Course Syllabus

This course will help you understand the foundational principles of successful marriages with application to strengthening marriages.


  1. Describe scholarly and doctrinal principles of successful marriages.
  2. Describe the impact of my family of origin on my current or future marriage.
  3. Demonstrate in my own relationships the application of correct principles pertaining to relationship success, particularly marriage.

Required Course Materials

  1. You must have access to a microphone and webcam.
  2. Textbook: Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart, 2nd edition by William Doherty. (2013) New York, NY: Guilford Press.
    • The digital copy is available free in the course. A paperback may be purchased through the University Store, but is not required.
    • ISBN-13: 978-1462503674

Optional Materials

  • Then Comes Marriage by Mark D. Ogletree and Douglas E. Brinley. This book will not be referenced in any course material but many students have found it to be helpful in their personal study.


The nature of family-related courses lends itself to some personal disclosure, which is appropriate. However, in their role as instructors, BYU-Idaho employees are not mental health counselors. Because of this, you should be cautious in the personal information you choose to disclose during this course (discussion boards, emails, assignments, etc.). If you have experienced (or are currently experiencing) abuse or trauma, you are strongly urged to speak up and seek professional help. In order to obtain adequate help, it is important to seek assistance from the appropriate places. Because of the nature of the instructor-student relationship, a university course is not an appropriate setting for certain personal disclosures (abuse, trauma, personal addictions, sensitive information about one’s family or spouse, etc.). Although BYU-Idaho instructors care for their students, it is not appropriate for them to give therapeutic advice or counsel that would be more fitting in a professional therapist-client relationship. When outside help would be beneficial, you are strongly encouraged to seek help from trusted friends, church leaders, ministering brothers or sisters, and/or professionals. You may also consider exploring this resource from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Abuse: Help, Healing, and Protection.

Academic Honesty 

All assignments in this course are personal in nature and therefore, any use of material previously submitted to another course or instructor will show up in Turn-It-In, a plagiarism detecting software, as copied material. Student work created with artificial intelligence software (AI) will be easily identifable and closely monitored by your instructor. Please do not use AI in your assignments.

Plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated in this course. An automatic 0 will be applied to work that is plagiarized. Other actions may be taken on a case by case situation, including reporting the incident to the Honor Code Office. 

Deadlines/Late Work Policy

Because I-Learn does not scale times to match your local time zone, please note that times are set at 11:59 PM Mountain Time (USA). You will need to be sure your I-Learn profile is set to your local time zone and check your Calendar to see when assignments are due for you. There are 1-2 deadlines to meet per week.

If you are in the Mountain Time Zone, these dates/times are:

  • Wednesday at 11:59 PM
  • Saturday at 11:59 PM.

If you are not in the Mountain Time Zone, these due dates will be adjusted to your time zone if you have updated your Canvas Profile and set your time zone. Once this is done, you may use the Calendar and your To-Do list to see the exact due dates and times for your location.

All postings to discussions, quizzes, activities, blog posts, etc. are due at one of these two times. You are encouraged to submit your work and complete the reading well before the time it is due. NO late work is accepted for full credit. An automatic 33% reduction per day will apply to late assignments. Quizzes will not be administered after the due date. No late work is accepted for missed discussions.

All assignments in Week 07 are due by Wednesday at 11:59 (Mountain Time). See Calendar for exact time in your time zone.

Planning Your Time

Students taking a fourteen-week, one-credit class are expected to spend three to four hours per week. For a seven-week, one-credit block class, students must plan to spend six to eight hours a week on class work!

Learning Activities

Participation (25%)

Learning includes both preparation and participation; therefore this is a major part of your grade. It is expected that you will engage intellectually with the readings and the course work and then participate in a meaningful way. It is the responsibility of each of us to contribute in meaningful ways, including offering thoughtful questions and responses that facilitate learning among everyone.

Weekly Note Journal (15%)

To help ensure that what you learn in this course stays with you beyond the last day of the term, you will keep a note journal of all that you are learning regarding marriage, principles, and doctrines. You should record any insights you gain from your studies (i.e., reading alone, pondering, and discussing content with others).

You will report your completion weekly via a quiz.

At the end of the term, you will submit ONE of your journal entries, and describe why it is the most meaningful to you.

Your weekly journal will be your study guide for the final exam. No additional study guides will be provided.

Family of Origin Paper (25%)

Week 02

Your experience in your family of origin will have a significant impact on your marriage. For this paper, you will seek to increase your awareness of the influences from your family of origin. You will analyze your overall family of origin and the negative/positive traits as you grew up.

Conflict Conversation Paper (15%)

Week 05

Learning to have conversations with people with whom we disagree is an important marital skill. In order to complete this assignment you will need to either resolve a conflict with another person or have a conversation with someone about something with which you disagree.

Live Class Session

Week 06

Your instructor will lead a live class meeting in Week 06. This experience will help you obtain answers to questions you and your classmates have asked about relationships. The meeting will be recorded for those who cannot attend in person. You will report your experience of the live class during the final exam.You may find this one of the most valuable experiences of the term!

Final Exam (20%)

Week 07

This is a comprehensive final exam. Questions can come from any of the class readings (W0-1-07). The exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions and 4 essay questions. Students should take notes as they read and use those notes to study for this exam. The exam will be closed note/ book. 

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio for the final exam. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the Proctorio extension has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to this help guide article.

Be sure to also read:

You will be given a practice test in Week 06 so that you can ensure that your system works with Proctorio. (You will need a working webcam and microphone.) This will prepare you to take the required Final Exam with Proctorio. 

There is no alternative way to take the final exam; you must take the exam with Proctorio. The final is worth 20% of your grade. 

Technical Support

If you need technical assistance, use the I-learn "Help" button located on the left side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center (either BYU-Idaho Help or BYU-Pathway Help). 

If you encounter any issues with Proctorio, rather than approaching your online instructor, Proctorio has provided resources to solve a majority of issues students can experience and that are available at all hours of the day. See Proctorio Support.

Learning Model

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 teach one another on a weekly basis by sharing their thoughts and insights through discussion forums and other learning activities. Students will have opportunities to ponder and reflect on reading material and insights of others and will record personal insights in a journal on a weekly basis. Students will prove what they learned by writing papers and other learning activities.

Grading Policies

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 100% – 94%
A- 93% – 90%
B+ 89% – 87%
B 86% – 84%
B- 83% – 80%
C+ 79% – 77%
C 76% – 74%
C- 73% – 70%
D+ 69% – 67%
D 66% – 64%
D- 63% – 60%
F 59% – 00%


Your grade should reflect the grade description below. If while assessing and calculating final grades, it is deemed that your grade on I-Learn does not reflect the grade description from the university, I reserve the right to make a grade change based on the criteria below:

"A" represents outstanding understanding, application, and integration of subject material and extensive evidence of original thinking, skillful use of concepts, and ability to analyze and solve complex problems. Demonstrates diligent application of the Learning Model principles, including initiative in serving other students.

"B" represents considerable/significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material that would prepare a student to be successful in next level courses, graduate school, or employment. The student participates in the Learning Model as applied in the course.

"C" represents sufficient understanding of subject matter. The student demonstrates minimal initiative to be prepared for class. Sequenced courses could be attempted, but mastering new materials might prove challenging. The student participates only marginally in the Learning Model.

"D" represents poor performance and initiative to learn, understand, and apply course materials. Retaking a course or remediation may be necessary to prepare for additional instruction in this subject matter.


To learn from and teach one another, regular participation is necessary. If you have a legitimate emergency that may affect your participation, contact your instructor ASAP. Keep in mind the principles found in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). You cannot cram in learning and becoming at the last minute!

Program Statement for Marriage and Family Studies

March 2021

As the world is becoming more diverse in its values and perspectives on marriage and the family, it becomes increasingly important that students and faculty understand our mission as a major in Marriage and Family Studies at BYU-Idaho. Consistent with the University, our mission is to prepare family life professionals to strengthen families throughout the world as true disciples of Jesus Christ, as outlined in the doctrines and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Regardless of current or future philosophies or practices related to the family unit, the major of Marriage and Family Studies at BYU-Idaho is built upon The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Although this program will explore a variety of views and perspectives on the family, and each student is entitled to his or her own beliefs, it will emphasize research and theory and be guided by eternal truths as taught by the Lord’s prophets. In short, our major strives to follow the admonition from President Dallin H. Oaks that “every generation has its tests and its chance to stand and prove itself. I believe our attitude toward and use of the family proclamation is one of those tests for this generation. I pray for all Latter-day Saints to stand firm in that test.” (from “The Plan and the Proclamation,” October 2017 General Conference)

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 Brigham Young University-Idaho (please see Academic Honesty (Links to an external site.)) 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.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course requires synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
    • Student with Disabilities
    • Complaints and Grievances
    • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


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.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due