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The Seven Principles of Effective Teaching

This pathway explores seven principles that exemplify good teaching (both in-person and online)! 

The Seven Principles

Simply put, good teaching is good teaching regardless of face-to-face or online format. It isn't primarily about technology. Indeed, a sleek, highly produced online course steeped in technological bells and whistles will not compensate for an underlying lack of thoughtfulness and intention about the teaching and learning relationships and practices at its core. This is what matters most, and what ideally guides design.

In the 1980’s, educational researchers Chickering and Gamson established The 7 Principles of Good Teaching in Undergraduate Education. These principles continue to exemplify good teaching today - and apply to the context of adult learning as well. They are below along with some examples of putting them into practice:

  1. Encourage student-faculty contact - Through introductions, announcements, online office hours, and prompt response to student questions and concerns
  2. Encourage cooperation among students - Through all-class or small-group discussions and well-supported group work using both asynchronous and synchronous collaboration tools
  3. Encourage active learning - As discussed in the Active Learning unit
  4. Give prompt feedback - Including both summative and formative feedback
  5. Provide clear instructions regarding due dates and participation - Emphasizing the need to spend as much (or more) time on online elements as well as in-person class activities. At the same time, be reasonable in your expectations regarding quantity of reading and work in both face to face and online modalities.
  6. Provide clear expectations for student work - And participation through rubrics, examples, and carefully detailed guidelines
  7. Use multiple means of instruction, engagement, and assessment - Such as audio, video, screencasts, diagrams, etc. to make learning accessible for all students

Chickering and Gamson’s widely-cited 1987 article, Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education is available here

A decade after the initial publication of their research, they published a short piece that considers how technology can be leveraged to practice the seven principles. Please read Implementing the seven principles: Technology as Lever.

The following article, by Dr. Oliver Dreon of Millersville University, takes a more in-depth look at how to apply the 7 principles: Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice to the Online Classroom. 

Want to explore further? Strategies and Examples to Support the 7 Principles

Self-paced Modules:

Course modules have been set up OnCourse with self-paced activities where we will look at the various tools available to you in OnCourse and some ways that you may want to use them in your own courses. To dive deeper into the 7 principles, visit the Remote Learning Roadmap Landing Page in OnCourse.

Accessing the Remote Learning Roadmap Modules in OnCourse

  1. Visit the Remote Learning Roadmap Landing Page in OnCourse. 
  2. The Fredonia eServices login screen will appear.
  3. Login using your eServices username and password.
  4. Press the orange “Enroll Me” button.
  5. The course will be added to your Course block on the Dashboard page in the Groups category.

Visit the next topic: Backward Design

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This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Derived from Muhleberg College's Camp Design Online.

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