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CCOG for GRN 176 Fall 2022

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Course Number:
GRN 176
Course Title:
Cognitive Activity Design
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores the challenges of applying emerging, evidence-based research in memory and aging to address real-life cognitive challenges. Includes the design and demonstration of innovative cognitive activities that are supported by recent brain science findings. Prerequisites/concurrent: GRN 175. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course is required for the new Activity Professional Certificate and the Advanced Behavioral and Cognitive Care Certificate.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret theories of cognitive aging and emerging brain science research.

  • Assess the needs and assets of older persons representing a wide range of physical and cognitive challenges and abilities.

  • Design, demonstrate, and assess cognitive activities that address the challenges and enhance the abilities of older persons, while meeting standards of sustainability, inclusiveness, cost-effectiveness, replication, and innovation.

Aspirational Goals

Evidence-based cognitive activities will soar to new heights, transforming attitudes, practices and quality of later life development.

Course Activities and Design

An online format of 10 modules, which includes two participatory lectures that can be attended In-Person or by Live-Stream, or viewed by Video-Recording.

Course activities will include 

  • Discussion forums on the research and activity design
  • Dropbox Assignments, summarizing and interpreting the readings and research
  • Selection of and contact with designated senior living communities, centers or organizations for a demonstration activity.
  • Three-part final paper: designing, revising, demonstrating and evaluating the evidence-based cognitive activity 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

A variety of assessments, including discussions and research assignments, with the primary assessment being the applied Capstone Project, which involves:

  • Designing the blueprint for one 20 to 30-minute cognitive activity.  Sharing that first draft of the blueprint with a class group for input and revisions.
  • Revising the cognitive activity for demonstration before classmates and/or older persons.
  • Final paper including (1) original blueprint, revisions, and final, pre-demonstration cognitive activity design, (2) supporting research citations, (3) one post-demonstration final design prepared for community/organization representatives including cost-benefits and sustainability sections, (4) a demonstration in a presentation of the cognitive activity to a group of older persons and (5) details of the outcome of demonstration to classmates and/or older persons including any modifications to the final design (No. 3 above).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course content will include

  • Review and analysis of theories of cognitive aging,
  • Analysis and interpretation of emerging brain science research including creativity and the creative cycle,
  • Assessment of the limitations of traditional activity design for older persons,
  • Identification of best practices for targeted activity-delivered mental stimulation of older persons, and design of cognitive activity that is evidence-based, innovative, inclusive, cost-effective, replicable and sustainable.