Course Syllabus

Course Description

The adolescent experience will be examined within a developmental and social context, with emphasis on the importance of the family. Other contexts to be considered include peers, religion, community, schools, and broader cultural systems.

This is a three-credit course. On average, students spend 2–3 hours on homework per credit per week. Therefore, students usually spend 9–12 hours a week in this course.

Course Objectives

Through readings, class discussions, media presentations, course assignments, and examinations, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize the important developmental changes that young people experience during this period that cause them to respond so differently to their world, and their world to respond so differently to them.
  2. Understand the changing context that adolescents encounter as they move between childhood and adulthood.
  3. Recognize how these new contexts facilitate young people's movement toward adulthood.
  4. Understand the interaction that exists between adolescents' individual development and their changing context, as well as the theories that link these different processes together.
  5. Develop qualitative interviewing skills and be able to interpret the results of an adolescent interview.
  6. Be aware of the at-risk issues that are most pronounced during adolescence and understand why they are more evident during this stage of development.
  7. Have an awareness of the prevention and intervention strategies for helping adolescents and their families cope with many of the issues they are likely to encounter.

Required Course Materials 

  1. You must have access to a microphone and webcam.
  2. Textbook: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood, 6th Edition, by Jeffery J. Arnett (ISBN: 9780134722894)
    • The required textbook for this course is a low cost auto access digital textbook. Access the textbook using the "Course Materials" link on the side menu. Your student financial account will be charged automatically on the first day of class.
    • There is NO print textbook available. Purchase the eBook found in this course or purchase the eBook through the publisher.
    • If you have already ordered the eBook from the publisher, you may opt-out in order to receive a refund. You must opt out by the current term’s Drop Date to receive a refund. When you opt out, you will lose access to the Auto Access eBook in the course.
    • Go to your Course Materials List to opt out.

Course Requirements

Scholastic Honesty

As a student of Brigham Young University–Idaho, you are bound by the Honor Code to adhere to high ethical and moral values. While all students sign the honor code, many students have not completely mastered the specific skills necessary to correctly cite sources (especially in the internet age), as well as deal with the stress and strain of college life without resorting to cheating. Scholastic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) cheating; plagiarism (not giving due credit to work done by another); submitting the same or substantially similar papers for more than one course without consent of all instructors concerned; or sabotaging another person's work. Consistent with the University Honor Code, any infraction will potentially be grounds for a failing grade in this course and referral to the Honor Code Office. See the university website, Academic Honesty, for specific examples of plagiarism or other forms of scholastic dishonesty.

End of Unit Quizzes

There are 7 end-of-unit quizzes. The quizzes will only assess your knowledge of the textbook. Each end-of-unit quiz will have between 80 and 200 questions to draw from. You will be given two chances to get your highest score out of a random selection of 35 questions taken from these hand-selected question banks. Questions are worth 2 points each, or 70 points possible overall for each quiz. These quizzes are closed book and closed neighbor.

"Let's Talk About It" Discussions

You will have weekly opportunities to discuss with your classmates about some topic and/or articles that you have read for that week. Your comments in these discussions will be graded on two criteria. First, your discussion comments should be based on a thoughtful consideration of the topics of focus. Second, you must also demonstrate what you have learned from the required materials.

These discussions will help your instructor assess whether you have really read the materials for that reading period. Your "Let's Talk About It" activities will be graded on whether you have read and understood the material, particularly the readings not found in the textbook. Each "Let's Talk About It" activity is worth 15 points.

"What Do You Know" Activities

You will also have weekly opportunities to demonstrate what you have learned through the "What Do You Know" activities. These are similar to the study journal entries that might be included in any other online class, but like the "Let's Talk About It" discussions, the "What Do You Know" activities will be graded on a more in-depth level than just participation points. These activities will be graded based on the thoughtfulness of your response, but also on your ability to demonstrate what you have learned from the required materials, particularly the readings not found in the textbook. Each "What Do You Know" activity is worth 15 points.

Four Major Papers

All four of the major papers that you will submit during the semester should be typed, double spaced, formatted using APA publication standards (Seventh Edition), and written to specified page lengths. Abstracts are not required for any of the assignments.

  1. Personal Adolescence. The first paper is a self-reflection of your own adolescent experience. It will focus on those specific aspects of your adolescence that stand out for you, with an explanation about why they were important to defining this period of your life or in defining who you have become. Papers should be in APA format and are limited to 2 to 2½ pages of text.
  2. Community Perspective on an Adolescent Topic. The purpose of this paper is to help you identify some of the information/advice that is available to parents and adolescents about a topic of interest to you. Select some aspect of adolescent development or adolescent risk-taking behavior that interests you. You will then identify one article from a popular adolescent magazine and one intervention or prevention article geared toward adolescents that is provided by a local outreach organization or by a well-respected information website. The articles you select to critique for this assignment must be attached (original material or copies) to your assignment. Papers are limited to 3 to 3½ pages of text and in APA format.

    All reviewed materials are to be written for adolescents. Examples of adolescent magazines include SeventeenTeenTeen PeopleYM, and New Era. Examples of well-respected information websites include the site for the Center for Disease Control, the Virtual Office of the Surgeon General, the site for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (NCPTP), the site for the Center for Change, AMA, and Adolescent Health Online.

    You should address the following four criteria for each article and intervention/prevention document you include:

    • Provide a brief overview of what the article is attempting to accomplish.
    • Assess the quality of the article and its likely appeal to its intended audience.
    • Identify the specific ideology or set of assumptions, if any, that the author(s) appears to be operating under.
    • Indicate the extent to which you feel the information provided and advice given in the article would be beneficial to and in the best interest of the target audience.
  3. Adolescent Interview. This paper is based on an interview that each of you will do with a real, live adolescent. Questions are provided with the instructions for the assignment, and the resulting paper will be based on your summary of the young person's responses to your questions and your insights about his or her responses. Rather than a transcript of the interview, you should summarize within main topics those things that were addressed in the interview. Provide an introductory paragraph and a concluding section where you summarize your overall perceptions about your adolescent. An example would be your assessment of whether he or she seems like a pretty typical adolescent and whether his or her experiences and responses to those experiences seem normal, or are they and the issues they are dealing with very atypical? Demonstrate an effort to use class material that has been covered at that point in the semester to help justify the insights you provide. Papers are limited to 3 to 3½ pages of text and in APA format.
  4. Final Paper. This paper is a capstone paper demonstrating your ability to utilize material learned during the semester to better explain the issues specific to an adolescent topic of choice. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate your ability to apply class material to some specific context of adolescence. Papers are limited to 3–4 pages of text and in APA format.

    You must have at least two research-based articles or research-based book chapters (2) that provide a good background about your adolescent issue (our textbook doesn't count for one of the two). You can count one of the articles presented here during the semester, if they are applicable to your chosen issue. In the paper, you will briefly introduce your issue and establish why it is important to adolescents. Next, provide a review of literature about what is currently known about your topic based on your two research articles or research-based book chapters. This first part should take about half of your paper. In the remaining part of your paper explain how class material might improve our understanding of your chosen issue by considering it within at least three of the developmental and contextual topics covered in class (e.g. physiological, cognitive, psychosocial, family, peers, school, etc.). For example, how might the changes that are occurring during pubertal or cognitive development be important to adolescents decisions about whether to engage in sexual intercourse or use illegal substances. For this section of your paper you will need to be able to think about your chosen issue in ways that may not have been considered yet in the research. Also, in order to effectively use class materials in considering your adolescent issue, you will need to be able to think about how these materials might operate beyond what was covered in class or in our textbook. Support your use of class material using our textbook, presented articles, and class lecture notes. For example, if you are talking about how identity development is important to parent–adolescent conflict, refer to one of the articles provided in class about identity development to support your ideas. Depending on the adolescent topic you select to write about, some class material will lend itself better to providing insights than others.

    You must have access to a computer and a webcam.


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 usually 3 deadlines to meet per week.

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

  • Tuesday at 11:59 PM
  • Thursday 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.

The final quiz is due midweek of Week 14. See Calendar for exact time in your time zone.

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. 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 software 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.

Teaching Assistant

A teaching assistant (TA) will be assisting the instructor in this class.


Your instructor will try to be as accurate as possible in recording scores; however, sometimes errors are made. Please keep all assignments that are returned to you until after the semester is completed and your grade has been assigned.

Your grade will be determined by the percentage of points you earn out of the total possible for the class. Points will be accumulated as follows:

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

Course Assignments Points Possible
Syllabus Quiz 10 points
Ice Breaker Activity 10 points
7 end of unit quizzes 70 points each
The "Let's Talk About It" discussions 15 points each
The "What Do You Know" activities 15 points each
Self-Reflection Paper 25 points
Adolescent Interview Paper 40 points
Community Perspective Paper 35 points
Capstone Paper 40 points

If you are concerned about how you are doing in the course, your instructor would be happy to discuss your grade via email.

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 (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 may require 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.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due