GCC responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak. GCC has moved to remote online instruction.

Nouha Hallak

Psychology Online Instructor

Fall 2018 Online – Second 8 Week Session

Welcome to Psychology 101

Dear Students, 

I am excited to meet you and look forward to our time together. Below you will find information concerning an overview of psychology, the design and structure of the class, as well as helpful resource links that I am sure will come in handy as you progress towards taking your education online into a virtual space. The information provided is designed to enhance your Distance Education (DE) experience. Be sure to review in detail, and as often as needed. 

Students should be prepared for rigorous study, participation and to learn tons! Psychology 101 is considered a survey class, meaning we will cover many different topics and sub-fields, and because this class is just 8 weeks long we will cover roughly 2-3 chapters a week. Buckle-up and hold-on to your seat. It will fun, but fast! 

Take note: DE courses typically provide students with a fair amount of flexibility but are often more demanding than traditional face-to-face courses. Students must budget their time, plan accordingly, and follow due dates closely.

The Study of Psychology  

Simply put, psychology is the study of brain and behavior. However, the study of psychology is an empirically relevant science, guided by theories and investigations aiding to describe and predict future behavior (outcomes). The psychology disciplines are multifaceted, interweaved sub-disciplines that help us to understand humans wholly. In nearly all cases, our actions can be explained using the discipline of psychology.

The way in which we go about our daily lives, that is, our thinking, our behaviors and our reactions to ourselves and to others, are based in science. Studying the lives of people helps us to understand the nature of humans, and all the variables that play into it, such as genes, neurotransmitters, hormones, thinking, memory, information processing, environment, experience and so much more! 

If you are considering a degree or career in psychology or are taking this course to satisfy a university transfer requirement I will wager that you will come to find that psychology MATTERS in nearly every avenue of human existence. It matters in that with the science of psychology we are better equip to understand ourselves and others. 

Outside of being a rigorous science, psychology can be seen as simply human beings that are biologically motivated and environmentally development, inward and outward expressions of life’s experiences and the outcomes and consequences created by them.  

Course Design and Structure 

  1. Course Design: This is a fully online class. We will not meet in person. You will be able to access course material 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students are expected to budget their time in a way that provides them time to read textbook chapters, complete assignments, write and respond to online post and more! Although, you’ll work primarily from the privacy of your home (or your favorite coffee spot) you are not alone, and are supported by me, and your fellow online classmates. There are roughly 40 students taking this class with you, and I am always just a message/email away. 

  2. Read the Welcome Letter and Take the Quiz: Once the semester begins students will receive a ‘Welcome Letter’ from me that will be sent to your GCC email. This letter is packed with information regarding the syllabus, course requirements, such as Canvas access, textbook information, and drop deadlines. There will be a short quiz concerning course design that students must take. Students who fail to take the quiz by the due date will be dropped from the class and will NOT be reinstated. DE courses in psychology typically fill up fast, and are often heavily waitlisted; thus, students are lined up and ready to take the first available spot. 

  3. Course Learning Environment: Taking online / DE courses insist that you quickly learn the use of technology designated for online courses. Students who are lacking in this area easily fall behind. Do not let that be you. Seek help from GCC’s student resources asap (links listed below).  

DE is describe as having both Asynchronous and Synchronous structure

: Segments of the course complete alone, any time prior to the due date deadline, which may include mandatory discussion posts, reading, viewing of videos, assignments or exams. Really all the work that goes into earning a letter grade. 

Synchronous: Live and real time, online class meeting times when attendance and participation by all students are mandatory. Real time class meetings may include communicating with me and fellow class mates through Canvas Live Chat classroom. The weekly mandatory live chat schedule will be announced during Week 1 of class.

Student Resources:

GCC hybrid and fully online courses: Information on Distance Education

Canvas Student Tour (video tutorials): 

Canvas Student Guide (how to guides): 

California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative: Online Student Readiness Tutorials

Any Questions?  Please contact me at


Nouha Hallak
Distance Education Faculty
Social Sciences Division