Textbooks (2 Required)
- Gottman, J.M., & Silver, N. (2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (Revised). New York: Harmony Books. (ISBN: 9780553447712)
Note: This is available as an E-Book through the University Store.
- Goddard, H.W. (2007). Drawing Heaven Into Your Marriage. Fairfax, VA: Meridian Publishing. (ISBN: 9781441486547)
Note: This is available digitally for free through the link above.
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.
A selection of articles for the course are posted on I-Learn in the Student Resources module.
- Articulate historical trends, cultural influences, and current challenges affecting marriage in America.
- Understand the significance of healthy marriages to the well-being of children, families, and society.
- Deepen your conviction of the importance of marriage in God's eternal plan for you.
- As identified by family research and gospel principles, understand and where possible, demonstrate how to apply to your marriage or relationships effective skills and principles associated with marital stability and satisfaction.
- Understand principles to help one successfully adjust to common transitions in marriage.
Learning Model Architecture
This online course is structured using the learning model at BYU-Idaho. Students will prepare by reading and reflecting on the assigned reading material and by completing other assignments. Students will be assigned to a group and will teach one another on a weekly basis by sharing their thoughts and insights through a group discussion board and other learning activities. Students will have opportunities to ponder and reflect on reading material and insights of others and will share their insights at the end of the semester in a paper. Students will prove what they learned through online quizzes and other learning activities.
This course requires approximately 9–12 hours of work each week. While BYU-Idaho online courses offer increased flexibility, you will still be required to complete assignments with specific weekly deadlines.
Above all else, your integrity is most important and is certainly more important than a few points or an entire grade. In a course such as this, there are many ways a student could be dishonest. You are trusted to be honest. Remember, honesty is a foundational requirement for enrollment at BYU-Idaho.
Assignment to a Group
You will be assigned to a group and will work with them for the first half of the semester. Near the midterm, you will be assigned to a different group so that you have an opportunity to work with other class members. Most of the interaction with group members will take place within the discussion board, as explained below. Your contribution to the group will be evaluated by yourself, the instructor, and other group members two times during the semester.
There are three deadlines to meet per week.
If you are in the Mountain Time Zone, these dates/times are:
- Wednesday at 11:59 PM
- Friday at 11:59 PM
- Saturday at 11:59 PM.
All postings to discussions, quizzes, activities, blog posts, etc. are due at one of these three times.
- You are encouraged to submit your work and complete the reading assignments well before the time it is due.
- NO LATE WORK IS ACCEPTED.
- Quizzes will not be administered after the due date.
- There is no late work accepted for missed discussions or group activities.
Assignments and Activities
The assigned reading material and video clips are carefully selected to help students enrich their learning. Students have an obligation to read the assigned material and to view video clips before the due date and will receive points for doing so.
If you have thoroughly read all of the assigned reading for the week and have completed it by the deadline, you will earn 5 points. These points are received by declaring in the "Reading Accounting" quiz whether or not you completed all of the reading for the week. These points cannot be made-up. In addition, partial credit cannot be received for only reading a portion of the assigned reading, therefore make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete the assigned reading and to watch the video clips before the due date. You are trusted to be honest when assigning yourself points. (Worth 5 points per week)
Once a week students will take a quiz regarding reading materials and assignments. The quiz must be taken by the due date. Quizzes are closed book, meaning no course material may be used while completing the quiz, including other students, reading material, or notes. As with other aspects of the course, you are trusted to be honest.
Quizzes may include questions that are true/false, multiple-choice, matching, fill in the blank, and short essay questions. Quizzes will cover assigned reading and other learning material for that week. You will have 8 minutes to complete each quiz, which should be more than enough time. (Worth 5 points per quiz; 60 total points.)
Individual and/or Group Activities:
Each week, there will be individual and/or group activities to facilitate active learning and to help students make connections between course material and their personal lives. Some of the activities will be in the form of a reaction paper. Activities must be completed by the due date. (Worth 5-10 points per activity)
Note: Many of the interactions and activities with group members will be done using the discussion board at times during the week that are convenient for you. However, there are some activities requiring students to have discussions with one another, which means there are specific times when you will be expected to be available for group discussions.
Online Marriage Blog
A few of the primary objectives of the major in Marriage and Family Studies at BYU-Idaho is to help students acquire necessary skills to successfully interact within today's world and to play a significant role in strengthening marriages and families. In this course, you will work toward these goals by using technology and persuasive communication skills to proclaim sound principles about marriage by creating an online blog. This learning activity is consistent with counsel from the General Authorities to Latter-day Saints to use social networks to proclaim the gospel, but keep in mind that the focus on this online blog is focused on the heart of the gospel: marriage and the family.
Through this online blog, you will have opportunities to think deeply about things you learn from the course and to share the principles and insights you believe will make the biggest difference in strengthening marriages. If you take this learning activity to heart and follow the quiet impressions that come through the Spirit, you will have opportunities to touch individual lives in personal ways.
After completing the reading and other learning material for each week, you will interact with other assigned group members by posting your thoughts on a discussion board.
There are two purposes for the discussion board:
Discussions are one of the primary learning tools for this course. It is with great hope that students will take the discussions seriously by preparing themselves by studying the reading assignments and by interacting in meaningful ways with group members.
At the beginning of Week 02, students will be assigned to a group of approximately five students. Near the midterm of the semester, the old groups will be dissolved and students will be assigned to a new group at the beginning of Week 08. This will provide an opportunity for students to work with two different groups during the course of the semester.
After prayerfully studying the learning material for the week, you are to teach and counsel with other students within your assigned group by making two separate posts to the discussion board.
Initial Post: Due Wednesday before 11:59 PM (Mountain Time): Based on the learning/preparation material for the week, what thoughts do you want to share with group members? Your goal should be to have true charity and humility and to teach with the Spirit so that others may develop spiritual insights and impressions that they would not have otherwise received.
Second Post: Due Friday before 11:59 PM (Mountain Time): After the initial post, you are to read the comments from other group members and respond to at least two of their initial posts. You are encouraged to respond by: posting questions that further learning, sharing thoughts from a different perspective, building upon the comments of others, sharing examples that illustrates principles or concepts discussed by other members, sharing thoughts on how a principle could be applied, or by linking the comments of other group members to class readings or ideas learned in other classes.
Both posts must be equivalent of at least one-half to a full page of typed, single-spaced text (approximately 350 to 600 words). The second post is due on Friday so that students can reflect on the comments of others and have time to weave the counsel and suggestions into their marriage blog before publishing it on Saturday.
Evaluation of Discussion Board Posts
Twice during the semester your discussion board posts will be anonymously evaluated by peers in your group, yourself, and by the instructor. You are entrusted to be honest in your evaluations. Assigning a student higher marks than what a student has earned is dishonest. Moreover, inflated peer evaluations that are obviously out of touch with the quality of work of peers will negatively affect an evaluator’s grade. In short, you are expected to be honest in your evaluations of peers. Peer evaluations will be based on the following criteria: (Worth 24 points each; 48 points total)
The assessment of posts to discussion board will be completed by peers within one's group, the individual student, and the instructor two times during the semester using the Discussion Grading Rubric. You can see the rubric in Weeks 02 and 08. (Worth 48 total points, 24 points for each assessment)
Genogram and Paper
Marriage Improvement Plan
As you complete the course readings and learning activities, you may want to consider recording what you learn about yourself in a journal. It is especially important to record impressions that come through the Spirit. If you are honestly seeking, the Holy Ghost will teach you specific things that will help you to build a stronger marriage. When these impressions come, you may want to record them in a personal journal and use these journal entries as the building blocks for a marriage improvement plan. Keeping a journal is not required but will certainly increase the learning and meaningfulness of this activity and learning within the course.
For this personal project you are to reflect on the principles taught throughout the course and to assess your strengths and weaknesses. In a paper, summarize your assessment and include a plan for self-improvement. Your plan does not need to address all of your weaknesses/limitations. What do you want to focus on to help you establish a strong marriage? You decide what is most meaningful to concentrate on in your plan, including the steps or things needed to make the improvements. Be sure to integrate course material into your paper, along with meaningful insights you learned about yourself throughout the course. Be thorough and specific. Make sure the paper is personalized and focused on you, rather than marriage in general. Record important lessons learned, meaningful insights, personal strengths and weaknesses, efforts to improve, and specific future plans to build a strong marriage.
Guidelines: Write a formal paper, but feel free to use bullet points where needed. Your paper must contain evidence of deep reflection and insight. Points will be deducted if the paper is “shallow.” In addition, be sure to integrate course material.
The paper should be 4-5 pages (double-spaced, 12 point font size, Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins on all sides of each page). Structure the different sections of the paper using headings. Points will be subtracted if there are problems in spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, or if sentences or paragraphs are confusing or awkwardly written. Make sure each paragraph contains only one main idea. In short, the paper must be well written. Be sure to reference the ideas and quotes in the body of the paper and cite all sources in the referenced section at the end of the paper.
Summary of Guidelines for Marriage Improvement Plan
Guidelines for Creating a Blog
- Online blogging tools: There are various options available to create a personal, online blog. Some blogging tool options include: WordPress, Blogger, and Weebly. You are responsible to register for the blog and learn how to use it. There will not be tech support through BYU-Idaho for the blogging tool you use, so if needed, watch online tutorials or visit with others who may be able to provide assistance.
- Threefold Purpose: Keep in mind that there is a threefold purpose for the online blog that you create: 1) Learn to skillfully interact with others through social networks. Wherever you are at with your skills and abilities using social networks, be creative and push yourself to learn how to build upon what you already know about how to use social networks effectively. 2) Share sound principles and doctrines that will strengthen marriages. 3) Help the reader understand what meaning the principles have for you. Personalize your blog with stories, examples, insights, and connect what you learn to other things you learned at BYU-Idaho. Where possible, enhance the visual appearance of your blog through the use of pictures.
- Length and content of blog: For Weeks 02–13, you must create a weekly entry for your blog. There is no length requirement because the goal of the blog is to share principles that will inspire those who read your blog to build stronger marriages. You are encouraged to think in terms of summarizing or sharing the needed principles, using video clips, quotes, stories, examples, etc., to capture and teach important principles in a concise way. Before writing a rough draft for your weekly blog, spend some time pondering the learning material for the week and thinking about the story or message you want to illustrate. What is it that you want to share that will touch hearts, and how will you share the message? What do you need to do to capture powerful principles in a creative manner? When creating your weekly blog, teach scholarly principles by weaving in your thoughts, insights, examples, stories, testimony, etc. Remember, personalizing your entries will be a primary means by which you draw the reader into your blog.
- Rough draft: Be cautious about posting sloppy work online. The quality of writing improves when one writes a rough draft, puts the rough draft away for a day or two, and then returns to critique and refine the draft. It is interesting how errors in writing become evident when one writes in this way.
- Counseling with group members: The discussion board is a valuable tool for counseling with group members. Seek their counsel to help improve the quality of your blog posts.
- Cautions: There are potential risks associated with creating an online blog and we do not want anyone to be hurt through this learning activity. Here are some specific cautions to keep in mind:
- Do not reveal too much about yourself through your blog. If you are going to share your name, you are encouraged to only share your first name and to eliminate information that would enable someone to identify personal information, such as where you live.
- Respect the privacy of family members and others. Revealing personal information about others, especially when you designate who it is you are talking about (i.e., parent, spouse, child, friend, etc.), is unprofessional and can damage relationships.
- Do not share things that are too sacred with the world. In today's world, few things are deemed sacred and if we are not careful, we can be guilty of trampling under our feet those things that are sacred. Especially be careful about not posting intimate details of one's own marriage or past relationships. Remember, what you post online can be read by many individuals.
- The world is growing increasingly antagonistic toward traditional marriage and gender roles, as upheld by the Church; especially if one objects to same-sex marriage. While we affirm the right to practice our religious freedoms, we must be respectful of others in our pluralistic society and wise in how we advocate for marriage and the family. We are not seeking to cause contention or division, but rather to share principles that will strengthen marriages and relationships.
- Everything you share must be in harmony and in keeping with "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and the good name of the Church and BYU-Idaho. Never share any type of content, video clips, stories, examples, links, etc., with questionable content or messages. When in doubt, don't share it.
- Never speak for the Church or for BYU-Idaho. At all times, you are responsible for what you teach and share. Speak for yourself only.
- Avoid plagiarism by giving credit for all ideas or materials used from others and by properly citing the references.
Grading Criteria for Blog
Your blog will be evaluated at the end of Week 07 and Week 13 by the instructor using the following criteria. Each assessment is worth 25 points, for a total of 50 points. The requirements for this blog are:
- Visually appealing: The blog was visually appealing and drew the reader in. Headings, bolded and italicized text, empty space between sections, bullet points, color, pictures, etc., enhance the visual appearance of the blog, and make it simple to quickly identify key sections and important concepts, and to quickly understand the overall structure or layout of a given entry. (Worth 5 points)
- Depth of posts: There was depth to what was taught in the blog and the “meat” of the message was not washed out or overshadowed by the other details. Moreover, the blog taught principles that were in accordance with principles of the gospel and "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Along with depth, the context or background information was provided in order to help a reader more fully understand the circumstances or situations in which a given principle or concept could be applied. In short, each entry to the blog was organized and written in a way that was clear, persuasive, and taught an in-depth principle(s) that would make a difference when applied. (Worth 10 points)
- Personalized: The blog was personalized by weaving in personal insights, examples, stories, testimony, pictures, etc. At the same time, the blog did not contain information that was excessively personal. (Worth 5 points)
- Well written: The blog was well-written. The ideas were organized in a logical manner so that the reader could see how all of the pieces were connected together. Moreover, proper punctuation, sentence structure, and good grammar were used. (Worth 5 points)
Grades will be based on the following points.
|Reading points (12 @ 5 points each)||60 points|
|Individual/Group Activities (5-10 points each)||95 points|
|Genogram & Paper||25 points|
|Marriage Improvement Plan||40 points|
|Quizzes (13 @ 5 points each)||65 points|
|Presentation on marriage (blog)||50 points|
|A||93% - 100%|
|A-||90% - 92%|
|B+||87% - 89%|
|B||83% - 86%|
|B-||80% - 82%|
|C+||77% - 79%|
|C||73% - 76%|
|C-||70% - 72%|
|D+||67% - 69%|
|D||63% - 66%|
|D-||60% - 62%|
|F||59% and below|
Academic Support Centers
Go to http://www.byui.edu/AcademicLearning, or come to the McKay Library, room 272 for information about how the writing, reading, math, and study skills centers can help you increase success in all of your classes. To schedule a tutor for a specific class, log on to Tutor Request under Student Services and follow the instructions.
Code of Honor
It is expected that you will observe the Honor Code: 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 Honor Code.
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 (i.e., Course Hero, Quizlet, Google Docs, etc.) by any means without the expressed 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 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.
Visit University Policies for additional information about:
- Student Honor
- Students with Disabilities
- Sexual Harassment
- Academic Honesty
- Dress & Grooming