Some Applications for Chickering and Gamson’s 7 Priciples In the Online Classroom


In 1987, Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson published their classic work entitled “Seven principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.”  A. W. Bangert opined in a 2004 article that “The Seven Principles framework (Chickering and Gamson) offers solid, research guidance for the design and delivery of Internet courses.”

Principle 01: Encourages contacts between students and faculty.

  • Email response policy sets expectations for both student and instructor
  • Electronic office hours
  • Use a variety of communication tools in course (announcements, email, discussion, etc.)
  • Synchronous communication (chat, text, Skype, etc.)
  • Pictures or avatars for faculty and students

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Crews, Wilkinson, and Neill: Principles for Good Practice In Undergraduate Education: Effective Online Course Design to Assist Students’ Success

Crews, Tena B., Kelly Wilkinson, and Jason K. Neill.  “Principles for Good Practice In Undergraduate Education: Effective Online Course Design to Assist Students’ Success.” MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, vol. 11, no. 1 (March 2015): 87-103.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to apply the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson, 1991) to online course design to enhance students’ success in an online course. A survey was created to determine students’ perception of strategies and skills they perceived as important to complete an online course. The survey was created based on behavioral learning, cognitive learning, and social learning frameworks. The responses of the 179 students in this study in an undergraduate Computer Applications in Business course at a large southeastern university were categorized by the Seven Principles. Results of the survey showed the course design strategies and what students valued matched well with the Seven Principles Implications of the study provide evidence that good course design embeds the seven principles to ensure students are successful in the online learning environment.

The journal article is available here:

Or, here: Crews_0315.

Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online: Quick Guide for New Online Faculty

Judith V. Bettcher, Ph.D. has provided a list of 10 best practices for teaching online.  Her top ten items are:

  1. Be Present At the Course Site
  2. Create a Supportive Online Course Community
  3. Share a Set of Very Clear Expectations for Your Student and for Yourself as to (1) How You Will Communicate and (2) How Much time Student Should be Working On the Course Each Week
  4. Use a Variety of Large Group, Small Group, and Individual Work Experiences
  5. Use Both Synchronous and Asynchronous Activities
  6. Early In the Term – About Week 3, As for Informal Feedback On “How Is the Course Going?” and “Do You Have Any Suggestions.”
  7. Prepare Discussion Post that Invite Questions, Deiscussions, Reflections, and Responses
  8. Focus On Content Resources and Applications and Links to Current Events and Examples that Are Easily Accessed from Learner’s Computers
  9. Combine Core Concept Learning with Customized and Personalized Learning
  10. Plan a Good Closing and Wrap Activity for the Course.

Her full post on this subject is available here:

8 Lessons Learned from Teaching Online

This EDUCAUSE video provides 8 best practices (lessons learned) from from a couple of leaders in online education: Joanna Dunlap and Patrick Lowenthal.  Those lessons learned are:

  1. High-Touch is More Important than High-Tech
  2. Establish Social Presence Using Digital Storytelling
  3. Use Technology Intentionally
  4. The Power of External Resources
  5. Make Your Expectations Explicit
  6. Fun, Playfulness and the Unexpected
  7. Login Regularly
  8. Personal Feedback

A Review of Predictive Factors of Student Success In and Satisfaction With Online Learning

Kauffman, Heather. “A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning” Research in Learning Technology [Online], Volume 23 (27 August 2015).

ABSTRACT: Students perceive online courses differently than traditional courses. Negative perceptions can lead to unfavorable learning outcomes including decreased motivation and persistence. Throughout this review, a broad range of factors that affect performance and satisfaction within the online learning environment for adult learners will be examined including learning outcomes, instructional design and learner characteristics, followed by suggestions for further research, and concluding with implications for online learning pertinent to administrators, instructors, course designers and students. Online learning may not be appropriate for every student. Identifying particular characteristics that contribute to online success versus failure may aid in predicting possible learning outcomes and save students from enrolling in online courses if this type of learning environment is not appropriate for them. Furthermore, knowing these learner attributes may assist faculty in designing quality online courses to meet students’ needs. Adequate instructional methods, support, course structure and design can facilitate student performance and satisfaction.

The article is available for free here.

11 Strategies for Managing Your Online Courses

11 Strategies for Managing Online Courses Booklet Icon

Faculty Focus has released a special report that contains reprints of articles from its Online Classroom newsletter.

Here is the table of contents:

  • Syllabus Template Development for Online Course Success
  • Virtual Sections: A Creative Strategy for Managing Large Online Classes
  • Use Participation Policies to Improve Interaction
  • On the Road Again: Keep Your Computer Happy!
  • Making Visible the Invisible
  • Internal or External Email for Online Courses?
  • Trial by Fire: Online Teaching Tips That Work
  • The Challenge of Teaching Across Generations
  • 10 Ways to Get Reluctant and Downright Scared Students Enthusiastic About Taking Online Courses
  • Playing Catch-up: How to Come Out From Behind When an “Unexpected” Broadsides Your Efforts
  • The Online Instructor’s Challenge: Helping ‘Newbies’ 19

The Special Report is available here.

Or, here: report-11-strategies-for-managing-online-courses

Webinar: Good for Students, Good for Faculty: The University of Washington Reviews the LMS

On November 6, 2013 from 1-2:00 PM EST, Casey Green–senior research consultant for Inside Higher Ed and founding director of The Campus Computing Project–will look at the process by which UW moved from three disjointed systems to selecting Canvas by Instructure as it only institutional LMS after a year long pilot.

Register Here.

Faculty Focus — Tips for Online Instructors: Managing Files, Feedback, and Workload

Eileen F. Schiffer has a useful article over at Faculty Focus about time and workload management in the online classroom.  Schiffer points out:

 Establishing a regular presence in the online classroom, grading assignments and discussions, and maintaining records and notes from term to term are all time consuming – but essential – tasks. Learning to take care of the details of online teaching more efficiently makes it possible to be more effective in your teaching.


She provides some useful insight into managing offline content (but used to support online courses), the use of rubrics, and providing student feedback.

Original post at Faculty Focus