Accreditation Guide

1791 Delegates is a private charity named after the Bill of Rights was ratified. Our delegation of First Amendment and human rights educators designed, built, and manages ReligionAndPublicLife.org. This social learning community provides on-demand and live educational experiences to advance learners’ civic competencies of religious literacy and legal literacy. The following accreditation guide details how 1791 Delegates’ partner schools may award academic credit to students who completed what the faculty at 1791 Delegates taught them on ReligionAndPublicLife.org. 

1. Defining Distance Education

1791 Delegates applies the Enriched Virtual Model to conduct its online courses, as defined by the Clayton Christensen Institute. The Enriched Virtual Model is defined as “a course in which students participate in required face-to-face learning sessions with their instructor of record and then are free to complete their remaining coursework remotely from the face-to-face teacher. Online learning is the backbone of student learning when the students are located remotely. The same person generally serves as both the online and face-to-face teacher. In Enriched Virtual Models, students seldom meet face to face with their teachers every weekday. This model differs from a fully online course because face-to-face learning sessions are more than optional office hours or social events — they are required.” 

2. Defining Credit Hours

1791 Delegates applies the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 34, Part 600.2) to legally define a credit hour as follows: “… a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than: 

  • (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester [totaling 45 hours] or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for a one-quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or 
  • (2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in section (1) of this definition for other academic activities [see Capstone Project] as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.” 

3. Defining Contact Hours* 

ReligionAndPublicLife.org exceeds the federal “credit hour” definition to require instructors to provide a minimum of 15 hours of “contact hours”

* Live Hours: The WISE CAP model guarantees 25 hours of live “direct faculty instruction” (see asterisks in the table). For instance, instructors engage students directly through live person-to-person interactions through the following online activities. Students engage their instructor and peers in the online discussion forum. The students amend their essays based on the instructor’s personalized feedback. The instructor also conducts a two-hour live videoconference for every unit. The purpose is to facilitate a Socratic Seminar whereby instructors assess students’ verbal mastery of the unit material. Finally, during the Capstone Project, instructors provide advisement sessions to help students craft a prospectus before they go into the community to implement their project (e.g, a workshop, event, program, interviews, research). The experience concludes with a live videoconference where students offer the instructor a verbal presentation of their capstone project.

^ On-Demand Hours: Moving at their own pace, students earn 15 contact hours by engaging with on-demand resources: videos, interactives, podcasts, and digital downloads (e.g., handouts, lecture notes, reports, slides, papers, essays). In addition, instructors engage students with an additional 10 hours of pre-recorded video and audio lectures. Students are required to login to the platform and watch on-demand video lectures and listen to on-demand audio lectures. The student may not proceed to the next step without verifying that the multimedia was played and demonstrating their retention of the content.

^^ Homework: Out-of-class homework and independent study. The work is verified by teaching fellow by grading essays and evaluating the progress made with each revision. The fieldwork is evaluated by periodic communication with the student who archives their experiences in a journal log.

4. Sample Course Sequence

Step 1. Earn Certificate for Taking WISE Steps
Course 101 Course 102 Course 103 Course 104 Course 105 106
Capstone
Total Hours
W – Watch 30-minutes of videos (verified views) ^

30 min

30 min

30 min

30 min

30 min

2.5 hrs
I – Interact with retention games (verified usage) ^ 30 min 30 min 30 min 30 min 30 min 2.5 hrs
S – Study podcasts (verified) and course packs ^ 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 5.0 hrs
E – Engage instructor/peers in discussion forum * 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 5.0 hrs
Total 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 15.0 hrs

Step 2. Academic Credit for Completing CAP
Course 101 Course 102 Course 103 Course 104 Course 105 106
Capstone
Total Hours
C – Compose a one-page analytical essay ^^ 

Varies

Varies

Varies

Varies

Varies

2.5 hrs
A – Amend essay based on fellow's feedback 1 hr 1 hr 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour 2.5 hrs
P – Present during live Socratic Seminar 2 hrs 2 hrs 2 hrs 2 hrs 2 hrs 10.0 hrs
Total 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 3 hrs 15.0 hrs

Step 3. Earn Academic Credit for Capstone
Course 101 Course 102 Course 103 Course 104 Course 105 106
Capstone
Total Hours
Unit 1. Live advisement to craft prospectus

3 hrs 3.0 hrs
Unit 2. Student's independent fieldwork ^^  10 hrs 10.0 hrs
Unit 3. Live project presentation for instructor * 2 hrs 2.0 hrs
Total 15.0 hrs 15.0 hrs

5. Defining the Capstone Project

The Capstone Project serves as the last course in the certificate program. In this instructor-supervised independent study, students design, implement and evaluate a community-based program in which they demonstrate their ability to apply their content knowledge to a community of practice. 1791 Delegates adapted our definition of a capstone project based on the Glossary of Education Reform. A capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience. A capstone project may take a wide variety of forms, such as an investigative project that culminates in a final product, presentation, or performance. For example, students select a topic, profession, or social problem based on the broad theme of religion and public life. They are required to conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating student learning acquisition or conclusions. The capstone may take the form of a research paper with interviews, a multimedia presentation, or a community workshop. During a live videoconference, the student presents their work to the instructor and their peers. Capstone projects encourage students to think critically and solve challenging problems. The purpose is to develop professional skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting. Faculty will give special attention to skills that prepare students to effectively serve their community as religiously literate and legally literate leaders. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across a wide array of subject areas or domains of knowledge.