In this chapter, I discuss major challenges in designing an
introductory course in sociology and their possible solutions. I
identify the concepts and competencies that most scholars agree are
important to teach in introductory courses, summarized in the
Sociological Literacy Framework. I also discuss the most effective
teaching and assessment methods for these courses. My review of the
literature suggests that introductory courses should: (1)
familiarize students with concepts they will encounter and skills
they will need to succeed in more advanced sociology coursework, in
their future careers, and as citizens; (2) use selections from
original works and course materials that illuminate social problems;
(3) incorporate active learning and inclusive teaching practices;
(4) develop clear, measurable learning goals; and (5) leverage
multiple forms and points of assessment, including baseline measures
or control groups when possible.
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