Seven Principles for Effective (Undergraduate) Education

This might be old news to some readers but I base a lot of my work at Malone on Arthur W. Chickering’s “Seven principles”. Chickering and Gamson first wrote about these in 1987 so they have been around longer than current “traditional undergraduate students” have been.

My current-favorite version of these comes from an article by Maria Puzzifero and Kaye Shelton (2009). Good practice in undergraduate education:

  1. Good Practice Encourages Contact
  2. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation
  3. Good Practice Encourages Active Learning
  4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
  5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
  6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations and
  7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Above is the learner-centric version of the original seven which are (Chickering & Gamson 1987):

  1. encourages contact between students and faculty,
  2. develops reciprocity and cooperation among students,
  3. encourages active learning,
  4. gives prompt feedback,
  5. emphasizes time on task,
  6. communicates high expectations, and
  7. respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

Modern educational technologies can be used to increase ALL of these seven. EdTech can also be abused in aspiration towards these principles. Let us all advocate for effective use of technology for learning.

Questions for you

  • What ways do you already implement the seven principles in the classroom?
  • What role does technology play in enhancing learning in each of the seven areas?
  • What ways to you leverage technology to help you get your work done?

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. The American Association for Higher Education Bulletin

Puzziferro, M., & Shelton, K. (2009). Supporting online faculty: Revisiting the seven principles (A few years later). Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 12(3).

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