The Family Syllabus
The purpose of this course is to make "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" live in the hearts and minds of students. In an environment of faith, your classmates and your instructor will engage in a careful study of this inspired document and its important relationship to societal changes and scholarly research on marriage and family. This course will employ principles from the family proclamation, in conjunction with support from relevant scholarly research, to:
- Strengthen understanding and testimony. Students will:
- Strengthen their understanding of the revealed doctrines, principles, and practices of the gospel of Jesus Christ that pertain to happy and successful marriage and family relations.
- Increase their testimonies of the sanctity and importance of marriage and family in Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal destiny of His beloved children.
- Enhance their spiritual comprehension and academic skills in order to help them weigh scholarly and contemporary ideas about marriage and family, and use both faith and scholarship to “hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).
- Move forward with faith. Students will:
- Gain confidence in their ability to establish their own eternal marriages and families.
- Apply principles from revealed truth and supportive scholarship to maintain and strengthen their marriages, families, and extended families.
- Share and defend principles. Students will:
- Assist others who desire understanding about applying principles of successful marriage and family life.
- Respectfully and confidently articulate and defend principles, practices, and policies that support and strengthen marriages and families using language of both scholarship and faith.
Success in this course results from both understanding and application of valuable eternal principles, and assisting others to do the same. As you prepare and participate in the course, you should move a little closer to discovering how the Lord can help you in your family. Each week can become a revelatory session that moves you to deeper covenant making and keeping. The design of the course gives you the opportunity to learn as broadly and deeply as you would like.
This course is a study of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." The main topics in this class include the plan of salvation, marriage partnerships, and family relationships. As with all BYU-Idaho online and campus courses, each credit equates to approximately three or four hours of work per week. Therefore, you need to be able to dedicate 9–12 hours of work each week to completing this course's assignments. Additionally, this course is designed using the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. Though online, this course is NOT an independent study course. You will be expected to interact with classmates weekly in order to teach one another about what you are learning. Some interaction is accomplished on discussion boards; other weekly activities use Zoom in order to meet with classmates synchronously. Apart from the introductory and conclusion week, this course follows a steady routine and weekly structure comprising three main activity areas as follows:
- Preparation. Each week has a reading assignment. Most weeks also have a reading discussion. You will offer your first observations in a weekly discussion by midweek, and then comment on others’ observations by the end of the week. (See Calendar and To Do List for exact days and times.) This discussion assignment will help you prepare for other learning activities.
- Weekly Activities. Additionally, you will participate in a student-choice learning activity, and a group meeting to discuss your completed activity (using Zoom).
- Periodic Project Updates. Four times during the term you will be prompted to submit an update on your on-going Family Proclamation Project.
What You Need to Know About Taking a Course Online
Some students mistakenly assume that online courses are easier because work can be done at the student's convenience. This assumption is false. FAML 100 requires the same commitment from students as a face-to-face course even though some things may be a little harder to accomplish online. Students who try to cram a whole week's worth of work into one or two concentrated blocks of time end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with the work load. For the religion courses in particular, attempting to complete all assignments at once will most likely lessen your ability to learn and be taught by the Spirit, and thus minimize the experience you could have in this course.
Students who have done well in this class say that spacing assignments throughout the week, or dedicating some time daily to the course, made a huge difference in their learning and satisfaction. We suggest committing to organize your time this semester so as to spread out your assignments so you are completing something every few days and are not pushing up against deadlines. It will make a difference in what you experience.
Learning Model Architecture
In keeping with the carefully developed Learning Model uniquely embraced by BYU-Idaho, students and instructors are encouraged to seek, recognize and note spiritual impressions regarding the subjects of study. You are also strongly encouraged to engage in meaningful exchanges inside and outside of class. Your purposeful sharing—academic, personal and practical—is critical to the success of this class. Please do your coursework with an attitude of listening and learning. Lovingly support others in doing the same.
Successful Marriages & Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives by A. Hawkins, D. Dollahite, & T. Draper. ISBN: 978C0842528030
The required textbook for this course is a low cost auto access digital textbook. 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.
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.
- Learn about Auto Access and learn how to opt out: BYU-I Auto Access.
- Go to your Course Materials List to opt-out of Auto Access materials.
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.
Students who obtain their digital textbook through BYU-I auto-access are able to use it on the first day of the semester. However, for convenience of those students ordering a physical book, we have provided the first few chapters to give you time to receive the book. All students MUST have purchased the book by Week 05.
Additional readings may come from the scriptures, LDS Church publications, the Church website (lds.org), or other resources that are readily available. Additional documents and presentations will also be offered throughout the course and will be considered required reading.
Introduction Week Activities (5% of Final Grade)
In the Introduction week, you will participate in various activities to help you understand the purpose of this course and to introduce you to your peers. This week's activities will assist you in understanding what is required of you for the rest of the semester and how to accomplish future assignments.
Required Papers (20% of Final Grade)
- What I Intend to Learn (5%) After reviewing the family proclamation and perusing its text, offer your thoughts as to what you intend to learn this semester. You will receive up to 20 points each for communicating (a) a general understanding of the family proclamation, and (b) areas in which you wish and intend to expand your understanding and commitment to those principles, including specific questions you will seek answers to. Up to 0 points will be granted for format, grammar, spelling, etc. Approximately 800–900 words in length.
- Proclamation Project Paper (10%) This paper will accompany and describe your semester-long Family Proclamation Project. See more details below in the section entitled Family Proclamation Project.
- What I Now Understand & Action Plan (10%) As the title and timing imply, this is your opportunity to discuss those things that you have learned/gained during this semester focusing on the family proclamation. Your challenge is to demonstrate an understanding or commitment to principles and practices beyond those with which you entered the course. You are encouraged to review their earlier paper, What I Intend to Learn, and compare the two. While a good understanding of principles is valuable, application is most important. Devise and document a clear plan of action, utilizing those things that you have found to be valuable and applicable from your study this semester. You will be graded as follows: Discuss some significant ways in which your perceptions, understanding, or commitments to principles from the family proclamation have changed as a result of your studies and efforts in this course (50 points). How do these outcomes compare with your expectations and hopes at the beginning of the semester (20 points)? Develop a plan of action for what you will do from here with the information or understandings you have gained as you studied the family proclamation (30 points). This assignment should be 800–1000 words in length.
A Note Regarding Written Assignments
Of the points available, up to 10 are granted for format, grammar, spelling, etc. Keep in mind that the mechanics of writing help to clearly communicate the author’s thoughts. Since class members are engaged at the university level, it is expected that your writing will reflect that. Each paper should use the Times New Roman font, in 12-point size, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins.
Of course, the bulk of the grade comes from your careful consideration and responses to the topics about which you are writing. It is assumed that university students are prepared to offer carefully crafted responses to problems or thought provoking questions. It is not enough to offer a brief synopsis or “what I think about…” type of response.
You are encouraged to sincerely ponder the topic/prompt, then work hard for meaningful responses. These assignments are, after all, for the benefit of the student—not the instructor. It is hoped that all will be edified in the process of learning and teaching.
Search for scriptural and inspired supports and clarification. Do not be shy about seeking direct inspiration. One need not “[look] beyond the mark,” but do not settle for the simplistic responses.
As a university student you are expected to develop your own ideas and distinguish between your own and someone else’s intellectual property. When you copy the words or ideas of anyone else and pass them off as your own, you are engaged in plagiarism, a serious academic and moral offense. Plagiarism is considered to be extremely unethical and is taken very seriously in academics. It also compromises your integrity and is a violation of the BYU-I honor code.
Plagiarism includes copying and pasting text, pictures, or other content from books, websites, or other media into class assignments and passing them off as your own. If an assignment asks you for your own work (i.e. opinion or understanding) and you copy someone else’s material (even just a paragraph, even if you replace some of the words with your own synonyms), without properly giving credit to the original source, you are plagiarizing.
Anyone caught plagiarizing will be penalized (usually with a failing grade). Other consequences can be as severe as being expelled from the university. Take a few minutes to read through the university’s website concerning plagiarism (Academic Honesty Policy) to make sure you do not sabotage any work you do for this course by plagiarizing.
Some of your papers will be checked by Turnitin.
Turnitin is an electronic text matching system which compares a student assignment against a database of sources and generates an originality report. The report highlights any matched text, calculates a Turnitin Similarity score for the matched text, and provides links for the matched text to the original source document, or a similar document on its database.
Teach One Another Discussions (10% of Final Grade)
This course includes nine asynchronous discussions. You will utilize the 3-2-1 format when writing your posts for these discussions:
- 3 important take-aways from the readings.
- 2 questions, ideas, or concepts you would like to better understand.
- 1 application to your life, your own experiences, or profession.
Discussions should center around the assigned textbook readings, provided articles, PowerPoint presentations, or other media that introduced the week's concepts and principles. You must complete these readings prior to exchanging thoughts on the Weekly discussion board.
To successfully participate in the discussion, you must complete reading/media assignments and make your initial discussion post by midweek. You will repond to a minimum of three students in your group and offer meaningful responses to each by the end of the week.
- See discussion boards for more detailed explanations.
- See Calendar and To-Do list for exact due dates and time.
Weekly Group Meeting (15% of Final Grade)
Each week you will choose at least one learning activity from several different options. These activities will pertain directly to the material being discussed in the readings and media. You should choose from the activities based upon personal interest and applicability to your family circumstances.
Structured learning activities should also be chosen to enhance and support the semester-long Family Proclamation Project. This allows you to customize learning experiences to address your personal needs and interests.
You will then meet with your assigned group using Zoom. You and your group members will discuss the learning activity that you completed, and what you gained from that experience. This session provides opportunities for direct interaction with students, and allows you to offer feedback and learn from the efforts and observations of other students.
Meeting Length Guidelines: Each week, aim for approximately 10-15 minutes per student attending the meeting.
Following your group Zoom meeting, you will write a short report about your learning activity and group discussion.
Reading Quizzes (15% of Final Grade)
There are 4 reading quizzes throughout the class. They will cover the readings in the text and other readings linked in the class. Be sure to complete all your readings before taking the quizzes.
Family Proclamation Project (30% of Final Grade)
Students will devise and complete a Family Proclamation Project—an ongoing project which allows students to use their own creativity to design and implement a product of their choosing. This project can be any item the student believes will help to accomplish the following objectives:
- Demonstrate comprehension and ability to implement course principles
- Integrate principles taught in different weeks throughout the course
- Is supported by engagement activities along the way which contribute to the development of the project
- Children’s book
- Booklet for teens
- Resource blog or website
- (Teaching) scrapbook
- Video presentation
- Script (play, film, TV)
- Musical works
- Community program (detailed)
- Brochures or pamphlets
- Specific, detailed plans for influencing a particular (real) family or individual (must be approved in advanced)
- The project should be something that can be shared with, or demonstrated to others. Design your project in a manner that makes it user-friendly.
- The project needs to include principles related to at least 12 of the chapters from the text.
- A paper will accompany the project, with a paragraph for each of the 12 or more chapters, explaining (1) the intended audience, (2) what you would like your audience to gain from the project, and (3) how the respective chapter was included or considered in planning and completion of the project.
- Weekly learning activities (as addressed on the discussion boards, above) should be chosen and/or tailored to support this major project, so as to facilitate meaningful learning and completion of this project.
See the rubric included in the assignment directions.
Weekly Reports (5% of Final Grade)
You will complete self-assessments throughout the course and are expected to use the following standards to help you assess and evaluate your efforts:
A: Outstanding, understanding, application, and integration of subject material…diligent application of Learning Model principles, including initiative in serving other students.
B: Considerable/significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material including participation in the Learning Model as applied in the course.
C: Sufficient understanding of subject matter but minimal initiative to be prepared for class activities including marginally participating in the Learning Model.
D: Poor performance and initiative to learn, understand, and apply course materials. Remediation or re-commitment seems necessary.
E: Failure to participate in this week’s learning opportunities.
Becoming a Learner
Students are expected to act and not be acted upon. Prepare spiritually to study and participate in each lesson; prepare to invite the Holy Ghost to teach you. You will find the more you take responsibility for your own learning, the more enjoyable the experience will be. This evaluation will be submitted at the end of each week on a class form.
Final Grading Scale
|Percentage Range||Letter Grade|
|94% – 100%||A|
|90% – 93.9%||A-|
|87% – 89.9%||B+|
|84% – 86.9%||B|
|80% – 83.9%||B-|
|77% – 79.9%||C+|
|74% – 76.9%||C|
|70% – 73.9%||C-|
|67% – 69.9%||D+|
|64% – 66.9%||D|
|60% – 63.9%||D-|
|00% – 59.9%||F|
Work that is late hampers your ability to fully participate in the course and will be accepted only at the instructor’s discretion. Any late work that is accepted will be penalized 10% each day it is late unless other arrangements are made with the instructor. Points for small group work cannot be made up once the group has met because the purpose of those assignments is to meet together. Do not expect your instructor to bend the course due dates to accommodate your personal scheduling conflicts, including weddings and vacations. However, if you know you will be unable to meet a due date for any particular assignment, an instructor may be able to work with you if you make prior arrangements to submit your work.
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 (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 BYU-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.
The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.