FAML 460 Syllabus


Focus on current challenges or issues being experienced by children and families and on the development of public policies to address these issues. An ecological approach to the study of policy formation with the aim of gaining knowledge and skills to successfully advocate for appropriate and effective child and family policies.


The focus of this course is on the interaction between science, values, public policies, and gospel doctrines relating to the well-being of children and families. Specific learning outcomes include:

Learning Model Architecture

You will apply the principles of the learning model in this course. Personal prayers and scripture study are essential to learning by faith and helpful to strengthening your ability to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will be asked to use both intellectual and spiritual tools of learning in this course. To this end, you will be expected to:

Each week, you will prepare by reading course materials and completing activities. Teaching one another will occur as you provide meaningful feedback, make presentations, and work with each other on assignments. Lastly, you will ponder and prove by writing research papers, conducting peer reviews, and making presentations.


Junior or Senior standing.

Required Materials

Web camera


Wilkins, R., & Rasband, E. (1999). A Sacred Duty. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft.

Anderson, R. Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage & Religious Freedom. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2015.

The book above, Truth Overruled, is built into the course for free through the library.

Department Policy Regarding Intellectual Property and Course Materials

All of the materials in this course are covered by fair use and copyright law and are proprietary (intellectual property). Students are not permitted to sell, post, trade, share, distribute, or send any information contained in this course (including outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, lectures, audio and video recordings, or images of the same, etc. including your own work for this course) to any parties outside of this course (ie Course Hero, Quizlet, Google Docs, etc.) by any means (e.g., posting, uploading, attachments, etc.) without the express written permission from the creator of these works and the Department Chair. Any of these actions violate the Academic Honesty policies of Brigham Young University-Idaho (please see Academic Honesty) and will be dealt with as such. The materials in this course are also intellectual property and taking any materials from the course and posting them outside of this course in any manner will be construed as theft and distribution of intellectual property. If you engage in any of these actions, or use any of these materials without authorization, the instructor has the right to impose an appropriate academic sanction (e.g., give you a failing grade for the assignment and/or fail you from the course). Additionally, the respective Course Lead, Program Lead, and/or Department Chair also reserve the right to impose appropriate academic sanctions regardless of any imposed by the instructor.

Grading Policies

Grading Scale

This course will use the standard BYU-Idaho grading scale:

A 93-100% C 73-76%
A- 90-92% C- 70-72%
B+ 87-89% D+ 67-69%
B 83-86% D 63-66%
B- 80-82% D- 60-62%
C+ 77-79% F 0-59%

Grade Components

Not all assignments and activities in this class will be directly graded. However, all of them will affect your grade. Grades will be calculated as follows:

If you don't participate and put effort towards the Citizenship Grade activities and assignments, your grade will suffer. Earning 0% of the possible 20% means that the maximum grade you could earn in this class is a B-, and that's assuming a perfect score in all of the graded assignments that make up the Academic Grade-an unlikely feat if you blow off the non-graded activities, as they are an integral piece of the learning experience and of your ability to master the skills expected and required for the graded assignments.

You will receive two cumulative Citizenship scores for each type of Citizenship assignment: one at the end of Lesson 6 and the other at the end of the Course Conclusion week. These cumulative checks will be a reflection of the effort that you have put into being an active learner in the discussion boards, Zoom, and journal activities.

Academic Grade

Introduction Quiz (5 points)

This quiz will cover information from the Orientation to Online Learning at BYU-Idaho and the Syllabus.

Family Doctrine and Principles Paper (25 points)

Find scriptures and talks that help us understand how this topic conflicts with the Lord's Plan of Happiness for His children.

Family Research and Evidence Paper (25 points)

Write an in-depth analysis on a current issue or threat to the family drawing from research and current events.

United Families International Alert (25 points)

You and a partner will identify a current child/family issue and write a persuasive, yet brief advocacy article that may be sent to approximately 100,000 pro-family subscribers at www.unitedfamilies.org.

Persuasive Speech Delivery, Peer Review, and Reference Page (25 points)

You will prepare and deliver a persuasive speech aimed at influencing child and family policy or legislation. Your presentation will be done live through the use of Zoom with an assigned small group, where you will also serve as the audience to your fellow group members that will be presenting their own speech. As a comprehensive assignment, this will also include a peer review of presenters and a reference page for all research and data sources used in the speech.

Online Advocacy (25 points)

This is a group assignment, in which you will have the opportunity to create an online forum (Facebook page or blog) and present research findings and analysis related to a child/family issue of your choice. Your online forum will be evaluated on content quality, effort, thoughtfulness, and professionalism.

Amazing Grace Final Exam (25 points)

You will watch the movie Amazing Grace and apply everything you learned throughout the semester, utilizing readings and other material covered in class. You will then discuss your answers with a partner in a Google Hangout discussion.

Citizenship Grade

Discussion Boards

After reading and pondering the assigned reading you will be required to post your thoughts and engage in meaningful discussion with your classmates. Late posts will not receive a grade, and posts will be evaluated and graded based on their relevance and level of effort.

Zoom Activities

While the nature of each Zoom activity will vary, all will require action and accountability of all members of the group or class. ALL students should participate. Your overall grade will be reduced if you do not make an effort to contribute to both class and group discussions.


You will keep an electronic journal of all that you are learning regarding advocacy research, policies, and doctrine throughout the semester. This will be assessed periodically throughout the semester and can impact your final grade, for better or worse. Your grade will be reduced if you half-heartedly complete your journal.

Preparation and Participation Reports

Each week you will complete a self-assessment reporting your level of preparation and effort in the discussion boards, Zoom and Journal activities.

Final Self-Assessment

At the end of the semester you will reflect on your efforts throughout the course and grade yourself according to what you think you deserve to earn for your discussion board, Zoom, and journal assignments. Please note that while your self grades will be considered, they may or may not be a reflection of your actual citizenship grades.

Late Work Policy

Students should complete their work on time, and late work generally will not be accepted. However, the instructor has discretion to accept late work or extend due dates in the case of extenuating circumstances.


Due Dates/Times

All due dates/times for this course are based on BYU-I Mountain Standard time (MST). You will need to submit assignments according to on-campus time. If you update your account settings under your name in the upper right, it will calculate due dates/times to on-campus time.

Order of Folders in Each Lesson

Starting with Lesson 1, you will notice that the course materials are divided into three separate folders-named according to the focus of that particular section of the lesson. From there on out, you can expect the following order:

Please note that while this is the general order, there may be some exceptions occasionally (e.g., ensure a more even distribution of work load, allow you ample time to complete more complex activities/assignments, etc.). Also, discussion boards should be carried on from the time the open through the end of the week (Saturday).


This course involves group work. You will be assigned to a team to work, study and learn together. A major function of the teams is to collaborate, discuss, investigate, teach, and counsel with one another. For those who hope to coast while your group does all the work, remember the Lord has said: "let every [wo]man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church"(D&C 75:29).


As explained previously, this course will require that you participate in live, synchronous meetings using Zoom with your assigned small groups once a week, starting with Lesson 2, through the end of the semester. Zoomm is a free program, and after a few simple steps you will have your account set up. Use this student help guide to get started with Zoom.

Additionally, the instructor will make an effort to arrange the groups according to time zones to make the coordination of these meetings easier for everyone, but please be aware that such accommodations may not be possible for everyone or in every single week. As you organize your time throughout the semester, please remember to budget in the time for those live meetings.

Can I be spoon-fed?

A vital principle to learning is to "act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching" (BYU-Idaho Learning Model). To become an engaged learner, you must read the assigned material, post to discussion boards, ask questions, and share insights. Moreover, you have a responsibility to contribute to our learning community by "loving, serving, and teaching one another." Keep this in mind as you review the course assignments and requirements.

What does baptism have to do with the Honor Code?

BYU-I students are responsible for abiding by all established University Policies and Standards. Although these policies are described in detail, we want to provide one specific point and some additional thoughts. Please be aware that penalties for academic dishonesty are determined by the instructor's policy, and can vary depending on the severity of the misconduct. While this is the policy for this course, it is expected that you will be honest in your academic conduct.

At baptism, we covenanted to "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death" (Mosiah 18:9). Ponder this if you are ever tempted to be dishonest in your work, or to do anything that does not witness your commitment to the Savior. As the prophet Jacob once said, "O be wise, what can I say more?" (Jacob 6:12).