Understand Statements of Accomplishment and Set Them Up in Your Course

Statements of Accomplishment are a way to recognize the achievements of participants in your course. Participants often find the possibility of earning an SoA to be very motivating, and we encourage you to offer one if it makes sense for your course. For legal reasons, it's important to make clear to participants that an SoA is not a certificate and that it does not carry any official Stanford credit.

The way SoAs work is simple. You decide at the beginning of the course what your expectations are for participants who want to earn an SoA. For example, on the Grading page in the Studio Settings menu, you could say that participants will need to earn a 60% overall to earn the basic SoA and an 80% overall to earn an SoA "with Distinction". You can have as many grade cutoffs for SoAs as you like, but in practice most instructors only have one or two.

It's not possible at this time to have a more granular set of requirements, such as "earn at least 80% on the quizzes and complete all five writing assignments." The weighted final grade is the only way the system can determine who earns an SoA. You can change the weights of the various assignment types to emphasize certain requirements, though – so if you wanted doing well on the writing assignments to be mandatory, you could make that assignment type worth a large proportion of the final grade.

If you plan on offering Statements of Accomplishment for your course, you'll need to work with the Course Operations team to get a few things in order. You need to consider:

  • Whether you want on-demand SoA generation (usually for a self-paced course) or one-time SoA generation (usually at the end of a scheduled course)
  • What levels of SoA you want to offer and what grades they correspond to (e.g. 70% for a basic SoA, 90% for one "with distinction")
  • How to weight your assignment types in a way that emphasizes or makes mandatory the most important work

We will need:

  • Your thoughts on the above points
  • Names and titles of each instructor to be listed on the SoA
  • High quality image file of each instructor's signature
  • Optional: brief description of the work required to earn each level of SoA (up to ~6 lines or ~400 characters per level)

See below for an example of a Statement of Accomplishment with descriptive text. It will take our team a few days to set up the Statement generation system for your course, so please start thinking about this before the end of your course.

Note that the following elements are not customizable:

  • header, logo, and date
  • text reading "[Participant Name] has successfully completed a free online offering of [Course Name]"
  • if you have multiple levels of SoA, the word "with" will always introduce them (e.g. "with Distinction", "with Programming", etc.)
  • disclaimer and verification URL at the bottom of the page
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