ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

The seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education (Chickering and Gamson, 1987) summarize what research has shown about how to improve student learning (e.g., more intensive faculty-student contact, active learning, high standards, frequent assessment). This article describes how widely available technologies can be used to use (and enhance) each of those seven principles.
Implementing the Seven Principles:
Technology as Lever
By Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann
From the October 1996 AAHE Bulletin.
In March 1987, the AAHE Bulletin first published “
Seven Principles for Good Practice in
Undergraduate Education
.” With support from Lilly Endowment, that document was followed by a Seven
Principles Faculty Inventory and an Institutional Inventory (
Johnson Foundation, 1989
) and by a Student
Inventory (1990). The Principles, created by Art Chickering and Zelda Gamson with help from higher
education colleagues, AAHE, and the Education Commission of the States, with support from the Johnson
Foundation, distilled findings from decades of research on the undergraduate experience.
Several hundred thousand copies of the Principles and Inventories have been distributed on two- and
four-year campuses in the United States and Canada. (Copies are available at cost from the Seven
Principles Resource Center, Winona State University, PO Box 5838, Winona, MN 55987-5838; ph
507/457-5020.) — Eds.
Since the
Seven Principles of Good Practice
were created in 1987, new communication and information
technologies have become major resources for teaching and learning in higher education. If the power of
the new technologies is to be fully realized, they should be employed in ways consistent with the Seven
Principles. Such technologies are tools with multiple capabilities; it is misleading to make assertions like
“Microcomputers will empower students” because that is only one way in which computers might be used.
A
ny given instructional strategy can be supported by a number of contrasting technologies (old and new),
j
ust as any given technology might support different instructional strategies. But for any given instructional
strategy, some technologies are better than others: Better to turn a screw with a screwdriver than a
hammer — a dime may also do the trick, but a screwdriver is usually better.
This essay, then, describes some of the most cost-effective and appropriate ways to use computers,
video, and telecommunications technologies to advance the Seven Principles.
1. Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty
Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and
involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Knowing a
few faculty members well enhances students’ intellectual commitment and encourages them to think
about their own values and plans.
Communication technologies that increase access to faculty members, help them share useful resources,
and provide for joint problem solving and shared learning can usefully augment face-to-face contact in and
outside of class meetings. By putting in place a more “distant” source of information and guidance for
students, such technologies can strengthen faculty interactions with all students, but especially with shy
students who are reluctant to ask questions or challenge the teacher directly. It is often easier to discuss
values and personal concerns in writing than orally, since inadvertent or ambiguous nonverbal signals are
not so dominant. As the number of commuting part-time students and adult learners increases,
technologies provide opportunities for interaction not possible when students come to class and leave
soon afterward to meet work or family responsibilities.
The biggest success story in this realm has been that of time-delayed (asynchronous) communication.
Traditionally, time-delayed communication took place in education through the exchange of homework,
htt
p
://www.aahebulletin.com/
p
ublic/archive/seven
p
rinci
p
les.as
p
?
p
f=1
either in class or by mail (for more distant learners). Such time-delayed exchange was often a rather
impoverished form of conversation, typically limited to three conversational turns:
1. The instructor poses a question (a task).
2. The student responds (with homework).
3. The instructor responds some time later with comments and a grade.
The conversation often ends there; by the time the grade or comment is received, the course and student
are off on new topics.
Now, however, electronic mail, computer conferencing, and the World Wide Web increase opportunities
for students and faculty to converse and exchange work much more speedily than before, and more
thoughtfully and “safely” than when confronting each other in a classroom or faculty office. Total
communication increases and, for many students, the result seems more intimate, protected, and
convenient than the more intimidating demands of face-to-face communication with faculty.
Professor Norman Coombs reports that, after twelve years of teaching black history at the Rochester
Institute of Technology, the first time he used email was the first time a student asked what he, a white
man, was doing teaching black history. The literature is full of stories of students from different cultures
opening up in and out of class when email became available. Communication also is eased when student
or instructor (or both) is not a native speaker of English; each party can take a bit more time to interpret
what has been said and compose a response. With the new media, participation and contribution from
diverse students become more equitable and widespread.
2. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students
Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is
collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in
learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ improves thinking and deepens understanding.
The increased opportunities for interaction with faculty noted above apply equally to communication with
fellow students. Study groups, collaborative learning, group problem solving, and discussion of
assignments can all be dramatically strengthened through communication tools that facilitate such activity.
The extent to which computer-based tools encourage spontaneous student collaboration was one of the
earliest surprises about computers. A clear advantage of email for today’s busy commuting students is
that it opens up communication among classmates even when they are not physically together.
For example: One of us, attempting to learn to navigate the Web, took a course taught entirely by a
combination of televised class sessions (seen live or taped) and by work on a course Web page. The
hundred students in the course included persons in Germany and the Washington, DC, area.
Learning teams helped themselves “learn the plumbing” and solve problems. These team members never
met face-to-face. But they completed and exchanged Myers-Briggs Type Inventories, surveys of their prior
experience and level of computer expertise, and brief personal introductions. This material helped
teammates size one another up initially; team interactions then built working relationships and encouraged
acquaintanceship. This kind of “collaborative learning” would be all but impossible without the presence of
the media we were learning about and with.
3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques
Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers,
memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are
learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must
make what they learn part of themselves.
The range of technologies that encourage active learning is staggering. Many fall into one of three
categories: tools and resources for learning by doing, time-delayed exchange, and real-time conversation.
Today, all three usually can be supported with “worldware,” i.e., software (such as word processors)
originally developed for other purposes but now used for instruction, too.
We’ve already discussed communication tools, so here we will focus on learning by doing. Apprentice-like
learning has been supported by many traditional technologies: research libraries, laboratories, art and
architectural studios, athletic fields. Newer technologies now can enrich and expand these opportunities.
For example:
htt
p
://www.aahebulletin.com/
p
ublic/archive/seven
p
rinci
p
les.as
p
?
p
f=1
z
Supporting apprentice-like activities in fields that themselves require the use of technology as a
tool, such as statistical research and computer-based music, or use of the Internet to gather
information not available in the local library.
z
Simulating techniques that do not themselves require computers, such as helping chemistry
students develop and practice research skills in “dry” simulated laboratories before they use the
riskier, more expensive real equipment.
z
Helping students develop insight. For example, students can be asked to design a radio antenna.
Simulation software displays not only their design but the ordinarily invisible electromagnetic
waves the antenna would emit. Students change their designs and instantly see resulting changes
in the waves. The aim of this exercise is not to design antennae but to build deeper understanding
of electromagnetism.
4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses your learning. In getting started, students need help in
assessing their existing knowledge and competence. Then, in classes, students need frequent
opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance. At various points during college, and
at its end, students need chances to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know, and
how they might assess themselves.
The ways in which new technologies can provide feedback are many — sometimes obvious, sometimes
more subtle. We already have talked about the use of email for supporting person-to-person feedback, for
example, and the feedback inherent in simulations. Computers also have a growing role in recording and
analyzing personal and professional performances. Teachers can use technology to provide critical
observations for an apprentice; for example, video to help a novice teacher, actor, or athlete critique his or
her own performance. Faculty (or other students) can react to a writer’s draft using the “hidden text” option
available in word processors: Turned on, the “hidden” comments spring up; turned off, the comments
recede and the writer’s prized work is again free of “red ink.”
A
s we move toward portfolio evaluation strategies, computers can provide rich storage and easy access
to student products and performances. Computers can keep track of early efforts, so instructors and
students can see the extent to which later efforts demonstrate gains in knowledge, competence, or other
valued outcomes. Performances that are time-consuming and expensive to record and evaluate — such
as leadership skills, group process management, or multicultural interactions — can be elicited and
stored, not only for ongoing critique but also as a record of growing capacity.
5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
Time plus energy equals learning. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals
alike. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for
faculty.
New technologies can dramatically improve time on task for students and faculty members. Some years
ago a faculty member told one of us that he used technology to “steal students’ beer time,” attracting them
to work on course projects instead of goofing off. Technology also can increase time on task by making
studying more efficient. Teaching strategies that help students learn at home or work can save hours
otherwise spent commuting to and from campus, finding parking places, and so on. Time efficiency also
increases when interactions between teacher and students, and among students, fit busy work and home
schedules. And students and faculty alike make better use of time when they can get access to important
resources for learning without trudging to the library, flipping through card files, scanning microfilm and
microfiche, and scrounging the reference room.
For faculty members interested in classroom research, computers can record student participation and
interaction and help document student time on task, especially as related to student performance.
6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
Expect more and you will get it. 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
p
erform well becomes a sel
f
-fulfilling prophecy.
New technologies can communicate high expectations explicitly and efficiently. Significant real-life
problems, conflicting perspectives, or paradoxical data sets can set powerful learning challenges that
drive students to not only acquire information but sharpen their cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis,
application, and evaluation.
Many faculty report that students feel stimulated by knowing their finished work will be “published” on the
htt
p
://www.aahebulletin.com/
p
ublic/archive/seven
p
rinci
p
les.as
p
?
p
f=1
World Wide Web.With technology, criteria for evaluating products and performances can be more clearly
articulated by the teacher, or generated collaboratively with stu- dents. General criteria can be illustrated
with samples of excellent, average, mediocre, and faulty performance. These samples can be shared and
modified easily. They provide a basis for peer evaluation, so learning teams can help everyone succeed.
7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
Many roads lead to learning. Different students bring different talents and styles to college. Brilliant
students in a seminar might be all thumbs in a lab or studio; students rich in hands-on experience may not
do so well with theory. Students need opportunities to show their talents and learn in ways that work for
them. Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily.
Technological resources can ask for different methods of learning through powerful visuals and well-
organized print; through direct, vicarious, and virtual experiences; and through tasks requiring analysis,
synthesis, and evaluation, with applications to real-life situations. They can encourage self-reflection and
self-evaluation. They can drive collaboration and group problem solving. Technologies can help students
learn in ways they find most effective and broaden their repertoires for learning. They can supply structure
for students who need it and leave assignments more open-ended for students who don’t. Fast, bright
students can move quickly through materials they master easily and go on to more difficult tasks; slower
students can take more time and get more feedback and direct help from teachers and fellow students.
A
ided by technologies, students with similar motives and talents can work in cohort study groups without
constraints of time and place.
Evaluation and the Seven Principles
How are we to know whether given technologies are as useful in promoting the Seven Principles and
learning as this article claims? One approach is to look and see, which is the aim of the “Flashlight
Project,” a three-year effort of the Annenberg/CPB Project to develop and share evaluation procedures.
The Flash-light Project is developing a suite of evaluation tools that any campus can use to monitor the
usefulness of technology in implementing the Seven Principles and the impacts of such changes on
learning outcomes (e.g., the student’s ability to apply what was learned in the academic program) and on
access (e.g., whether hoped-for gains in time on task and retention are saving money for the institution
and its funders).
[For more about the Flashlight Project, see Stephen Ehrmann’s “Asking the Right Questions: What Does
Research Tell Us About Technology and Higher Learning?” in the March/April 1995 Change. Or, check
out the Flashlight Project’s website at
http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/flashlight.html
]
Technology Is Not Enough
The Seven Principles cannot be implemented by technophiles alone, or even by faculty alone. Students
need to become familiar with the Principles and be more assertive with respect to their own learning.
When confronted with teaching strategies and course requirements that use technologies in ways contrary
to the Principles, students should, if possible, move to alternatives that serve them better. If teaching
focuses simply on memorizing and regurgitating prepackaged information, whether delivered by a faculty
lecture or computer, students should reach for a different course, search out additional resources or
complementary experiences, establish their own study groups, or go to the professor for more substantial
activities and feedback.
Faculty members who already work with students in ways consistent with the Principles need to be tough-
minded about the software- and technology-assisted interactions they create and buy into. They need to
eschew materials that are simply didactic, and search instead for those that are interactive, problem
oriented, relevant to real-world issues, and that evoke student motivation.
Institutional policies concerning learning resources and technology support need to give high priority to
user-friendly hardware, software, and communication vehicles that help faculty and students use
technologies efficiently and effectively. Investments in professional development for faculty members, plus
training and computer lab assistance for students, will be necessary if learning potentials are to be
realized.
Finally, it is appropriate for legislators and other benefactors to ask whether institutions are striving to
improve educational practice consistent with the Seven Principles. Much depends on the answer.
Note: This article draws on Arthur Chickering’s participation in “The Future of Face-to-Face and Distance
htt
p
://www.aahebulletin.com/
p
ublic/archive/seven
p
rinci
p
les.as
p
?
p
f=1
Copyright © 2003 -
American Association for Higher Education
Learning in Post-Secondary Education,” a workgroup chaired by W.L. Renwick as part of a larger effort
examining The Future of Post-Secondary Education and the Role of Information and Communication
Technology: A Clarifying Report, carried out by the Center for Educational Research and Innovation,
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Paris: 1993, 1994.
htt
p
://www.aahebulletin.com/
p
ublic/archive/seven
p
rinci
p
les.as
p
?
p
f=1
... Surry and Land (2005) pointed out the five important components of infrastructure colleges should invest in are teaching resources, production resources, communication resources, student resources and administrative resources. Hung and Yuen (2010), Chickering and Ehrmann (1996) suggested for HEIs to realize the full power of new technologies, they should make sure it encourages interaction between students and faculty, develops cooperation and reciprocity among students and prompts feedback. Spotts (1999) argued investment in technology alone might not drive educators to adopt the technology. ...
... (4) Developing the Final Reachability Matrix (FRM) after checking for transitivity: The FRM is presented in Table 3. Spotts (1999); Jacobsen (1998); Chickering and Ehrmann (1996); Green and Gilbert (1995) (continued ) (2018) (Tables A1-A7). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, to identify and encapsulate the enablers that can facilitate technology integration in higher education and second, to understand and analyze the interplay between technology agility enablers. Design/methodology/approach The study used the Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM) approach to construct a theoretical model of the technology agility enablers in higher education and MICMAC analysis for ranking and segregating the enablers based on their dependence power into four categories: Autonomous, Dependent, Linkage and Independent. Findings The study helped identify eight technology agility enablers, with the Covid-19 pandemic as the most significant enabler. The Covid-19 pandemic has catalyzed the diffusion of technology across the education sector in India, including tertiary higher education. The study revealed government initiatives and institutional commitment as other enablers that can promote technology agility in higher education. Practical implications The results of this study would assist the policymakers and management of universities and colleges in understanding the important enablers that can facilitate technology integration in higher education. Originality/value Research in the past on technology adoption in higher education has looked into each enabler in isolation. This research provides a comprehensive view of the enablers and has attempted to establish a multidirectional interplay between the enablers.
... Chickering and Gamson (1987) introduce seven principles of good practice in undergraduate teaching. To realise the full potential of communication and information technologies for higher education, they should be in line with the seven principles (Ehrmann and Chickering 1996). These seven principals are described in the following. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Chatbots are used in different areas such as customer service, healthcare and education. The potential for improving outcomes and processes in education is high but differs for different types of chatbots. As universities want to provide excellent teaching, it is important to find the chatbot technologies with the greatest possible benefit. This paper presents a systematic review of chatbot technologies in five application areas. For each application area, the ten most cited publications are analysed and a possible categorisation scheme for chatbot technologies is derived. Furthermore, it is investigated which chatbot technology types are used and their suitability for higher education is analysed. The results show that chatbots can be categorised using five categories derived from the 50 publications. A total of 14 different types of chatbot technologies are found in the five areas. Nine of them are suitable for use in higher education.
... However, motivation is necessary but not sufficient for engagement due to the conditional relation of engagement and other factors, such as environment, teachers' effort, or even technology (Bergdahl, Nouri, and Fors 2020). To facilitate student engagement (Chickering and Ehrmann 1996) Even though developed 30 years ago, these strategies are still applicable today and are widely used as a starting point in many instructional designs (Meyer, 2014). Moreover, these strategies, together with best educational practice literature (Csikszentmihalyi 1990;Furlong and Christenson 2008;Malone and Lepper 2005;Tomlinson, Brimijoin, and Narvaez 2008) and game design literature were aligned to extract the critical gamification strategies that can increase engagement (de Byl and Hooper 2013). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This dissertation addresses decreased academic participation, low engagement and poor experience as issues often related to students’ retention in online learning courses. The issues were identified at the Department of Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, although high dropout rates are a growing problem in Computer Science studies worldwide. A solving approach often used in addressing the before mentioned problems includes gamification and personalization techniques: Gamification is a process of applying game design principles in serious contexts (i.e., learning), while personalization refers to tailoring the context to users’ needs and characteristics. In this work, the two techniques are used in combination in the Personalized Gamification Model (PeGaM), created for designing an online course for learning programming languages. PeGaM is theoretically grounded in the principles of the Gamified Learning Theory and the theory of learning tendencies. Learning tendencies define learners’ preferences for a particular form of behavior, and those behaviors are seen as possible moderators of gamification success. Moderators are a concept explained in the Gamified Learning Theory, and refer to variables that can influence the impact of gamification on the targeted outcomes. Gamification success is a measure of the extent to which students behave in a manner that leads to successful learning. The conceptual model of PeGaM is an iterative process in which learning tendencies are used to identify students who are believed to be prone to avoid certain activities. Gamification is then incorporated in activities that are recognized as ‘likely to be avoided’ to produce a specific learning-related behavior responsible for a particular learning outcome. PeGaM model includes five conceptual steps and 19 design principles required for gamification of learning environments that facilitate student engagement, participation and experience. In practice, PeGaM was applied in an introductory JavaScript course with Bachelor students of Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University. The investigation was guided by the principles of the Design-Based Research approach. Through this approach, PeGaM was created, evaluated and revised, over three iterative cycles. The first cycle had an explorative character, included one control and one treatment group, and gathered 124 participants. The second and third cycle were experimental studies, in which 69 and 171 participants were randomly distributed along one control and two treatment groups. Through the three interventions, mixed methods were used to capture students’ academic participation (a measure of students’ online behavior in the course collected through activity logs), engagement (evaluated quantitatively through a questionnaire compiled to measure behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement), and gameful experience (quantitative measure of students’ experience with the gamified system). In addition, supporting data was collected through semi-structured interviews and open-ended survey questions. The empirical findings revealed that gamification with PeGaM contributes to learning outcomes and that the success of gamification is conditioned by the applicability of game elements with learners’ preferences and learning activities. Cross case comparisons supported the application of PeGaM design principles and demonstrated its potential. Even though limited support was found to confirm the moderating role of learners’ learning tendencies, the study demonstrated that the gamification of learning activities that students are likely to avoid can increase their participation - but must be carefully designed. Most importantly, it has been shown that educational gamification can support and enhance learning-related behavior but require relevant and meaningful learning activities in combination with carefully considered reward, collaborative and feedback mechanisms. The study provides practical and theoretical insights but also highlights challenges and limitations associated with personalized gamification thus offers suggestions for further investigation.
Article
This chapter reviews research linking the importance of community in an increasing engagement in online courses from an interdisciplinary perspective. Additionally, we identify applicable teaching strategies that focus on the important elements of community building, namely teaching, social, and cognitive presence.
Article
This study aims to examine the type of learner motivation of the students studying foreign languages at South East European University (SEEU) in North Macedonia during their online classes caused by the global Pandemic COVID-19. Both teachers and students of this Institution faced several challenges. In order to be able to reach learning outcomes, the students must be motivated and engaged while attending online lessons. The present study uses two instruments to address the research questions designed; a student questionnaire, Motivation to Learn Online Questionnaire (MLOQ), and a teacher semi-structured interview. Overall, the study results revealed that the participants of the study are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically. The instructor support was reported to be in a very high level in terms of teacher-students communication, responded to students in a timely manner and providing guidance for the students during online classes. Nevertheless, teachers changed their assessment methods which respond to the students’ needs and tried different instructional techniques to enhance student motivation for learning among which the online quizzes, class discussion and online presentations. The findings of the present study will provide EFL teachers with some new insights and practical ideas for increasing student motivation during online classes.
Chapter
The mission of this chapter is to provide principals and teachers with an understanding of how to create a positive learning culture within an online classroom through utilization of the engagement triangle: students, teachers/school staff, and outside community members. The chapter introduces student agency through online instructional strategies and techniques for teachers to increase student motivation. Further, assessment practices are addressed in ways that can add to a positive classroom culture. At the end of the chapter, case study scenarios and reflective questions will be shared for practicing P-12 teachers to consider when designing learning opportunities in their online courses.
Article
Full-text available
This qualitative research study focused on the changes in classroom pedagogy and content of rural mathematics teachers who engaged in a year-long professional development project focused on mathematical modeling. During a 2-week summer institute, teachers solved mathematical modeling problems as learners and then went through an iterative design process of creating, testing and refining lessons for classroom implementation. The lessons were implemented during the academic year. Results of this study indicate that teachers developed a willingness to move from traditional lecture and replication as the main form of pedagogy. Instead they incorporated more group tasks, alternate assessments, and created their own mathematical modeling problems that were relevant to their students’ lives.
Thesis
Full-text available
The study was carried out to determine the perceptions of learners on the use of interactive instructional media required or used in the implementation of distance education programmes in South-East Nigeria. A survey research design was adopted for the study. Four research questions and eight hypothesis guided the study. The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire developed by the researcher. With a stratified random sampling technique, a total of 393 distance learners of NOUN and NTI distance education programmes from Abia and Enugu States were selected out of the total population of 47,084. Only 364 copies of the questionnaire administered were however returned and analyzed. Three experts, two in curriculum and instruction and one in measurement and evaluation carried out a face validation of the questionnaire, while a reliability coefficient of 0.70 was obtained through Cronbach Alpha Method of determining the internal consistency of instrument. The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while the hypothesis were tested at 0.05 level of significance using t-test statistics. The results of the data analysis revealed non-availability, non-accessibility and underutilization of most of the studied interactive instructional media. The used media were however found to be effective in the delivery of instructions. There was no significant difference in the mean ratings of Abia and Enugu State learners’ perceptions but there was significant difference between the perceptions of NOUN and NTI learners. Designing awareness/knowledge and skill acquisition training programmes on the use of interactive media, provision of enabling access and utilization facilities were some of the recommendations made. Suggestions were equally made for further studies.
Article
Full-text available
Machine learning has globally become a trend in most educational settings. This study aims to explore students’ perceptions when using Google Translate (GT) to support their learning as well as their problems and solutions from GT. With the participation of 250 university students at a private educational institution, a 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were employed to examine how students perceived the use of GT in their learning process. The findings revealed that practically students had positive perceptions on GT’s use in learning. Several major problems were recorded when they used GT, and some recommended solutions were also considered for improvement. Specifically, students utilized GT as a learning tool, particularly for language study, because of its useful features such as multi-language translation, time saving, ease of use, and improving pronunciation. Although Google Translate has a number of advantages for students, several problems such as erroneous grammar and semantics on a frequent basis have led to misunderstanding of original words. As a result, students discovered that they needed to deal with these problems by double checking the results in a dictionary or other translation programs, as well as the help from a peer or supervisor. It is suggested that GT is a helpful machine translator, but students are encouraged to know how to make some judgement on its results for a better translation version.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.