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Stress Management --Online

18PRFS502707 / 18PRFS502705
Instructor:  Dr. Walter S. Griesinger ("Dr. G."), Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Dept. Secretary: 
Office  526 Teachers College  Telephone (513) 556-3873  Fax (513) 556-2483

NOTE: If possible, please limit phone usage to informing messages you want to leave me or concerning information or immediate needs that can be answered during "office time." Use e-mail when explanations or replies are requested during "non-office times."  

Textbook (required): Charlesworth, E.A. and Nathan, R.G. Stress Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Wellness.  Ballantine Books, 2004.  ISBN 0-345-46891-0

Virtual Classroom: 

Petitions: I will not sign any petitions for Section 707.  Under certain circumstances I may sign petitions for Section 705 (fee-based section).

Changing Course Sections: Prior to the beginning of the quarter you may "switch" from Section 705 to 707. Once the quarter begins, in fairness to others, you may not change your course section from the fee-based to the other section for any reason


Course Description

This concentrated, 8-week, online, dual-listed (undergraduate/graduate) project-based course is designed to simulate a problem-solving approach to stress management. Students will examine the entire field of stress management:  stress theories concerning etiology, personality, and disease; stress patterns in work and other environments; and the physical and mental responses associated with stress. In addition, students will be evaluating personal stressors and be introduced to specific intervention strategies such as time management, exercise, relaxation training, diet management, and cognitive restructuring.  Using the overall knowledge mentioned above, as well as knowledge about the intervention strategies, each student will be designing, practicing, and evaluating their personalized stress management strategy.

This course may differ from many courses you may have taken in that the emphasis is, not only on content, but also on process, i.e. how the subject is approached. In this course you will focus on problem-based, active learning and on development of critical thinking and communication skills. The assignments are geared to develop these skill areas.

Course Objectives

Students will:

1. Evaluate their personal stressors and coping strategies
2. Research stress theories and the stress process 
3. Evaluate stress authorities for authenticity
4. Research information on stress management techniques
5. Design your stress management program using appropriate techniques and plan for obstacles to practicing stress management
6. Practice your stress management program
7. Evaluate your stress management program

Attendance/Contact Policy

Attendance in this class is as important as it would be if you were attending on campus. You should be logging in to Blackboard at least 6 days out of every week. You must contact Dr. G. once a week by either submitting an assignment OR directly by email. Failure turn in assignments or contact Dr. G. by email will result in a "W" (withdrawal) if a withdrawal slip is signed before the deadline or an "F" if after the deadline or if no withdrawal slip at all, regardless of reason. It is your responsibility to have a CONTACT notify  Dr. G. using their email in the case of unexpected emergencies.  This individual is to regularly keep Dr. G. updated as to progress .

Repeated "Noncontact":  There are times when Dr. G. will request a reply to his email from individuals.  This may be occasioned by late work, revision of an assignment, lack of contact with him, etc..  In these cases you will be asked to reply, turn in an assignment, etc. by a certain date.  If no reply is forthcoming from you on that certain date, the Assistant Academic Director of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) will withdraw you automatically.  THIS IS NOT DONE ROUTINELY, but in some past cases, became necessary.  You will be given ample warning through email.

Note that technical difficulties do not excuse the student from the responsibility of participation and other assigned work!  You are responsible for maintaining your access to the internet and email.  Points will be deducted on a daily basis for not setting up a usable email account and maintaining it.

Assignment Policy

1. You may turn in any assignment earlier than the due date. ANY ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED LATE WILL RESULT IN A point deduction. Most assignments will have additional points deducted if more than two days late. (See "Assignments Checklist" in Blackboard)... Assignments will not be accepted for credit and will be removed ONE WEEK after due dates.

Unfortunately, since you are doing a lot of research on the subject, your work must be turned in on time. If you are two assignments, including DBs, tests, etc. behind, it is suggested that you withdraw from the course, regardless of excuse.  Failure to do so may result in a final grade of "F." Generally, you must withdraw before the Drop Deadline for a "withdrawal passing." 

2. Since Assignments may be submitted earlier than the deadline, technical difficulties do not excuse you from the responsibility of submitting them on time. As in most online courses, technical difficulties do not excuse one from the responsibility of participation and other assigned work.

3. Some assignments will be completed on the Discussion Board and others through email (or Digital Drop Box if directed). See the directions for each in "Blackboard." . If I cant' read your submission or there is a mistake in uploading to Drop Box, I will notify you by email and you must resubmit within ONE DAY from my sending the email, letting me know by email that you have resubmitted.  If you do this, it will not be counted as late unless done repeatedly.

4. LATE ASSIGNMENTS are those submitted after the specified time of the specific due date. 

5. Your assignments will be typed using the word processing program Microsoft Word (*.doc) OR saved in Rich Text Format (*.rft). If you do not have this program, you can obtain it by purchasing MS Office at the U.C. Bookstore. In a special arrangement with Micosoft, you will obtain a software program that could cost you hundreds of dollars for only $7.50!

6. Put your name and the assignment in the upper-left hand corner of each page of the written assignment (e.g. Bill Smith ASC).

7. RETENTION OF WORK: All tests, assignments, exercises, reports, etc. will be kept by your professor. You will receive notification of the quality of work on most of the assignments. You have WITHIN ONE WEEK of the class's receiving the grade to review each assignment.

8. Assignment Revisions:  Revisions or rewriting of the the whole assignment or parts of it may be required by Dr. G..  The most common instances include:

a. If the original submission is done extremely poorly. 

b. If major sections of the assignment were omitted.

If a revision is required, Dr. G. will post "revise" in the Grade Post in the place of a grade for that assignment.  In this case, you revision will be graded on the "+2 day late" scale and MUST be resubmitted within 2 days of the posted notification.

9. "Extra" points:  These may be earned in two ways:  

a. Doing much better than expected on "Required" assignments.  In this case, your work was far superior to the class in general. 

b. Doing the limited amount of "Choice" assignments (see "Assignments Checklist"). Before "Choice" assignments will count, you must complete all "Required" assignments to Dr. G.'s satisfaction.  This does not mean that you can't submit a "choice" assignment before completing all of the "required" ones.

Grading Policy

1. I grade all assignments at once after the deadline, even if I received them early. It is more efficient to do so.

2. To access your grades in Blackboard, click "User Tools" "Check Grade" link. NOTE: NEVER look at the percentage--it is usually wrong. Go by the total points. On the "Class Calendar/Weekly Grade Scale" (link is under "Assignment Assistance") look in the right-hand column and you will see a weekly grade scale, based on points earned by the end of that week.


There is a "Grading Criteria" link on each assignment page.  I will post the Grading Criteria codes pertaining to your assignment on the Grade Post. The Grading Criteria codes will remain posted on the Grade Post for 1 week after grading those assignments submitted on time.

Discussion Board Postings

An additional part of your responsibility is to post to the Discussion Board and, if directed, comment thoughtfully on your classmates' postings beginning the first week of classes.  PLEASE NOTE that you must have postings for the week submitted by the deadline posted on the Class Calendar. Any postings after this time will not be counted. 


In general, I will consider the quality of your writing when grading your discussion. I will use the following criteria to evaluate your work:

  • Does your answer indicate a good understanding of the question being asked?
  • Does your answer indicate mastery of the material?
  • Do you defend your views using studies discussed in the reading assignments and commentaries? (Identify the studies by the names of the researchers.)
  • Are your arguments well organized, and is the sequence of ideas logical?
  • Are your arguments superficial, or do they demonstrate careful thought?
  • Is your work neat and free of typographical and spelling errors?

More specifically, evaluation of postings & responses, ONLY IF DIRECTED, is on four levels, depending on the type of Discussion Board assignment:

1. Student's immediate posting. It is obvious that there is more chance to be original if yours is one of the first postings. Should reflect personal involvement in the topic when appropriate.

2. Ideas:

  • 100-90%--Exceptionally  creative/original/insightful, well-developed ideas based on some type of research or reading that is stated with relevant and accurate data/information to back up the response, when appropriate; evidence of synthesis and generalization of the material within the comments. 

The meaning of "Original"-- Dr. G. cannot judge if your post is based on your referring to those who have posted before you. Also, some DBs will have more than one appropriate choice for sources, interpretation, etc.. Therefore, "original," when appropriate, refers to using sources or websites different from others who have posted, a different interpretation of the same source from those who have posted, etc.. 

  • 89-80%.-- Well-developed ideas with relevant and accurate data/ information to back up the response and fairly original, when appropriate.
  • 79-60%.-- Developing ideas with data/information to back up the response, when appropriate
  • 59-01%.--Poorly developed ideas 
  • 0 %--No response or tasteless/inappropriate response ONLY IF DIRECTED.


If directed to respond to your classmates' posts, your response(s) must be spread out over the week.  Please do not wait until the deadline and post and respond on the same day. With some Discussion Boards you may be required to both POST your work AND RESPOND/REPLY to another student's posting.

3. Level of involvement referring to responses ONLY IF DIRECTED:

  • Top level-- responds thoughtfully to classmates' postings with correct number of responses when directed.

  • Mid level-- responds to classmates' postings 

  • Low or no level--does not respond or responds inappropriately to classmates' postings

I will be looking for IN-DEPTH THINKING OR ON THE DISCUSSION BOARD. Simply stating that you agree with another student does NOT constitute "in-depth thinking"!

For given Discussion Boards at end of term, I may look at the responses from other students that each student's comments generate. If the original comment was not very thought provoking, other students are not likely to react to it.

U.C. Code of Conduct

Students are expected to follow the mandates of the University of Cincinnati Code of Conduct. You may view this information online at the following site: 

Grading Scale

The Grade Scale is posted on the Class Calendar/ Weekly Grade Scale

Note:  You must complete ALL of the assignments, tests, and discussion boards to be eligible to receive an "A" or "B" regardless of the total number of points earned.  To receive a "C" the same requirements are as above (for "A" & "B")---the exception you can miss only one discussion board and one test. All work must be completed by the announced deadline day during final exam week or the grade will be calculated on the basis of the points earned up to that time. No "IP"s (incompletes) are generally given.

Grade Scale**: A =  Must complete all of the assignments, tests, discussion boards, with an average between 90% or above. /  B =  Must complete all of the tests, Stress Management Program sections, and other assignments with an average between 80% and 89%.. /  C = Must complete all as in "A" and "B" requirements, with the exception of one of the tests and one discussion board with an average between 70% and 79%. /  D =  Work on the the tests, Stress Management Program sections, and other assignments must average between 60% and 69%. /  F = Work on the tests, Stress Management Program sections, and other assignments average below 60%.           **Pluses (+) and minuses (-) will be assigned.

Incomplete Policy / Course Withdrawal

"IP" (incomplete) grades will NOT generally be given. You will receive a grade based on the total points earned by your class's final exam day deadline. Anyone withdrawing from any class must first contact me via email to receive a "W." Remember that you're dealing with computers and must officially withdraw from a class. You should be aware of the following: 

"W" to indicate an Official Withdrawal with Participation ;  "WX" to indicate an Official Withdrawal without Participation  ; 
"F" to indicate an Official Withdrawal Failure  ;  UW  Unofficial Withdrawal for students not attending course but has not withdrawn officially.

This grade must be given to a student who stops coming to class but does not officially withdraw. The "WX" grade is equal to an "F" in calculating your grade point average.

IMPORTANT:  It is unfortunate if emergencies arise; however, you may be given an "F" for a course grade or withdraw from the class if missing 2 weeks total  throughout the quarter with or without contact regardless of reason.

Emergency Situations

EMERGENCY CONTACT PERSON: First of all, have someone who can contact me via email IMMEDIATELY in the case of emergencies such as medical problems, hospitalization, or technical problems with your computer.  Do not wait even a couple of days to do this. I should be apprised of the situation on a weekly basis if necessary.

DOCUMENTATION FOR EMERGENCY:  Documentation from a professional may be requested to verify the emergency and/or its extent.

LATE WORK:  As described in the "A-A Table link" on the "Assignments" page,

LATE ASSIGNMENTS are those submitted after the specified time of the specific due date.

1. You may turn in any assignment earlier than the due date. ANY ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED UP TO TWO DAYS LATE WILL RESULT IN A point deduction. Most assignments will receive NO POINTS if more than two days late. (See "Assignments Checklist" in Blackboard)... You must turn in the assignment eventually even though it will receive no points to get a "C" or above. Assignments will not be accepted for credit and will be removed ONE WEEK after due dates. Exception:  One late assignment for no points may be submitted as your one "Choice Assignment" and will be graded accordingly.

Naturally, adjustments may be made if there is an extenuating circumstance for getting your work in late.  If this is the case...YOU MUST LET ME KNOW VIA EMAIL, preferably before the assignment's deadline.  I cannot make exceptions repeatedly or with Discussion Boards.

 REPEATED OR EXTENDED EMERGENCIES:  Unfortunately, repeated or extended emergencies may require you to withdraw from the course.  Withdrawal passing or with an "F" will be determined at the time.

Overview of Written Assignments 

The following assignments is a complete list of assignments. Those not visible in Blackboard will be accessible periodically AT LEAST two weeks before due date:

Quarter Assignments
Task Total Pts.

Blackboard account and working e-mail

(Points deducted for not establishing & maintaining.)
Contact Requirement 10 pts. total (Points deducted for each violation; May result in negative score if frequent.)
Introductory Survey First week of beginning of class. 5
Discussion Board--Autobiography 10
Discussion Board 1 15
ASC 25
SMP1 25
SMP2 25
Test 1 25
Discussion Board 2 15
SMP3 20
Discussion Board 3 15
Test 2 25
SMP4 40
Test 3 35
Course Evaluation 10
Choice Assignment (optional--1 only)    

The Weekly Schedule can be found under "Assignments" bar; "AA (Assignments Assistance"; "Class Calendar / Weekly Grade Scale" link.

SCHEDULING CHANGES: Your professor reserves the right to make changes in scheduling, grading, or assignments in the event of special circumstances. These changes will be announced on the "Announcement" page in Blackboard.

Electronic Communication Policy

  • It is expected that students will check their email at least six times a week for possible announcements regarding the class.

  • It is expected that when students post to Blackboard, that they will also check the Announcements area.

  • When emailing Dr. G., please make sure you sign your name to the message as I cannot always tell from individuals' email addresses who is writing.

  • While I check my own email at least once a day, twice on weekdays, a situation may arise where this is not possible. Do not wait until the last day before an assignment is due to contact me if you have questions!

  • Emails are considered private documents between the sender and the receiver. Permission from the sender is required before forwarding to another.

  • You are responsible for keeping your email address current and accessible for the Blackboard listserv. Some "free" email programs such as "hotmail", require you to "use it or lose it" after a set period of time.  You generally are expected in such programs to keep the inbox and/or storage from becoming too filled.  I will post all email addresses in which the mail is "undeliverable."  Repeated announcements to the same email address may result in point deductions for each instance.
  • I send emails through Blackboard (Bb). You can tell if the email is sent only to you by the "Subject" line.  All "Subject" boxes will have the section number, the date, and the subject (e.g. 12/3 SMO SMP1 ).  If the message is sent only to you, it will have " 12/3 SMO Bill S.)" in the Subject box.

Emailing Policy

If you are sending a general email, in the "Subject Box" of the email, include the time the class meets/section number and your name (Example: 707 PQ Bill Wagoner) also put your name at the end of the message. (The PQ stands for Psychology Question and you will receive an automatic reply saying that I received your email.) In the rare cases that you will be required to submit your Assignments by email, in the "Subject Box" of the email, put the time the class meets, the letters PQ, and the assignment title (Example: 707 PQ SMP1).  Also put your name at the end of the message.  


Information Concerning Blackboard 

Blackboard (Bb) is the computer software used by the University of Cincinnati to host course websites.  This course will make use of Blackboard extensively. As a result, you need to familiarize yourself with Bb as quickly as possible.

Setting Up an E-Mail Account

When using Blackboard, you must have an e-mail account.  You may use a personal account you already have, however, I strongly urge you to open a Bearcat Online email account. To do so, go to  and click on "account activation."

Setting Up a Blackboard Account

If you do not have a Blackboard account, you must first activate your account. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to 

  • Click the button that says "Longin."

  • There you will read, "You can create an account by clicking the 'Create' button below." Click on the button that says "Create."

  • Enter the information. Note that you will need to enter your email address here.

Need help with Blackboard?   Call the Blackboard Helpline at 556-1602.

1. Blackboard bars 

Announcements are updated frequently on the first page of the course in Blackboard.

List below are some common bars located on the left side of the screen. Clicking the bars will reveal the following information:

1. Course Information: Assignment Submission & Late Penalty /  FYI: Grades, Assignments, Contact Requirement, Blackboard, etc. /  Class Calendar/Weekly Grade Scale  /  Syllabus / Assignments Checklist /  Dr. G.'s Pet Peeves /  Information Source (a table with links to policies and "how to" directions.

2. Staff Information: Dr. G.'s email address, office hours, etc.

3. Course Documents:  Readings & Resources /  etc.

4. Assignments: AA (Assignment Assistance) -- Every assignment will have something that you might not know how to do (e.g. APA Bibliography format, etc.).  Look here first before getting excited.   All assignments will be listed in order--just click the links to see the description of the assignment.

5. Books :  Books for Dr. G.'s courses-- listed and pictured

6. Discussion Board:  Used to submit to Discussion Board.

7. Student Tools: Personal Information (used to add or update email address) /  Check Grades (Grades will be posted here.  Do NOT go by the percentage, just raw scores.) /  Manual  (How to use Blackboard)

8. Resources:  Find articles & research on given subjects.

Blocked from Blackboard

1. Dr. G. may block you from Blackboard in some instances.  The following are the most common:

a. No contact with Dr. G. regularly and/or for a long period of time.  

b. No response to any of Dr. G's emails that are sent directly to you as an individual and request a response from you.  You can tell if the email is sent only to you by the "Subject" line.  All "Subject" boxes will have the section number or class meeting time, the date, and the subject (e.g. 707 (2/3 ASC1 ).  If the message is sent only to you, it will have "707 (2/3 Bill S.)" in the Subject box.

Rarely, U.C.'s servers will be down and you will not have access to Blackboard. If this happens, try later to access it.

Disclosure:  It is possible to detect when you have accessed Blackboard in general and specific parts of Blackboard in particular.  I will only check this when an individual has been negligent in keeping up with contacting me or submitting assignments weekly.

Testing on Blackboard

All testing will be done online through Blackboard.  There is generally a two to five-day period in which you must take the test. You must take the test all in one sitting which is why a Study Sheet is provided for all tests.  

Study Sheets: You do not have to submit the Study Sheet to Dr. G., but it is handy to look up the questions before the test so that you can complete the test quickly.  If you are disconnected from Blackboard during a test, email me immediately with the time and date that you were disconnected.  I receive updates of Blackboard problems from the System Administrator and sometimes can reset your test for you. 

3. Test Password:  You must use a different password to access EACH test. 

You will be sent the password by email about two days before the testing. There will be a different password for each test. Eligibility to receive the password is based on completion of specific parts of the SMP for the specific test. .

Inaccessible Areas in Blackboard

Assignments may become or are inaccessible in Blackboard. In these cases, you will not see the link to that specific assignment under the "Assignments" bar.

Possible reasons for inaccessibility include:

a. Dr. G. is upgrading or revising directions for the specific assignment. If this is true, try the link later.

b. It is past the time to submit an assignment.  On some assignments, once you are more than 2 assignments behind the class, these assignments cannot be made up and the access to these assignments will be removed or "hidden." 

c. Dr. G. has yet to activate future assignments/a future assignment.  At the beginning of the quarter, Dr. G. may activate only about three weeks worth of assignments at a time.  As individuals in the class complete the assignments, future assignments will be revealed or the links will be activated.

Dive In!

A word about the nature of this class. Albert Einstein said, "Stupidity is most clearly demonstrated by the person who ridicules something he knows nothing about." Many topics and ideas in this class may be rather new and different from the thinking and activities you have grown up with and accepted as accurate. I will not be asking you to believe anything new in this class. I will ask you to suspend judgment about the things you see and hear, and the things that we discuss. Just let the ideas work in you and see what value they have for you. Regardless of how strange the ideas and activities might seem, they have been found to be useful in reducing stress, gaining greater control of our lives, and attain greater levels of inner peace. If you choose to take this course, please allow yourself to dive in and get really wet. My commitment to you is that if you do, it may be the most valuable course you will ever take.