The Family and Society Syllabus
This course, in conjunction with the other courses in this program, will help prepare you to apply for a professional genealogy credential through ICAPGen or BCG. This course has been designed to provide you with solid academic content and practical research skills which are critical for a professional genealogist across many research settings. You will examine how important events in American history impacted law, society, and the family. You will develop an understanding of how events affect genealogical research, what records exist, where they are, and how researchers can use them.
As a result of completing this course, you will be able to do the following:
- Identify which family legacies (legal, social, economic, and religious) were inherited from Europe.
- Examine the effects of political forces (such as American independence) on family records, structures, and dynamics.
- Examine the effects of economic forces (such as industrialization or commercialization) on family records, structures, and dynamics.
- Analyze the effects wars and economic disruptions had on family records, structures, and dynamics.
- Describe the impact of immigration and settlement dynamics on the family, law, and society.
- Compare the significant differences experienced by African American and Native American families.
- Describe the evolution of individual rights in America as they pertain to rights of men, women, children, and minorities.
- Interpret US record sources (origins and purpose) for what they reveal about families in different historical periods.
Learning Model Architecture
The course follows a weekly cycle of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder & Prove activities.
Prepare: Students will prepare by reading assigned texts and watching online lectures. Topics will cover historical changes in the relationship of the family to society. Examples from relevant record groups are provided to help illustrate these changes. Online quizzes will help hold students accountable for their preparation.
Teach One Another: Students will teach one another by participating in discussion groups.
Ponder & Prove: Students will ponder and prove by applying historic principles to a final research project. Interpretive skills regarding primary documents will be used in the final research project.
|Week 01||Course Introduction|
|Week 02||Records that Reveal the Family|
|Week 03||European Legacies|
|Week 04||Colonial Diversity|
|Week 05||Revolutions Political, Economic, and Familial|
|Week 06||African American and Native American Families|
|Week 07||Industrialization and Immigration|
|Week 08||Companionate Family|
|Week 09||The Great Depression|
|Week 10||Impact of War|
|Week 11||The “Golden” Age|
|Week 12||Increasing Individualism|
|Week 13||Current Trends|
|Week 14||Final Project due|
- Each week includes a variety of assignments or activities that will help you focus on key problems in genealogical research.
- Discussion Boards provide opportunities to participate in collaborative discussions and to teach one another.
- Participation is important not only for you but for your classmates.
- Activities give you the opportunity to learn by practice and to perfect your abilities and skills. You have up to three attempts on each activity to master a concept.
- Assignments are different from activities because they will be personally graded by the instructor. The assignments allow you to ponder what you have learned and prove that you know the materials you have been studying.
- Not all answers are in the textbook and readings. Some answers will require deductive reasoning.
- Quizzes are taken at the end of each week. They require you to use your skills in a practical way to demonstrate your knowledge of family history research.
- Late work will generally not be accepted. You are expected to complete your assignments on time. Contact your instructor for additional questions or concerns.
- The course is not an independent study course. The group teaching and learning activities require you to cover material at the same time and at the same pace as the rest of the class.
In this course you will be required to write papers as part of certain assignments. You will need to follow the instructions carefully to write a professional, college-level paper. Make sure that your paper is focused on the topic assigned by your instructor. Be concise and clear. Rambling will not be accepted for full credit. Do not attempt to “pad” your responses by being wordy. Your papers should be well organized using paragraphs with correct spelling and punctuation standards.
To learn more about writing standards visit BYU-Idaho Writing Center website for tutorials and handouts. Tutoring sessions are also available to students in the Writing Center on campus or online via Skype. If your schedule does not coincide with the Writing Center hours (9:00 AM–5:30 PM [MT] Monday–Friday) you may email your paper to email@example.com and receive written feedback for your paper within 48 hours. Visit the Help for Online Students page for more details on these resources.
Remember, it is your responsibility to understand and follow the instructions completely! If you have a question regarding an assignment, ask your instructor early for clarification. Do not expect last minute questions to be answered immediately.
When writing research papers or essays that use information other than your own, it is important to cite from where you took those ideas. In this course, we encourage you to use Chicago Style. Visit the Online Writing Lab to see examples of how to cite sources. The book Evidence Explained is primarily based on the Chicago Style but also includes many examples of how to cite genealogical sources. While it is not required for this course, you may want to consider it for your personal library.
Course Texts and Materials
- Mintz, Steven, and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Life. New York: Free Press, 1989. Online students may purchase this textbook through the BYU-I bookstore.
- Webcam and microphone: may be needed for either group or individual discussions with the instructor or classmates.
- Access to a computer with Microsoft Office (version 2000 or later)
Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.
Weekly Time Commitment
The online class policy is that for every credit hour, you should expect to do 3 hours of work per week. This is a rigorous course and requires a lot of research and writing. For this class, you should plan on spending approximately 9 hours per week.
This course is comprised of readings, activities, assignments, assessments (quizzes), and a four-part final project.
Final Grade Breakdown
|Grading Scale||Letter Grade|
|100% – 93%||A|
|92% – 90%||A-|
|89% – 87%||B+|
|86% – 83%||B|
|82% – 80%||B-|
|79% – 77%||C+|
|76% – 73%||C|
|72% – 70%||C-|
|69% – 67%||D+|
|66% – 63%||D|
|62% – 60%||D-|
|Work Type||Overall Percentage of Grade|
Activities are step by step procedures that you follow to gain experience with the new content being taught that week. Activities may contain many documents that need to be examined and analyzed. This is your chance to practice examining documents relevant to genealogical research. It is recommended that you take time to read and study the preparation materials prior to starting these activities. You will have three attempts to get 100%. After the third attempt, your highest score will be your grade.
This consists of writing assignments and discussion board activities. These assignments are graded by the instructor and require you to ponder and prove what you have learned in the week.
At the end of each week, you will take a quiz that will cover the course content for that week. You may use your notes and course materials to complete the quizzes.
The final project for this course is broken into four parts. One part will be completed each week during Weeks 11, 12, 13, and the course conclusion.
During the last four weeks of this course, you will prepare a final project which will be turned in for grading at the end of the course. This final project will use your knowledge of conducting oral interviews. You will need to interview three different people (preferably all directly related as in— grandfather, mother, son), one per week. For each interview, you will complete an Interview Preplanning Information form and type out a transcript of the interviewee's responses to your questions. The purpose of these interviews is to gain an understanding about the person's life as an adult during a specific era. For the final paper, you will compare and contrast how society and social roles have changed from 1950 to the present. This paper is not a discussion about what happened during the interview.
- Week 11: Interview someone who was an adult (18+) in America during the “Golden Age” (1950–1965) and can remember that era.
- Week 12: Interview someone who was an adult (18+) in America during the era of increasing individualism (1965—2000).
- Week 13: Interview someone who is an adult (18+) today.
- Week 14: Complete the project report.
For each interview, ask about social roles and how they evolved. The following are some topics you may wish to discuss during the interviews:
- Biographical information
- Places of residence
- Military service
- Special events
- Advice for family
Prior to the interviews, do the following:
- Download the Interview Questions template.
- Add your own questions to the template. You may use the topics above and/or come up with your own topics. Open-ended questions are very effective.
- Send the interviewee the list of questions before the interview.
- Schedule a time and place for the interview.
- Verify the date and time with the interviewee prior to the interview.
- Gather and test all recording equipment.
During the interviews, do the following:
- Record the interview. You will be writing out a transcript of the interview. It is highly recommended that you figure out a means to record your interview(s) if you are planning to conduct them over the phone. You may want to experiment using different methods with family or friends to test your recording.
- Take written notes.
- Limit the interview to one hour.
- Ask many open-ended and follow-up questions.
- Be genuinely interested in the person you are interviewing.
After each interview, do the following:
- Type, edit, or clarify the responses while the interview is fresh in your mind.
- On the same document, type a one paragraph reflection briefly comparing a common theme in your interview with that week's readings.
After conducting all three interviews, do the following:
- Write a report to compare and contrast how families, society, and social roles evolved from 1950 to the present. This will be turned in during Week 14.
If any technical difficulties arise throughout the course contact the Online Support Center or the Help Desk before contacting the instructor.
Online Support Center
Phone: (208) 496-1411 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.byui.edu/online/online-support-center Text Messaging: (855) 808-7102 Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM, MT Skype: onlinesupportcenterbyui Live Chat: Available on the Online Support Center Website.
Phone: (208) 496-1411 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.byui.edu/help-desk Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 9 PM and Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM
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