Principles for Good Practice in Education


Athur Chickering and Zelda Gamson, (1991) describe seven principles for good practice in education. You may want to use one or more of these as an educational activity with technology or in place of a technology.
1. Good Practice Encourages Student-Faculty Contact
  • Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is an important factor in student motivation and involvement.
  • Faculty concern and assistance helps students deal with learning problems and keep on working.
  • Interacting frequently with faculty may enhance students' intellectual commitment and encourage them to think about their own values and future plans.
2. Good Practice Encourages Cooperation Among Students Learning is enhanced when students collaborate and cooperate in learning experiences.
  • Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated.
  • Working with others often increases involvement in learning.
  • Sharing one's own ideas and responding to others' reactions improves thinking and deepens understanding.
3. Good Practice Encourages Active Learning
  • Learning is not a spectator process.
  • Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers.
  • Learners must talk about what they are learning, write about it, discuss it, relate it
  • They must make what they learn part of themselves
4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
  • Knowing what you know and don't know focuses learning.
  • Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers.
  • In getting started, students need help in assessing existing knowledge and competence.
  • In classes, students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement in performance.
  • Students need chances to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know, and how to assess themselves.
5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
  • Time plus energy equals learning.
  • Time on task should be efficient and effective/productive.
  • Students need to learn to manage their time
  • Students need help in effective time management.
  • Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty.
  • How an institution defines time expectations for students, faculty, administrators, and other professional staff can establish the basis for high performance for all.
6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
  • Expect more and help students achieve more.
  • High expectations are important for everyone--for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well motivated.
  • Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when teachers and institutions hold high expectations for themselves and make extra efforts.
7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
  • There are many roads to learning.
  • People bring different talents and styles of learning.
  • Students need the opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they may be directed to learning in new ways that do not come so easily
Compiled in a study supported by the American Association for Higher Education, the Education Commission of the States, and The Johnson Foundation. Source: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson Editors, Jossy-Bass, 1991.
Links to the Seven Principles: