Skip to main contentSkip to footer

PSYCH 230 - Human Sexuality - Michelle LaBrie

Course:Human Sexuality
Professor:Michelle LaBrie
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


image of Human Sexuality textbook

Welcome to Human Sexuality! My name is Michelle LaBrie; I’ll be your instructor for the course, and I look forward to working with you.  I have been a full time faculty member since 2002 and I have taught full time in the psychology department since 2008. In addition to teaching Human Sexuality, I have taught several courses in the department including Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Psychology as a Major and a Profession. I was an academic counselor at COC for 10 years prior to transferring into the Psychology Department. I have taught in all modalities, including traditional on campus classes and I have taught 100% online courses since 2006. I also teach other faculty members how to teach online.

Please read this entire orientation letter for details about access the course, which textbook will be used, and the type of work required of the course.

Course Description

Psychology 230: Human Sexuality explores the psychological and physiological aspects of human sexuality, including social and biological foundations of sexuality, human anatomy, reproduction, birth process, sexual behavior and attitudes in contemporary society, historical views of sexuality, cross cultural views of sexuality, sexual dysfunction, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual problems and issues in our society. This course is 3 units; it is UC and CSU transferable and it applies to the Associate Degree. One must have completed Psych 101, Psych 101H (or the equivalent) with a grade of “C” or better.

Student Learning Outcome:

  • Compare and contrast the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings in human sexuality.

Please note: Subject matter discussed in this course is mature, sensitive and/or controversial in nature. Some topics in human sexuality including sexual anatomy, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, sexual behaviors, sexual orientation, sexual coercion/rape, child sexual abuse, paraphilias, domestic violence, prostitution and pornography may be objectionable to some students. Media, assignments and discussions utilized in the course may contain adult language for the purpose of instruction and/or case studies for the specific purpose of applying the academic theories and/or gain insight into current applications. Many of these topics are trigger topics for some students that could cause emotional discomfort. This should be considered prior to enrolling in this course. Continued enrollment in the course verifies your readiness to analyze and discuss these mature topics.

  • Throughout this term I ask that we maintain an open curiosity about human sexuality, an appreciation for the diversity of humanity, and an attitude of respect for ourselves and others.
  • In order to foster an emotionally and psychologically safe classroom environment, students are expected to maintain a respectful online classroom environment and refrain from making disrespectful and/or disparaging comments (operationally defined by the instructor) within the online classroom. Violations of the student conduct code will be pursued according to Section 5529 Student Conduct Code, upon the discretion of the instructor.


What to Expect in this Course

This is a 100% online course. There are no class meetings: face to face or online via Zoom. All course work will be administered online via the campus Learning Management system, Canvas. That means you can log onto Canvas when it is convenient for you to view the learning objectives, videos, video lectures and participate in the course at a time convenient for you, as long as you meet the deadline dates published in the course syllabus. The entire class moves through the course together at the same pace, so there are deadlines to keep all students moving at the same pace.

How is the course set up? 

The course is divided into 4 units made up of chapters, usually 4 or 5 chapters each.  Within each chapter, there are chapter assignments, chapter quizzes, lecture videos, some with quizzes attached to them, supplementary videos, lecture notes, group and or class discussions and reflections. At the completion of every unit, there is a unit exam.

All of the course content is located in the Modules. You will only be able to see what is relevant; I open and close modules as we move through the class. Future modules are locked so you cannot accidentally click on something and open it by mistake. 

Throughout the course you are asked to:

  • read the text Cooks, Baur & Widman. (2021). Our Sexuality, 14th Edition. Cengage Publishing. Print, e-book, pdf or loose leaf versions are acceptable and yes, you do need to purchase it or obtain consistent access to it
  • available in the COC Bookstore as well as other outlets. You may use a paper copy, or ebook or loose-leaf version of the text.  No additional access codes are needed.
  • watch my video lectures to supplement the text reading, just like if we were in class together.
  • participate in unit discussions and reply to other's responses to the material --engaging in lively conversation with each other (and me too, of course) about human sexuality and related topics.
  • visit websites and watch a lot of clips online and via you tube (could be fun...)
  • chapter quizzes online (open book, open notes, how bad could that be?)
  • take 4 unit exams (closed book, closed notes)

What you need in terms of technology

  • Access to Canvas.   Canvas is the Learning Management System COC uses. You will have access to Canvas as a registered student. There are no additional fees to access and use Canvas.
  • A reliable working computer and reliable internet access.
  • Microsoft Word (free to COC students - click here)
  • PDF reader (free to COC Students - click here)
  • YouTube

A special note regarding 100% online classes:  Online learning can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting adventure. It provides flexibility and an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of a college curriculum; however, you should be aware that self-discipline, self-motivation and attention to detail are required to complete the course successfully in this format. Students must be committed to meeting deadlines for reading and assignments in addition to participating in the virtual classroom.

Some students are under the impression that online classes are “easier” than on ground classes. This is not the case. Students who take the online version of this course believing that it will be easier than the face-to-face version tend to be surprised by the volume of written work required and the amount of reading for which they are held responsible. Consequently, some students that might be successful in a traditional face-to-face section are not successful in an online section and may ultimately have to repeat the class in an on-ground format in a later term. If you understand that this section is more challenging than the face-to-face version, are very disciplined and prepared to do the reading and writing required, then this online class may be for you. If you are not very disciplined, tend not to complete reading assignments in your courses, tend to miss deadlines, or simply have very little time to devote to school because of other obligations, then your chances for success in this online section are greatly reduced and you are urged to consider a face-to-face section with more in person interaction with your instructor or taking the course in a later term when you have greater time resources.

Types of Assessments

Chapter Assignments, Chapter Quizzes, Discussions and Reflective Writing Assignments,  Video Assessments, Exams

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

Cooks, Baur & Widman. (2021). Our Sexuality, 14th Edition. Cengage Publishing.

Print, e-book, pdf or loose leaf versions are acceptable. You do not need any access codes or Mind Tap. You could alternatively use the 13th edition of the text, Our Sexuality, by authors Crooks & Baur (Cengage), if it is easier to access. MOST of the material will be in there. Keep in mind that the 14th edition will have the most updated research and inclusive terminology and I will use the 14th edition for assessment (quizzes and exams). 

How do I obtain access to the text?

  • Borrow, purchase, rent, download --whatever works for you.
  • Available in the COC Bookstore  for purchase or rent.
  • If you have access to Cengage Unlimited because of another course (some math & science courses), you may be able to get the text within Cengage Unlimited
  • Cengage Publishing links 14th ed
  • Textbook rentals may be available through alternative sources.

Other Relevant Course Information

Course Availability
The course will be available on COC's Canvas system the first day of the term. On that date, you must login to Canvas to enter our classroom. On that date, please login to Canvas to enter our classroom. You may access Canvas from the College of the Canyons homepage, click on Canvas and follow the log in username and password instructions.

Confirm your presence in the online classroom:
Log in to the website and post to the "Roll Call" Discussion Board inside the online by a date specified in the announcements and in the course syllabus  to confirm your presence in the online classroom. Typically, this deadline is 24 hours after the course begins. Please consult the schedule of classes to determine the first day of the course. In a face to face class on the first day, the instructor calls the roster and each student who is present raises his/her hand and/or says "Here!" so the instructor knows that the student is present in the classroom. The "Roll Call" Discussion Board is our class Roll Call. Log into Canvas, enter the "Roll Call" Discussion Board, add a new thread and just type "here," "raises hand" or something to indicate that you have successfully logged into the online classroom and are present. Doing so will confirm your enrollment in the course and avoid being dropped as a "no show."  

In order to accommodate students on the waiting list, you may be dropped from the class if you do not log in and post to the "Roll Call" Discussion Board inside the online classroom by that date and time.   A student from the waiting list will then be added in your place. Please note: it is the student’s responsibility to drop and withdraw from the course after this point. If you no longer wish to continue in the course, please consult Admissions and Records for drop and withdrawal deadline dates and use the online registration system to withdraw. It is your responsibility to be accountable for your academic records. If you stop participating in the course after the withdrawal date, it may result in a final grade of “FW” or “Failure to Withdraw” on your transcript.

If the class is closed and you would like to add...
If you are on the official waiting list, the COC web registration system automatically adds students from the waiting list to the course until the first day of class. All wait-listed students will receive priority over those not wait-listed. If there is room in the course, I will add students based on their number on the waiting list. If you are on the waiting list, please send me an email indicating your interest in adding the course. If there is room in the course, I will email you a 4 digit add code that will allow you to add the class through the COC online registration system, “My Canyons.”  If you are on the waitlist and I do not receive an email from you within 48 hours of the course start date, I will conclude that you are no longer interested in the course and I will delete your name from the waiting list.  Keep in mind; if you add the class late, you will not be given additional time to complete assignments.

If you are not on the official wait list, I can consider adding you after any officially waitlisted students. Please send me an email indicating your interest; if there is room in the course after all of the waitlist students have been accommodated, I will send you an add code. 

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

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 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: 05/25/2021 Sub#: 29