Course Syllabus


Welcome to FHGEN 110: Family History Research Student Success! This 1-credit course will help you understand what is required to be better family history researchers for your personal research, as a ward consultant, as a student in the Family History Research program, and as a professional in the genealogical field. You will be better prepared for success in incorporating and sharing high standards of family history work.

Before taking this course, it is recommended that you have taken or are currently taking REL 261.

Program Message

This is the first course in the BYU-Idaho certificate of Family History Research. It is also the first step towards completing a Family History Research degree from BYU-Idaho. 

After completing the certificate, you should be able to demonstrate the competencies listed below. This course will help you develop the last two skills in the list and are presented in bold font.

  • Define a genealogical research problem.
  • Develop a plan to effectively and efficiently solve a basic United States research problem.
  • Gather information from documents relevant to a basic United States research problem.
  • Analyze evidence on a basic level to reach appropriate conclusions.
  • Record conclusions in standard genealogical formats such as family group sheets, pedigree charts, oral histories, family histories, and personal histories.
  • Teach family history skills to others and assist in promoting family history work.
  • Prepare for professional work in the genealogical field.



There are no prerequisites to complete before taking FHGEN 110. You will be required to write essays and small reports in the course. If you need additional writing help, contact the BYU-Idaho Writing Center or take ENG 106 or ENG 106L.

Required Resources

  1. No outside resources are required; all readings and content for the course are contained within the course at no additional charge.
  2. You need access to the standard computer equipment for online courses at BYU-Idaho. Ensure you have functioning speakers, headphones, and a microphone. For more information, read Information: Computer Standards for I-Learn.
  3. You will also need to download the Microsoft Office Suite, if you don't already have access to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Word and PowerPoint are included in the suite and will be used in this course. The Microsoft Office Suite is free for BYU-Idaho students.
    • Go to the University Store Downloads page and choose the "Microsoft" option.
    • Click on the Download button.
    • Follow the instructions on the screen to download the software.
    • IMPORTANT: Save your 25-character code. This is called a product key. You need your product key to use the software and to transfer it to a new computer the next time you change to a new device.
  4. You will also need a webcam and microphone to take the proctored exam.

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 (Links to an external site.).


Course Outcomes (CO)

By the end of this course, you should be able to demonstrate your mastery of the learning outcomes below.

  1. Identify and explain high research standards in personal family history research.
  2. Practice and teach high research standards for family history consultants.
  3. Prepare for success in the family history and genealogical field by exploring career options, incorporating professional standards, and explaining the purpose of credentialing organizations.
  4. Analyze your personal and career goals and design a successful graduation plan.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes (CO).

Major Assignment Description CO#
W07 Exam Tests your knowledge of five GPS elements and their application to high research standards 1, 2, and 3

W08 GPS: Presentation

(You will work on this project throughout the semester)

Create a PowerPoint presentation to teach the elements of the GPS. 1 and 2
W13 Graduation Plan Design a graduation plan to help you reach your personal and career family history goals 4

W14 Report: Presentation

(You will work on this project throughout the semester)

Complete the quiz to report on your GPS presentation.  2
W14 Assignment: Reflection Write a reflection essay to report your learning from this course and your plan for applying your learning in future courses. 1, 2, 3, and 4

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions.

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare Introduction Introduction to the key topics for the week.
Midweek Prepare Study Take notes as you study these readings (and occasional videos). Some weeks include a second study activity in the second half of the week.
Midweek Teach One Another or Ponder (Apply) Activities of varying types Practice doing the concepts you just studied. Activity types include online explorations, a scavenger hunt, and discussions.
End-of-week Teach One Another or Ponder (Apply) Activities of varying types Same as above.
End-of-week Prepare and Ponder  Practice Quiz Most weeks include a practice quiz. Read the quiz feedback to learn how to correct your mistakes. Return and review any content as desired before taking the weekly quiz.
End-of-week Prove Quiz Most weeks include a weekly quiz where you will answer questions to demonstrate your understanding of that week's key concepts. Some of the questions will ask you to apply your understanding to a genealogical situation.

*Set your time zone within user preferences so that the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Learning Model

As with all BYU-Idaho courses, you are expected to take responsibility for your learning by employing the five Learning Model principles as you complete the three Learning Model process steps of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder and Prove each week. (Not all weeks contain a formal Teach One Another activity.)

The five Learning Model principles are the following:

  1. Exercise faith
    • Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a principle of action and power.
  2. Teach by the Spirit
    • Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost.
  3. Lay hold on the word of God
    • Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho lay hold on the word of God.
  4. Take action
    • Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching.
  5. Love, serve, and teach
    • Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho love, serve, and teach one another.



Family History Research courses are rigorous courses because they are courses designed for students to move beyond what they have learned in Sunday School and to be successful working in the academic and professional field of genealogy. Thus, Family History Research courses are not “easy-A” courses, and you will need to work hard to earn an "A" grade (if that is your goal). 

As you plan your semester and reserve time for your studies, determine the amount of time you have available to spend on schoolwork each week. Keep in mind that a 1-credit course is equivalent to spending about 3–4 hours each week to earn a "B" grade. If you demand more from yourself or take longer to learn, you should plan on reserving additional time in your schedule. 

If you are taking additional courses this semester, you should reserve 3–4 hours per credit per week. For example, if you are taking this course (a 1-credit course), and two 3-credit courses this semester, for a total of 7 credits, that equates to about 21–28 hours each week, which is equivalent to more than a part-time job. If you are taking additional credits, you are likely taking the equivalent course time of a full-time job (40 hours per week in the United States). 

Please consider your schedule now and reserve sufficient time to be successful in your studies.

Group Work

You will participate in some form of group work in about half of the weeks of this semester. Elder Eyring explained your role in teaching each other when he said:

“The climbs to the places God would have us go are never for us alone. If we forget that, we will not have His full power to lift us. … Losing sight of that need to climb with others could slow our progress toward dramatically improved teaching and learning. For instance, it would be easy to look for ways to help learners learn alone, using the wonders of technology. The same technology could give learners the experience of helping others they love to learn with them.”1

You are invited to participate in Teach One Another activities throughout the course from this perspective of charitable, diligent teaching and learning. As you do so, notice how you are instructed more perfectly and gain deeper insights.

  • You will participate with a group of about 10 students (and your instructor) to share ideas and support your recommendations in a few discussion boards this semester.
    • These discussion groups will be formed randomly by the computer system. 

Late Work and Retries

As a sign of professionalism and respect, you should complete high-quality work and submit it on time. Late work and retries are generally not accepted.

Your instructor has the discretion to decide whether to accept late work or allow a retry. If you feel you are experiencing a rare circumstance and are unable to complete your work on time or would like to redo an assignment, contact your instructor promptly, explain the situation, and make your request. Be aware that if your request is granted, there will likely be a grade reduction penalty. 

Extra Credit

Extra credit is not allowed in this course.

Grading Scale

  • The major assignments described above, excluding the W14 assignments, comprise about 50% of your semester grade. (The total points for the GPS Presentation are divided across several assignments.)
  • The W14 major assignments described above comprise about 10% of your semester grade.
  • The remaining 40% of your grade is comprised of other learning activities and practice items throughout the semester.

Semester grades will be awarded based on the grading scale below.

Letter Grade Percent
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% or lower

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 Accessibility Services 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 Accessibility Services Office.

If you are currently registered with the Accessibility Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber, 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.

1. Eyring, Henry B. (9 June, 2009). "The Temple and the College on the Hill,", accessed 16 August 2019.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due