Skip to main content



1. About this Course

It covers the fundamentals of Introduction to Educational Psychology subject that are usually covered throughout a one-semester undergraduate course. Emphasis is placed on principles of learning and cognition, teaching methods and classroom management, child growth and development, and evaluation and assessment of learning. 

"In this course, we will cover many of the same topics you would expect in a general psychology course. But we will always be looking at the topics from the perspective of a teacher who is responsible for the education and development of young people between kindergarten and grade 12," explains our instructor Dr. Norman Rose.

The goal of the creator of this course – Modern States Education Alliance, a non-profit organization – is to prepare you to pass the College Board's CLEP examination and obtain college credit for free. 

The CLEP exam contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.

Note that the questions on the CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology exam will continue to adhere to the terminology, criteria and classifications referred to in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) until further notice.

Our “Introduction to Educational Psychology” course is completely self-paced. There are no prerequisites to take this course, and it is entirely free. Any student who wants to save time and money while completing freshman year in college can take it.

2. About Norman Rose, PhD, Professor at Santa Rosa Junior College and University Nevada, Reno

Norman Rose, PhD. has taught preschool through high school, but most of my teaching experience was in 2nd and 3rd grade.

He is a former assistant professor of education at University of Nevada, Reno, and he is currently on staff at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. 

3. Required Knowledge and Skills

The CLEP exam requires you to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities:

  • Knowledge and comprehension of basic facts, concepts and principles.

  • Association of ideas with given theoretical positions.

  • Awareness of important influences on learning and instruction.

  • Familiarity with research and statistical concepts and procedures.

  • Ability to apply various concepts and theories as they apply to particular teaching situations and problems.

4. Course Modules

Following are the main topics and percentages of the exam’s questions, mostly based on the College Board's description of the course:

1. Educational Aims and Philosophies

   1.0 Introduction   

   1.1 Socialization and Social Effects   

   1.2 Moral and Character Development   

   1.3 Citizenship    

   1.4 Careers Preparation   

   1.5 Lifelong Learning

   1.6 Summary  


2. Cognitive Perspective of Learning

   2.0 Introduction   

   2.1 Sensory Register   

   2.2 Working Memory   

   2.3 Long-Term Memory   

   2.4 Teaching Strategies To Enhance Learning at Each Stage of Information Processing   

   2.5 Forgetting   

   2.6 Problem Solving   

   2.7 Teaching and the Transfer of Information   

   2.8 Metacognition   

   2.9 Summary


3. Behavioral Perspective of Learning

   3.0 Introduction   

   3.1 Classical Conditioning   

   3.2 Operant Conditioning   

   3.3 Practical Applications of Behavioral Psychology   

   3.4 Cognitive Theory of Learning

   3.5 Summary 


4. Cognitive Development

   4.0 Introduction   

   4.1 Piaget’s Genetic-Epistemological Theory of Cognitive Development   

   4.2 Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development   

   4.3 Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development    

   4.4 Moral Development   

   4.5 Adolescence   

   4.6 Gender Role Identity and Sex Roles   

   4.7 Mental Health   

   4.8 School Readiness   

   4.9 Development and Acquisition of Language    

   4.10 Summary


5. Motivation

   5.0 Introduction

   5.1 Behavioral Theory   

   5.2 Human Needs Theory   

   5.3 Attribution Theory   

   5.4 Social Learning and Expectancy Theory   

   5.5 Achievement Motivation   

   5.6 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation   

   5.7 Reinforcement Contingencies   

   5.8 Learned Helplessness   

   5.9 The Effects of Anxiety on School Performance

   5.10 Summary


6. Individual Differences

   6.0 Introduction

   6.1 The Nature-Nurture Controversy   

   6.2 Intelligence   

   6.3 Environmental Influences on Individual Development   

   6.4 Identifying At-Risk Children   

   6.5 Teaching Strategies to Accommodate
Background Differences Among Children   

   6.6 Exceptional Learners   

   6.7 Reading Ability   

   6.8 General Issues Related to Individual Learning Differences   

   6.9 Summary


7. Testing

   7.0 Introduction 

   7.1 Instructional Objectives   

   7.2 Teacher–Developed Tests in Classroom   

   7.3 Formative Evaluation   

   7.4 Classroom Grading Approaches   

   7.5 Criterion-Referenced Testing   

   7.6 Norm-Referenced Testing   

   7.7 Interpreting Norm-Referenced Test Scores   

   7.8 Validity   

   7.9 Reliability   

   7.10 Test Bias   

   7.11 Using Tests Appropriately   

   7.12 Summary


8. Pedagogy

   8.0 Introduction

   8.1 Expository Teaching and Discovery Learning   

   8.2 Advance Organizers   

   8.3 Cooperative Learning   

   8.4 Organizing Information   

   8.5 Instructional Design and Technology   

   8.6 Psychology of Content Areas   

   8.7 Bilingual Education and ESL Programs   

   8.8 Socioeconomic Status and School Performance   

   8.9 Teacher Expectations   

   8.10 Classroom Management   

   8.11 Summary


9. Psychological Research and Methods

   9.0 Introduction   

   9.1 Research Designs   

   9.2 Sampling   

   9.3 Statistical Analysis   

   9.4 Research in Child Development   

   9.5 Ethical Considerations in Research   

   9.6 Summary

5. How CLEP Works

Developed by the College Board, CLEP (College-Level Examination Program®) is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program.

CLEP’s credits are accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities, according to the College Board. These tests assess college-level knowledge in 33 subject areas.

Modern States Education Alliance is the non-profit organization behind these edX-style courses. Its project is called “Freshman Year for Free” and its mission is to make college more accessible and affordable through free, high-quality online education.

• CLEP® Introduction to Educational Psychology: at a Glance

• 'Passing the CLEP and Learning with Modern States' orientation course