Family 445: Family Practicum Syllabus

About this Course

This course will facilitate personal growth and provide a foundation from which individuals and families may be served more effectively. Students must understand that this course is very application oriented and requires self-reflection and the giving and receiving of feedback from others in the course. If you are not ready for this level of skills practice, feedback, resubmission of work, and self-reflection you may want to consider taking this course at another time.

It is expected that students will respect others, students and instructors alike, in accordance with the honor code to remain in good standing in the course and University. Disrespectful conduct will be considered disruptive behavior as defined in the honor code, "Disruptive behavior is any behavior that adversely impacts the educational process and environment of other students, the community, or the administrative functions of the university on or off campus." (CES Honor Code).

Required Text

Teachings the gospel: A handbook for CES teachers and leaders (1994). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church Educational System. (FREE)

Duncan, S. F., & Goddard, H. W. (2017). Family life education: Principles and practices for effective outreach (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

  1. This required textbook for this course is available as a low cost auto access digital textbook. You may access the textbook using the link provided in the Textbook Access module of this course. Your student financial account will be charged automatically on the first day of class.
  2. If you do not want to use the digital textbook (perhaps you already purchased the print version of the textbook), you must opt out or you will be charged for the digital textbook.

Compare Prices for your textbooks through the University Store 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.

Overarching Goal

Students will capture a vision and develop confidence in their ability to use knowledge and skills learned from the major, coupled with their individual and unique strengths and abilities, to strengthen individuals and families through the delivery of family life education.

Foundational Knowledge

  1. Learn principles and methods associated with delivering family life education, including understanding ethics that provide guidance when teaching family life education.


  1. Prepare & deliver family life education that makes a difference in the lives of others, this includes a professional write-up of all activities.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to teach & facilitate small-group discussions effectively using active learning methods.
  3. Apply critical & creative thinking skills by learning to think critically about issues & circumstances affecting those serviced by students in the class. Also, use creative thinking to apply the gospel and scholarly literature to address specific needs of individuals & families.
  4. Prepare for the transition of becoming a professional.


  1. Demonstrate ability to draw upon and integrate past learning and experience with scholarly literature from the field when preparing and delivering family life education.

Human Dimension

  1. Understand & appreciate personal strengths and attributes (i.e., skills, abilities, gifts) related to working with and helping others, including ways to continue building upon & refining these attributes.
  2. Increase confidence and develop vision as to your ability to deliver family life education and to make a difference in the lives of others as a mentor and/or teacher.
  3. Be a cooperative member of and make an important contribution to a team.


  1. Create greater concern for individuals and their families who are in need of assistance and have a greater desire to reach out and help these families using one's unique gifts and expertise.

Learning how to learn

  1. Demonstrate ability to develop family life curriculum by researching a given topic using scholarly sources and by preparing detailed lesson plans for teaching, using active learning methods.
  2. Demonstrate the skill of taking stock and being reflective in order to improve the delivery of family life education.
  3. Learn to be proactive and take responsibility for one’s progress and learning in the course.


Outcomes were structured using the taxonomy from: Fink, L.D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Working with a Partner

Ideally you will complete the project with a practicum partner. Completing the practicum with a partner enables you to combine your strengths and resources and to learn from one another. When selecting a partner, search for someone that has similar interests in one of the three options for the practicum (below) and that has similar interests in a given family life education topic. You are encouraged to be sensitive to other practicum students who may be in need of a partner. A student information Google Doc will be provided in to help you learn about and select a partner.

If working with a partner is not possible because you are separated from other practicum students geographically, or because your interest in teaching a given family life topic does not correspond to others, then you may consider completing the project alone. For those who select the workshop option, working with a partner is likely to be the most difficult if you live in different communities. If this is the case, as mentioned, you could complete the project alone or prepare the workshop and portfolio together but teach separately.

If you work with a partner, only submit one portfolio for the partnership, including only one submission for each of the different sections that comprise the portfolio. 

Partnership/Peer Evaluations

At the end of the semester you will evaluate one another as partners. Be a good partner by respecting your partner’s time, communicating regularly, being responsive to feedback, and pulling your share of the workload. Any time individuals from different backgrounds complete a major project together, conflict is inevitable. You must be open and honest in your feedback with one another and to address conflict early on in the semester, as needed. Resentment builds if one fails to address conflict. Moreover, learning how to work through conflict in a healthy and constructive manner is consistent with the major in marriage and family studies.

Learning from all Aspects of the Practicum Project

If you are able to work with another member of the class, you are to create one portfolio between the two of you. Having said this, keep in mind that the practicum is to help each student in the class to develop and refine a range of skills (i.e., writing, use of technology, ability to work through problems and challenges, finding scholarly research, etc.). Therefore, students are responsible to ensure that they and their partner learn from all aspects of the practicum project, especially in those areas where one tends to lack confidence or has limitations. For example, it may be tempting to shy away from learning activities in areas where one tends to have weaknesses and to complete activities associated with one’s strengths. Doing so defeats the purpose of the practicum experience. In short, you are strongly encouraged to teach and support one another in the range of learning activities so that both of you grow in remarkable ways from the practicum experience.

Completing the Practicum Project: Three Available Options

To complete the practicum you must teach family life education by selecting and completing one of the following options, as listed below. Read through the 3 options and begin thinking about which option most closely corresponds with your interests. In addition, be thinking about potential family life topics that you are most interested in teaching.

Note: You may not charge for participation in any of Practice Project options.

1) Family Relations

What is Family Relations? Family Relations is a program developed specifically for the Family Practicum course. This option enables practicum students to teach family life education one-on-one. More precisely, if you have a practicum partner it enables you and your partner to teach two-on-one. The beauty of this option is that it allows you to tailor family life education to the specific needs of an individual or couple you teach. Also, it can be completed by teaching an individual face-to-face or through Skype or Google+.

Detailed instructions about this project and its parts can be found in the Project Resources folder in the course.

Portfolio: Family Relations Option

Along with preparing and teaching family life education, you are to create a professional portfolio that captures what you did and what you learned. When completed, the portfolio will serve as a finished product that can be shared with a potential employer. In fact, as you organize and write your portfolio, keep in mind that the audience you are writing for is a potential employer. Make sure the portfolio is well written, organized, and professional in content and appearance.

2) Family Life Education Workshop

You are to develop, teach, market, and evaluate a family life education workshop. To come up with a topic for your workshop you will need to identify the family related needs of a specific target audience and will also need to take into consideration areas of family life that you are interested or somewhat knowledgeable in. General content areas associated with family life are listed in Appendix B of the text for the class (Duncan & Goddard, 2011). Use this appendix to help generate potential topics.          

Detailed instructions about this project and its parts can be found in the Project Resources folder in the course.

Portfolio: Workshop Option

Based on the FLE workshop you develop and implement, you are to create a professional portfolio that captures what you did and what you learned. When completed, the portfolio will serve as a finished product that can be shared with a potential employer. In fact, as you organize and write your portfolio, keep in mind that the audience you are writing for is a potential employer. Make sure the portfolio is well written, organized, and professional in content and appearance.

3) Online Curriculum Option

With exciting technological advances, teaching family life education can now be done using social media. Through this option you have the potential to influence many individuals, especially if you continue to stay involved in teaching through social media and you refine your skills and abilities over time. This option consists of working with a partner to write at least six well written, scholarly posts about family life that are all centered around a theme and to share the messages through a blog. You are encouraged to increase the number of viewers by using other social media platforms to direct readers to your blog. This option will be completed by developing your own blog. You are welcome to use whatever blogging tool you are most comfortable with (i.e., WordPress, Blogger, etc.).

It is assumed that those who select this option are somewhat knowledgeable with using social media. If you select this option and have limited experience, you will be expected to identify and learn from available resources relative to how to be effective using social media. If your understanding is limited, you would be wise to work with a partner that has some experience using social media.

Detailed instructions about this project and its parts can be found in the Project Resources folder in the course.

Portfolio: Online Curriculum Option

Based on the family life education program you develop through social media, you are to create a professional portfolio that captures what you did and what you learned. When completed, the portfolio will serve as a finished product that can be shared with a potential employer. In fact, as you organize and write your portfolio, keep in mind that the audience you are writing for is a potential employer. Make sure the portfolio is well written, organized, and professional in content and appearance.

Important Information

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.

Submitting Write-ups for the portfolio

All submissions are to be made through the “Assignment” tab/folder in I-learn, including those that are to be turned in through turnitin. You are to submit each section for the portfolio as an attachment separate from the other portfolio sections. Keep in mind that submitting pieces to the portfolio in a timely manner is very important. By doing so the instructor is able to supervise your work and is able to give you feedback as you progress through the practicum. Remember, you will be evaluated on the timeliness in which you submit portfolio submissions. Furthermore, submit each section when finished, rather than waiting to submit several sections at once. Make sure you send your very best work to the instructor. Sloppy work and a lack of conscientiousness to detail in writing will affect your grade.

Grading Submissions

Instructors for this course have many responsibilities and cannot grade submissions immediately. You must know that it will take 4-7 days to grade submissions, depending on the day of the week and the time of the semester when you make a submission.

Mastery Level Grading System

Grades for the practicum will be based on a mastery level grading system, rather a point system. The purpose of using a mastery level grading system is that it enables you to learn from mistakes and refine your work, thus enhancing learning. See the mastery level grading rubric for details. You are responsible to understand the details in the rubric. Keep in mind that grades at the end of the semester will be based on all of the sections in the rubric.

Partnership and Consultants

To provide quality education to participants, each student will serve in two different roles: 1) as a partner (or “partnership”). You are to work with a partner to prepare and deliver the education, as described above. And 2) you and your partner are to serve as consultants to another partnership. As consultants, you are to provide observational insights to help another assigned partnership prepare for and deliver an effective program, this includes carefully critiquing curriculum, offering suggestions, and where possible, sharing observations about teaching and program delivery.

            As a partnership, you are expected to turn in quality work. If needed, use your consultants to critique your work prior to submitting it to the instructor. As a consultant, you should have the same willingness and commitment to provide needed assistance.

            Caution: As consultants, you have a responsibility to help the other partnership to be successful. At the same time, be careful! Don't try to micromanage the other team. Once suggestions or observations are extended, back off and let the other partnership decide what counsel to use and not to use. Also, be cautious about providing observations that are not solicited. In short, be sensitive to roles and boundaries. Be involved as needed, but not overbearing.

            Evaluation: At the conclusion of the program, students within each partnership will evaluate themselves and one another based on specific teamwork skills. Students will also evaluate themselves and those who consulted them based on helpfulness and dependability. These assessments will be used as part of one's assessment of preparation and participation for the course.

Learning-Teaching Interactions


Learning-teaching interactions are learning activities designed to help you think more deeply about the assigned reading material for the course, including the relevance of the readings to your specific practicum project. To complete a given learning-teaching interaction, complete all of the assigned reading within a given reading block, or unit. Then simply summarize your thoughts, insights, and questions associated with the readings for that particular unit and do so in an outline format, using bullets. Your outline for a given unit does not need to be more than approximately one and a half pages for all of the chapters/readings in that unit, so focus on the ideas in the readings that you find most interesting and useful to your project. The purpose of using an outline format is to simplify this learning activity, thus allowing you to focus the majority of your time on your practicum project. When creating your outline, be careful! You are to summarize your thoughts and insights, rather than summarizing the content of what you read.

The outline should be organized in a resume style. Make sure your outline is well organized so that key insights can be quickly identified. Use bullets and empty space between sections. You do not have to write in complete sentences, however provide enough detail with each bullet to represent a clear thought. Single-space the outline and do your best to condense your thoughts and insights into about one and a half pages of text. Be sure to list the chapter or the name of an article before listing the ideas associated with that chapter/article.

To help you think more deeply about the readings, a set of reflection questions will be posted to I-Learn each week. Use these questions as needed. You may want to respond to a few of the questions for a given chapter/article, along with sharing some of your own insights. You are strongly encouraged to record your insights after reading a given chapter/article, rather than procrastinating until the due date; otherwise this learning activity merely becomes busy work. Moreover, outlines will not pass the instructor's assessment if they appear to be busy work. Along with a structured and well organized outline, the instructor is especially looking for evidence of in-depth thinking.

Teaching Interaction

After completing an outline for a given reading unit, you are to use your outline to teach what you have learned to your partner and consulting team. There are two different options for completing this teaching requirement.

Option 1

  1. Share/teach selected insights from your outline with your partner and consulting team in a video recording that is not to exceed 7-8 minutes. Please be respectful of other team members by not exceeding this time limit. Then post your outline and your recorded teaching interaction to I-Learn.
  2. Listen to the recordings of your partner and members of your consulting team.
  3. Share your thoughts and insights from the learning-teaching interactions of others to the discussion board. Be sure to share thoughts that represent in-depth thinking and that contribute to the learning of others. Posts should be equivalent to at least one-third to one-half page, single-spaced text.

Option 2

  1. Meet live for 20-30 minutes with your partner and consulting team to discuss and share insights from your outlines with each other via Google Hangouts or Zoom.
  2. Post the recording of the 20-30 minute discussion, along with your outline, to the discussion board.
  3. Note: Members who cannot attend the teaching interaction can post their own individual videos and respond on the discussion board to the group meeting, thus completing option 1.

In summary, learning/teaching interactions will be evaluated based on:

Teaching Interaction:

Option 1

Option 2

Due dates:

Option 1

Option 2

Final Reflection Paper: Personal Growth

You are to conclude your practicum by reflecting on and responding to the following questions. Where possible, give examples to illustrate your conclusions. The paper should be 3-4 pages (double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins on all sides of each page). Structure the different sections of the paper using headings. Make sure you use proper spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. Make sure each paragraph contains only one main idea. In short, the paper must be well written.

  1. How has this practicum affected my attitude toward and sensitivity to the needs of those whom I served during the practicum?
  2. What are some of my greatest personal attributes or gifts of the Spirit as they pertain to working with and helping others? (For an excellent summary of various gifts of the Spirit that one may have yet not recognize, see: Marvin J. Ashton, There are many gifts, Ensign, November 1997. Link:
  3. What gifts of the Spirit or abilities related to working with others would I like to seek for and further develop?
  4. How has my confidence in my ability to deliver family life education and to make a difference in the lives of others changed over the semester?
  5. What are a few of the most important lessons I learn about myself as a result of this practicum experience?
  6. Looking into the future, in what capacities do I see myself delivering family life education and making a difference in the lives of others as a mentor or teacher, whether I am a homemaker, paid professional, volunteer, etc.?


Part of becoming a professional is having professional papers, including a resume. To this end, you are to complete a polished resume.

University Policies

Code of Honor

It is expected that you will observe the Code of Honor: specifically – be honest, refrain from plagiarizing or any form of cheating; obey all rules and regulations; comply with the college dress and grooming standards; and help others in class to also fulfill their responsibilities to the Code of Honor.