one disorder of childhood from a specified list. Summarize the disorder. Review information regarding the correlation between youth mental health and juvenile justice. Reflect on the relationship.

Assignment: Treating Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Find a research article about treatment for a neurodevelopmental disorder. Summarize the article, the disorder, and the efficacy of treatment options.

Module 14: Neurocognitive Disorders Discussion: Aging and Memory

Watch a clip about Clive Wearing and reflect on memory loss and cognitive decline.

Assignment: The Mini-Cog

Learn about the Mini-Cog and reflect on the experience of administering the test to two people.