HS 420 - Health Behavior Models and Theories


Welcome to HS 420: Health Behavior Models and Theories! We hope you enjoy your experience as you learn the theoretical framework of health interventions, underpinnings of health behavior, strategies for improving health actions of a target population, and the ecological perspective.


The main outcome of this course is that you will construct and apply sound interventions driven by recognized behavioral theories and models.

In doing so, you will gain skills in three of the seven areas of responsibility for health education specialists:

  1. Construct: Area 1 -Assess Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  2. Driven by: Area 2 -Plan Health Education Strategies, Interventions, and Programs
  3. Apply: Area 3 -Implement Health Education Strategies, Interventions, and Programs

You will also recognize behaviors of unfamiliar populations in order to implement applicable health behavior theories and models to develop self-efficacy.


There aren't any official prerequisites for this course; however, you are strongly encouraged to take HS 240 –Introduction to Community Health before taking this course.

Required Materials And Technology

You will not purchase a textbook for this course. All materials will be provided for no additional cost within the course.

In addition to the standard System Requirements for all BYU-Idaho students, you must also have a webcam with functioning microphone in order to successfully meet with your group. You will meet with your group periodically throughout the semester via a Google Hangout on Air (HOA). Google Hangouts on Air (HOA) allows you to hold a video conference with your group, record the meeting, and then make the recording available to your instructor. It is critical that you know how to correctly carry out and record discussions in an HOA. You will set up the needed accounts and practice using an HOA during the Intro Lesson of the course. If you are not be familiar with these features, instructions will be provided in the course as well as hyperlinks to Google HOA common questions and troubleshooting features.

You will use Microsoft Office products in this course. If you do not yet have the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, etc.) on your computer, visit the Student Support page of the BYU-Idaho Online Learning website, click on "Technology Resources," and then select the "Download" button next to the "Microsoft Download" heading. This download is free for BYU-Idaho students.

You will also need occasional access to a digital camera. You can use the camera on a cell phone or a stand-alone camera. If you do not have a cell phone or digital camera, consider borrowing one from a friend or neighbor to complete the few assignments for which it is required.

Mozilla Firefox is the recommended internet browser for any I-Learn course. Videos, readings, and course functionality will work best in Firefox. Download Firefox and access the course using this browser.

Learning Model Architecture

The Learning Model is the foundation upon which all BYU-Idaho courses are created. The five principles of the learning model are to (1) exercise faith, (2) learn by the Holy Ghost, (3) lay hold on the Word of God, (4) act for themselves, and (5) love, serve, and teach one another. These principles are woven into the three process steps of prepare, teach one another, and ponder/prove.


Your preparation will vary slightly from lesson to lesson. However, it is typical to read text or watch a video and complete a comprehension quiz to test your readiness to use what you have learned. Sometimes you will also be presented with a scenario to consider to questions to ponder. When you finish your preparation activities, you should be ready to discuss what you have learned with others.

Teach One Another

You will love, serve, and teach one another as you complete synchronous group discussions. These discussions occur in about half of the lessons in this course and will allow you to explore the health behavior theories on a deeper level as you progress towards completion of larger assignments. Occasionally you will work with one classmate or participate in an online discussion.


Some of the opportunities to ponder and prove your learning in this course include completing application assignments and taking a final exam. Examples of assignments include composing written responses to critical thinking questions, conducting interviews, defending your position, creating interventions for a specific target population, and assessing the design/layout of a grocery store or market from a behavioral perspective.

How To Navigate This Course

Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the general lesson patterns you will encounter in this course. The lessons will not always adhere to this structure, but most lessons will follow this pattern.

  1. Begin each lesson by reading the Overview and Notes from Instructor. The Overview page is your Week-at-a-Glance introduction to the lesson and the Notes from Instructor is where you’ll learn critical information from your professor.
  2. Begin the Foundation and Readings activities early in the week. Most of the Readings also include an accountability or content quiz. Both the Foundation and Readings are due Tuesday.
  3. During the first half of the course, the Relevance activity is typically due on Thursday, so work on this next. During the second half of the course, you will complete the Relevance activity as a group, and it will be due on Saturday. (This is another reason why the Overview document at the beginning of each lesson is so important.)
  4. Finish up the lesson by demonstrating your learning through completion of the Application assignment. Since the Application assignment is the summative assessment of each lesson, it will require a more substantial amount of time to complete. Be sure to get started before the Saturday due date.

Grading Policies

Your grade in this course will be determined by the number of points you earn. The number of points you earn will be determined by the quality of work you submit and your level of understanding of the course material. Reading quizzes are worth 15 points each, discussions and group meetings are worth 20 points, and application assignments are worth 100 points. Beginning in Lesson 6, you will complete a brief self-efficacy survey at the end of each lesson worth 5 points. Add in a few miscellaneous items, and the total points available for the semester are just over 1700 points.

This course uses the standard BYU-I grading scale as follows:

A 93-100% B+ 87-89% C+ 77-79% D+ 67-69% A- 90-92% B 84-86% C 74-76% D 64-66% B- 80-83% C- 70-73% D- 60-63%

Anything less than a 60% will be recorded as an F.

Late Work

Late work is not accepted in this course. You are preparing for a career as a health professional. Submitting work after the deadline has passed is not a professional practice. It is your responsibility to submit your work on time. Therefore, it is imperative that you check the assignment due dates rather than relying solely upon the Student Dashboard to tell you what is due. Double check the Overview page for each lesson and/or the Schedule to ensure you are meeting your deadlines. For your convenience, all due dates are also listed at the top of each individual activity.

Your instructor will notify you of the grade penalty you will incur if you chose to submit work after the deadline has passed. In the rare circumstance that you are unable to meet a deadline due to a major event (for example: a car accident, natural disaster, hospitalization, death or birth in your immediate family, etc.), contact your instructor for assistance right away.


As this is a two credit course, the average student should reserve at least 6-9 hours each week for your coursework and study time. You may require more time for your specific learning style or study needs.

Participation with your classmates is vital to your success in this course. Learning from your peers can be just as important as learning from your instructor. Do all you can to make your synchronous and asynchronous group experiences positive.

Working in health education and in the gospel involves working with others. Understanding and listening to others and their points can be very educational. Please be respectful to your classmates and your instructor whether you agree or disagree with their perspective.

Honor Code

Thank you for living up to your promise to live the BYU-I Honor Code. If you need a refresher on the standards for honesty, chastity, respecting others, dress and grooming, or another aspect of the Honor Code, visit the CES Honor Code at BYU-Idaho webpage.


This syllabus can be changed or modified at any time.