Course Syllabus


This course focuses on contemporary issues affecting marriage, along with skills and principles needed to build strong and successful marriages. (3 credit hours)

About this Course

In this course, you will be provided the opportunity to learn about the research, theory, principles, and applications that produce successful marriages. While doing so, you will learn how to share marital principles in both religious and non-religious settings. In addition, you will learn how to find and synthesize marital research, assess marital functioning, establish and maintain a healthy marriage in a challenging environment, and practice living important principles pertaining to successful relationships.



No prerequisites.

Required Resources

Two textbooks are required in this course.

  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work must be purchased. This book is available as an eBook through VitalSource and is accessible to you the first day of the term. Your student financial account will be charged automatically on the first day of class. Access the textbook using the "Course Materials" link provided in the course menu.
  • The other textbook, The Marriage Compass, is available to you for free inside the course.
Resource Title
(books, software, etc.)
Author(s) Edition 13-Digit ISBN (if applicable)

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. 2nd 978-0553447712
The Marriage Compass Carroll, Jason S. 1st 978-1611650310

Opting Out of the eBook

If you have already ordered the print textbook of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, 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.

To opt out:

  1. Go to your Booklist.
  2. On your Booklist: Click the red Remove Me from Content button for the item you no longer want access to.
  3. If you later decide you need the Auto Access materials, you can go back to your Booklist and click on the green Add Me to Content button.
    • Your student account will be charged automatically.


Course Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competency with communicating in secular and gospel language the basic skills and principles associated with successful marriages.
  2. Determine how to establish and maintain a healthy marriage within a challenging environment.
  3. Demonstrate a capacity to locate and synthesize empirical research concerning marriage.
  4. Assess marital functioning using theory and gospel principles.
  5. Implement learned principles in their interpersonal relationships.

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 Due Description CO#
Week 01 Paper Proclamation Applications 1
Week 02 Video Realistic Marital Vision 2
Week 05 Literature Review (Bibliography) Prepare an annotated bibliography  3
Week 07 Literature Review (1st draft) 1st draft of literature review and peer review assignment 3
Week 07 Paper Nurturing Relationships 5
Week 09 Literature Review (2nd draft) Optional: Submit 2nd draft of literature review  3
Week 10 Summary Tracking the Four Horsemen 5
Week 10 Summary Turn Toward One Another 5
Week 11 Paper Marital Assessment 4
Week 12 Literature Review Literature review 3
Week 13 Paper Successful Marriage Game Plan 1, 2

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions. These activities do not always happen every week.

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare Reading Read about the week's topics
Midweek Prepare Quiz Take a reading quiz
Midweek Teach One Another Discussion Initial post on the week's topic
End of Week Teach One Another Discussion Respond to classmate's posts
End of Week Ponder/Prove Paper or Assignment Weekly key assessment 

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

*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.

Learning Model

This online course is structured using the learning model at BYU-Idaho.

  1. Students will prepare by reading and reflecting on the assigned reading material and by completing other assignments.
  2. Students will be assigned to a group and will teach one another on a weekly basis by sharing their thoughts and insights through a group discussion board and other learning activities, including peer reviews.
  3. Students will have opportunities to ponder and reflect on reading material and insights of others and will share their insights at the end of the semester in a paper.
  4. Students will prove what they learned through online quizzes, the literature review assignment, and various papers.



This course requires approximately 9–12 hours of work each week. While BYU-Idaho online courses offer increased flexibility, you will still be required to complete assignments with specific weekly deadlines.


Above all else, your integrity is most important and is certainly more important than a few points or an entire grade. In a course such as this, there are many ways a student could be dishonest. You are trusted to be honest. Remember, honesty is a foundational requirement for enrollment at BYU-Idaho.

Group Work

You will be assigned to a group for discussions.

You will also be assigned to a small group to complete peer reviews for the literature review assignment. 

Late Work

As a sign of professionalism and respect, you must complete your work on time. 

  • You are encouraged to submit your work and complete the reading assignments well before the time it is due.
  • No late work is accepted.
  • Quizzes will not be administered after the due date.
  • There is no late work accepted for missed discussions or group activities.


No quiz retries are permitted.

Extra Credit

Extra credit is not awarded in this course.


Your instructor will use Turnitin to check some of your papers. 

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.


Assignments in this course are weighted by category as follows:

Category Weight
Bilingual communication 20%
Establish and maintain a healthy marriage 20%
Research 30%
Assess marital functioning 10%
Implement learned principles 20%
Total 100%

Grading Scale

A 100%–93%
A- 92%–90%
B+ 89%–87%
B 86%–83%
B- 82%–80%
C+ 79%–77%
C 76%–73%
C- 72%–70%
D+ 69%–67%
D 66%–63%
D- 62%–60%
F 59% and lower

Academic Support Centers

Go to Academic Support Centers (or come to the McKay Library, room 272) for information about how the writing, reading, math, and study skills centers can help you increase success in all of your classes.

To schedule a tutor for a specific class, log on to Tutor Request under Student Services and follow the instructions.

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 (for example, Course Hero, Quizlet, Google Docs, etc.) by any means without the expressed 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 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 (in other words, 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