University online sociology course first to receive quality certification

Sociology 101 is the University of Nevada, Reno’s first online course that is certified by Quality Matters, a national program offering design standards for online courses. The course was certified in February, and scored 96 out of 99 possible points on the Fifth Edition, 2014 Higher Education Rubric.

“I am thrilled that 365 Learning chose Sociology 101 as the first course to be submitted for Quality Matters review, not only because we achieved this milestone, but because we substantially improved the course in the process,” Marta Elliott, professor and interim chair of the Department of Sociology at the University, said.

The online course was developed by Elliott and 365 Learning’s Kathryn Hanselman and Sommer Atchley. The trio put many hours and thoughtful design ideas into developing a course that would not only achieve Quality Matters certification, but would also be the best possible online instruction for an Introduction to Sociology course, which has now instructed nearly 500 students since fall 2013.

“365 Learning’s online classes are all developed using best practices in online pedagogy, but having a class officially certified by QM is an impressive accomplishment, and a product of a positive and productive team effort between Dr. Elliott and 365 Learning’s Design Team,” Kerri Garcia, executive director of the University’s 365 Learning program, said.

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