Leisure for Well Being

Course Description

The pursuit of happiness for most people is an important aim in life. A personal feeling of well-being includes "emotional happiness" and the rational satisfaction with one's own life. In this course you will attempt to define the term "well-being" and discover its relationship with other concepts such as mental health and life satisfaction. How does physical exercise influence well-being? How do positive and negative life events influence well-being? Do good social relationships guarantee happiness? Do the expectations one has in life with regard to income influence well-being? Is it important to set goals to achieve a high level of well-being? These and other questions will be addressed in this course. You will try to define things a person can do to increase his or her well-being.

Others' ideas serve as common course content as presented in the material assigned to this course. You will be asked to participate actively and critically, to work individually and in study groups, using your own experience as a field of analysis and reflection. Active group participation will foster a harmonic, interactive environment, which might increase positive relationships among students and foster a feeling of well-being throughout this course.

In all assignments, you rely first on your own experiences to define concepts, words and meanings. In a second step, you'll investigate acknowledged sources like books about medicine, sports, social psychology, human relations, newspapers or journals etc., to define concepts and to sustain your opinions. You will share the sources with the study group. Third, the information from sources will be compared to your own experience. The study group as a whole will engage in dialogue and negotiate the meaning of concepts. The sources suggested by the instructor are not the only sources that you should consider. Suggested sources relate to the subject matter of the module, but do not contain concrete answers to the study questions. You should take the time to find these answers. To achieve this purpose, you are expected to connect to the discussion forums frequently and post your comments, at least every second day, to stay on track with the discussions. At the end of each week you will write a one page double spaced paper about a certain subtopic of this course. These papers will “add up” to your final paper. In the fifth week you will “merge” the five papers into your final paper.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

This is a five-week course in which you will develop the following competence:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can understand the interrelationships among intellectual, psychological, spiritual as well as physical health in one's own life

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to http://depaul-loop.bncollege.com.

Required Reading:

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Course Structure

The course is broken into five modules with learning activities and assignments for each module. The modules correspond to the course goals. In Module 1, you will get to know each other, share common definitions of well-being and discuss life experiences, periods of good and bad feelings. In Module 2, expert opinions and lexicon definitions of well-being are discussed and compared to the common definitions, to arrive finally to an agreement of the meaning of the term well-being. Module 3 addresses the influence of physical conditions and physical activity on well-being. Module 4 addresses social conditions of well-being and stress management. Module 5 will be dedicated to the design of a personal plan to reflect on and improve one's well-being.

The five modules consist of literature, readings and assignments to write up. Most of the writings will be posted for online discussion; some discussions will take part in small groups. Active participation in the discussion forums is essential to reach the course goals. At the end of each week you will write a one page double spaced paper about a certain subtopic of this course. These papers will “add up” to your final paper. In the fifth week you will “merge” the five papers into your final paper.

You will develop competence in this course through a variety of methods: readings, practice with classmates, informal and formal online discussions.

The assignments throughout each module should be completed in the order in which they are assigned. Each module assumes the completion of the previous module. Therefore, participation on time in the online discussions is essential. Assignments must be completed according to the due dates given; otherwise, it will not be possible to carry out the discussion assignments.

All units are designed as student activities to be completed during the week. Active participation in the discussion forums is essential. Some units contain exercises to allow you to apply the skills and knowledge you acquire throughout the five modules. You are required to submit exercises to the discussion forums.

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1:

Getting to Know Each Other, Common Definitions














Read the Assigned Text:

Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13(1), 81-84.

Leedle, B.R. (2009). Health Is Not Enough. Population Health Management, 12(4), 175-176,

Biswas-Diener, R. (2006). The search for happiness. Science & Spirit (March/April), 28-33.

Diener, E. Kesebir, P. & Lucas, R. (2008). Benefits of Accounts of Well-Being - For Societies and for Psychological Science. Applied Psychology, 57, 37-53

Groepel, P., & Kuhl, J. (2009). Work–life balance and subjective well-being: The mediating role of need fulfilment. British Journal of Psychology, 100, 365-375

1.1 Introductions Discussion

1.2 Personal Experience Discussion

1.3 Paper One

Week 2, Module 2:

Lexicon/Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Expert Definitions




Read the Assigned Text:

Diener, E., & Suh, E. M. (Eds.). (2000). Culture and subjective well-being. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Pages 3-12 and 13-36.

Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (2008). Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well-being: An introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 1-11

2.1 Expert Definitions Discussion

2.2 Paper Two

Week 3, Module 3:

Physical Conditions and Physical Activity








Read Bryan, Reed, and Dittmar:

Bryan, J., & Tiggeman, M. (2001). The effect of weight-loss dieting on cognitive performance and psychological well-being in overweight women. Appetite, 36, 147-156.

Reed, J. & Henert, S. (2009). Post-Exercise Affective Responses in Sedentary African American Females. Journal of Sport Behavior, 32 (3), 357-375.

Dittmar, H. (2009). How do "body perfect" ideals in the media have a negative impact on body image and behaviors? Factors and processes related to self and identity. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), 1-8.

3.1 Mental Predisposition Discussion

3.2 Paper Three

Week 4, Module 4:


Stress Management and Social Conditions





Read Diener and Ciarrochi:

Diener, E., & Suh, E. M. (Eds.). (2000). Culture and subjective well-being. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Pgs. 113-161.

Ciarrochi, J. Leeson, P. & Heaven, P.C.L. (2009). A longitudinal study into the interplay between problem orientation and adolescent well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(3), 441-449.

4.1 Social Support Discussion

4.2 Paper Four

Week 5, Module 5:

Well-being as an Issue of Control and Course Wrap Up




5.1 Final Paper

5.2 Final Discussion

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Percentage distribution of Assessments

Active and informed participation in 6 online
Weekly Papers 16%
Final Paper 30%

Grading Policies and Practices

For every activity, a grade will be assigned. Receiving a passing grade, and therefore, credit for the competence will be based on the following criteria. The criteria for passing require that:

Assessment Criteria for Reading and Writing

Your participation and the usage of proper terminology and new concepts and competencies should be evident in the weekly discussion forums.

Assessment Criteria for your Final Paper

It is important that your final paper:

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as–needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback–by–Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email.

Obviously, the tutors won’t necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you’ll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit www.depaul.edu/writing.

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Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

You are expected to actively participate in informal online discussions with your classmates and the instructor when it is required in the syllabus. "Active participation" means that you read and contribute to the online discussions. This discussion is "informal" in the sense that it is meant to encourage interested participation. It is expected that you follow accepted standards of English spelling, grammar and usage, although you will not be assessed for these particular characteristics when you are on the discussion board. These discussions are a place for you to exchange your reflections with the others in the class about what you are learning. The discussions will be organized into forums around the assignment you are studying each week. You may be asked by the instructor to take leadership in a certain group for a certain time of the course. If this is the case you will receive further instructions from the instructor. The majority of the forums will be open only for two weeks.

You should contribute your responses to a particular assignment as part of an online discussion. Post your responses for each assignment under the heading name indicated on each online discussion. Directions are provided within each assignment. They must be followed according to the due dates given on the website. Principles of good practice for participating in online discussions should be adhered to when it comes to responding to the contributions of other people in the class. These "principles" are provided in the Online Participation Guidelines section in this study guide.

In the online discussions you clearly and consistently link what you are learning in the course to real life experiences. Specifically, in order to receive credit for your participation in the online discussion parts of the course it is important that:

Discussions will be assessed Pass/Fail. We will be using the following rubric to evaluate discussion posts, where 3 or 2 is Pass, and 1 or 0 is Fail.

3 = The postings to the discussion reflect research on the topic which is correctly cited. Most postings add new ideas to the discussion. The student provides reasons for agreement or disagreement. Arguments are clear and sustained by evidence.

2 = The postings reflect at least basic research on the topic. The student got involved in the discussion, although the postings could have been more extensive and/or the argumentation could have been better sustained.

1 = The postings to the discussion do not reflect research on the topic and/or the student did not get involved in the discussion after  an initial posting.

0 = Research on the topic cannot be identified. Few or no contributions to the discussion. Responses to other students are short and do not add new ideas to the discussion.

Online Participation Guidelines

The following guidelines may encourage you to be active and critical in your participation, only together will we make this course a significant and pleasant learning experience. These guidelines will drive the assessment of this course.

Some difficulties at the beginning of an online course are quite normal; solving them is part of every distance learning experience.

Course Policies

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly communicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by Mr. Hartwig Stein and staff at SCPS of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies of DePaul University.

©2010 School for Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS during contractual interval with the Author.