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PSYCH-225 - Psychology of Learning and Behavior - Rebecca Shepherd

Course:Psychology of Learning and Behavior
Professor:Rebecca Shepherd
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Hi, my name is Rebecca Shepherd and I'm the instructor for this course.  I've been a full-time faculty member at College of the Canyons since 1996.  Prior to teaching here, I taught at University of Nebraska, Creighton University, Mira Costa College and Palomar College.  My research background is in physiological psychology (I studied New World monkeys), learning theory (I taught a course called "Rat Lab" and used learning principles in my research with primates), and positive psychology (I studied stereotype threat).  I will post more information about myself in our class introductory discussion, so there is time for you to get to know me and for me to get to know you.

I've taught this class in a face-to-face format and in a 100% online format, and realize that "one size does not fit all."  But, if you feel Zoomed out, and/or feel like the flexibility provided by a 100% online class might work for you, please keep reading... 

All work will be done online and there are no face-to-face or required Zoom classroom meetings.  This means the class is running in an asynchronous fashion--You can complete each assignment, discussion, quiz & exam from the comfort of wherever you are located, any time of day or night (no proctoring services required), but all assignments must be completed by the submission deadline to be eligible for credit. It also means that you are responsible for reading the assigned textbook pages, viewing suggested video clips and other study materials and practicing the material without class meetings to guide you. So while there is great flexibility (you don’t have to log into Zoom for our class meeting, only to roll over and go back to sleep), there is also great responsibility (you need to keep on top of the material, including reading assigned textbook pages) in this type of course.

Course Description

This course provides a basic introduction to behavioral psychology, covering such topics as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and behavior modification.  


Student Learning Outcome:

Upon successful completion of this course a student will be able to compare and contrast classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning and assess the role each plays in various behavior modification techniques. 

What to Expect in this Course

During a 15-week semester, this class will require approximately 8 - 10 hours per week of studying to complete the reading assignments and other work for this class. [During an 8- or 5-week condensed session (winter, summer), this class will require more studying each week, as we will be moving at 2 - 3 times the full semester pace.] Please note that this is just an “average.” Some of you will find you will need to study more than this to be successful and others of you will find that you can study less and still be successful.  

I have done my best to spread the material out across the session as much as possible, but we will be moving through the material quickly.  You should plan to log into the class on a regular basis a minimum of 3 days per week, and should be checking your COC email regularly, as well. You are always welcome to work ahead in the discussion posts and you can complete quizzes on whichever days they are available in your folder. A little bit of planning may allow you to navigate around dates that may be problematic.

Types of Assessments

Assessments in this course include: chapter assignments, chapter quizzes, several discussion board assignments, and 4 unit exams. Each unit exam typically consists of multiple-choice and/or true-false questions covering 2-4 chapters.

All assessments can be completed from the comfort of your own home. Proctoring services are not required for any of the assessments this semester.

Textbook Information

Required Materials:

Mazur, J. E. (2017). "Learning and Behavior, 8th Edition." Routledge/ISBN 9781138689947

Computer with reliable internet access is also required.

The required textbook is available for purchase at the COC Bookstore.   

Other Relevant Course Information

I look forward to working with you this semester!

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/18/2021 Sub#: 885