the Lincoln University community by
supporting the effective use of technology in instruction.
Standards of Good Practices in Undergraduate Teaching
and Gamson (1987) identified the Seven Standards of Good Practice for Undergraduate
Education, which have been widely accepted as measures for judging the effectiveness
of classroom teaching. The following list defines each principle and outlines
ways in which the principles can be incorporated into distance learning or WebCT
Principle 1: The instructor encourages student-faculty contact
and interaction. Frequent student-faculty contact is the most important
factor in student motivation, intellectual commitment, and personal development.
Feedback from faculty is a critical factor in online student success and satisfaction.
The following types of activities show that the instructor maintains contact with
The instructor —
multiple forms of contact, including emails, phone calls, FAX, face to face, online
Establishes virtual office hours: times
when the students know you are available for online chats, phone calls, or email.
Acknowledges initial receipt of students' email with an automatic email reply.
Differentiates types of inquiries and instructor
response time (receipt of message, personal question, content question, procedural
question, assignment feedback).
that infrastructure problems (server, etc.) are beyond the control of the instructor
and may impact response time. Creates course assignments that build in feedback
and communication (see Principle 3).
an online community
Makes an effort to find out
basic information about students.
Makes an effort
to introduce students to each other.
students by name.
Conveys enthusiasm for the
Lets students "sit in" in classroom
or work one-on-one with them as appropriate.
2: The instructor encourages student cooperation. Cooperative learning
that is characterized by positive interdependence, face-to-face interaction, personal
responsibility, collaborative skills, and group processing enhances learning.
The following types of activities show that the instructor encourages student
The instructor —
assignments that require students to respond to peers' work/assignments.
techniques for fostering student cooperation:
If appropriate to the subject, asks students
to grade their peers' papers following the grading scheme in the syllabus. Students
should, in addition, justify the grades they assign.
3: The instructor encourages active learning. To maximize learning, students
must interact with the material they are learning, write about it, relate it to
past experiences, and incorporate what they are learning into their worldview.
The following types of activities show that the instructor encourages active learning.
The instructor —
student questions, input, and feedback; clearly states that all points of view
are welcome and respected.
Becomes involved in
Regularly sends announcements
and general messages to the whole class.
up on students who are not participating.
students to state what they expect to learn in the class.
students to provide and critique URLS that relate to the class and enhance learning.
Asks students to teach their classmates.
student to develop/create learning activities and projects.
students to critique other students' work.
students to reflect on their performance, their progress, their problems, and
you learned (in your own words)?
Why is this
new knowledge important?
questions that that foster critical thinking, problem solving, and extended and
Uses quizzes/questions that
require students to review the content (self-check or automatically graded online).
Follows up reading assignments with discussions,
simulations, or applications to case studies/scenarious.
real-world, relevant, and practical assignments that allow students to apply and
practice the concepts learned.
short assignments/quizzes or other frequent "in progress" feedback opportunities.
Establishes replies and responses as important
values of online discussions through tone, modeling and grade weighting.
4: The instructor gives prompt feedback. The instructor
role is key, as it gives the students help in assessing their knowledge and competence.
The following types of activities show that the instructor gives prompt feedback.
The instructor —
with frequent email or discussion board comments: with answers to questions, comments
about lesson/unit content, giving directions and information.
tests, papers, assignments, etc. within 7-10 days.
virtual office hours for students to discuss their graded work.
or sends grades regularly.
Acknowledges all student
Uses quizzes/questions that require
students to review the content (self-check or automatically graded online).
types of inquiries and his/her response time (receipt of message, personal questions,
content questions, procedural questions, and assignment feedback).
grading rubrics to clearly and consistently evaluate student work.
outstanding student work and explains what makes it good.
models of assignments (e.g., a model student essay or journal entry) to demonstrate
Follows up on feedback vial email
or phone if students do not respond
Principle 5: The instructor emphasizes time on task. Learning takes place
when time is used effectively and actively. The following types of activities
show that the instructor emphasizes time on task.
The instructor —
defines and explains course goals, performance objectives, grading and evaluation
criteria, and grading rubrics.
relative emphasis on facts, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, etc.
and enforces deadlines for assignments.
students how how much time it will take to do the assignments.
the steps in completing each of the assignments.
the assignment into smaller, more manageable parts if appropriate.
quizzes/questions that require students to review the content (self-check or automatically
Builds in a reward system of points
for all student work.
6: The instructor communicates high expectations. When the instructor
sets high but attainable goals, academic achievement increases.
types of activities show that the instructor communicates high expectations.
The course description is posted on the public pages and on the course WebCT site.
It clearly defines and explains course goals, performance objectives, grading
and evaluation criteria, grading rubrics, and indicates the relative emphasis
on facts, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, etc. It also indicates if the
course is self-paced or not and if any on-campus meetings or tests are required.
Course activities address the same objectives
as on-campus course activities.
are equivalent in difficulty and depth to those in the on-campus sections of the
course. Students are evaluated with the same emphasis and level of difficulty
as the on-campus sections. Instructors set high standards for themselves and model
7: The instructor respects diverse talents and ways of learning. Helping
a student recognize his own learning style can improve a student's learning. Recognizing
the learning styles of others can increase a student's repertoire of learning
strategies. The following types of activities show that the instructor respects
diverse talents and ways of learning.
The instructor —
students to complete a learning style assessment questionnaire at the beginning
of the semester.
Designs more than one method
of assessment and demonstration of student achievement.
students to choose from different possible modes of project presentation, established
up front in an agreement between instructor and student.
students to use the Web and other resources and media to master course content
by incorporating Web-based assignments into the curriculum and reading assignments.
Recognizes that distance education and online
classes are the preferred or best learning environment for some students.
Is sensitive to possible cultural differences,
especially communicating with students for whom English is a second language.
Uses Bobby (http://www.cast.org/bobby/)
- a free, online service that identifies and repairs significant barriers to access
by individuals with disabilities. If possible, provides alternatives to reading
text, such as audio explanations of complicated materials.
primary source for the information is Chickering and Gamson's Seven Standards
of Good Practice for Undergraduate Education (1987). This document is largely
modeled on the "Principles of Best Practice in the Design and Delivery of Online
Education at Howard Community College" and is used with permission of Virginia
Kirk, Director of Distance Education, Howard Community College.