Introduction to Sociology

Foundations of social stratification are shifting rapidly in the United States and the world. The sociology discipline introduces new college students to a social awareness not easily found in other areas of study. This course opens the door to students in their understanding of how to research and engage with the field of sociology. A wealth of performance assessments and writing assignments qualify students’ understanding of the material. Key concepts include the sociological imagination and perspectives, scientific research methods, culture and society, socialization and interaction, deviance, crime and social control, inequality, race and ethnicity, gender, sex and sexuality, marriage and family, religion and education, health and aging, urbanization, the environment, government, work and the economy, and media. Faculty members may also readily adapt the course’s OER content to include new developments and research to equip students with what that they need to have success in their sociological journey.

This course, based on the OpenStax Sociology text, was developed by Lumen Learning, with contributing work from Cathy Matresse from Columbia Basin College.

Introduction to Sociology is available as a Waymaker course or as a Candela course.

  • Waymaker: User-friendly digital courseware with data-driven learning design, personalization, and messaging tools that can increase student engagement, persistence, and passing rates.
  • Candela: Lumen Learning’s low-cost Candela courses provide curated and outcome-aligned open educational resources (OER) in a convenient e-book format.

Why Teach with Lumen Course Materials?

  • Replace expensive textbooks: Ready-to-adopt open educational resources (OER) include text, videos, simulations, self-checks, and other interactives.
  • Choose affordability: Low cost to students.
  • Use better content: Continuous, data-driven improvements make OER content more effective at supporting learning.
  • Simplify access: Easy access to course materials in your LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, and Moodle) plus automatic grade return.
  • Improve student outcomes: Research shows Lumen course materials can improve academic performance, passing rates, and course completion.


  • Save time: Start with curated, outcome-aligned OER and supplemental instructor resources like quiz banks, assignments, slide decks, etc. 
  • Customize your course: Freedom to tailor course content to fit your learning outcomes and instructional approach.
  • Enjoy awesome support: Faculty-friendly onboarding, training, and support. 

See OER pioneer David Wiley’s overviews of Lumen courseware.



  • Learn by doing: Online homework, self-check activities, and other interactive tools strengthen learning.
  • Engage from day one: Avoid falling behind with access course materials from the first day of class.
  • Retain materials: Download a digital copy of course content to keep forever.
  • Become a better learner: Real-time feedback guides students on where to focus and how to improve.

Three Steps to Teaching this Course in Your Class

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Wondering what it’s like? Watch a faculty roundtable video