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ED 282 491 HE 020 318

AUTHOR Chickering, Arthur W.; Gamson, Zelda F.
TITLE Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate
INSTITUTION American Association for Higher Education,
Washington, D.C.
SPONS AGENCY Education Commission of the States, Denver, Colo.
NOTE 6p.
PUB TYPE Journal Articles (080) -- Viewpoints (120)
JOURNAL CIT AAHE Bulletin; p3-7 Mar 1987
EDRS PRICE MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
DESCRIPTORS *College Instruction; *Educational Principles;
Expectation; Feedback; Higher Education;
*Instructional Improvement; *Learning Activities;
Peer Relationship; *Student Participation; Teacher
Student Relationship; Time on Task; *Undergraduate
Seven principles that can help to improve
undergraduate education are identified. Based on research on college
teaching and learning, good practice in undergraduate education: (1)
encourages contacts between students and faculty; (2) develops
reciprocity and cooveration among students; (3) uses active learning
techniques; (4) gives prompt feedback; (5) emphasizes time on task;
(6) communicates high expectations; and (7) respects diverse talents
and ways of learning. Examples of approaches that have been used in
different kinds of college in the last few years are described. In
addition, the implications of these principles for the way states
fund and govern higher education and for the way institutions are run
are briefly discussed. Examples of good approaches include: freshman
seminars on important topics taught by senior faculty; learning
groups of five to seven students who meet regularly during class to
solve problems set by the instructor; active learning using
structured exercises, diszussions, team projects, and peer critiques,
as well as internships and independent study; and mastery learning,
contract learning, and computer-assisted instruction approaches,
which required adequate time on learning. (SW)

Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made
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atdrhis document has been reproduced as
received from the person or organization
onginating it.
0 Minor changes have been made to improve
and Zelda E Gamson*
reproduction quality

Points of view or opinions stated In this docu-

ment do nOt necessanly represent official
OERI position or policy

Apathetic students, illiterate provide a focus for their work, we

graduates, incompetent offer seven principles based on
teaching, impersonal cam- research on good teaching and learn-
pusesso rolls the drum- ing in colleges and universities.
fire of criticism of higher education. Good practice in undergraduate
More than two years of reports have education:
spelled out the problems. States have
been quick to respond by holding out 1. Encourages contacts between stu-
carrots and beating with sticks. dents and faculty.
There are neither enough carrots 2. Develops reciprocity and coopera-
nor enough sticks to improve under- tion among students.
graduate education without the com- 3. Uses active learning techniques.
mitment and action of students and 4. Gives prompt feedback
Faculty members. They are the pre- 5. Emphasizes time on task
cious resources on whom the 6. Communicates high expectations.
improvement of undergraduate educa- 7. Respects diverse talents and ways of
tion depends. learning.
But how can students and Faculty
members improve undeigiaduate edu- We can do it ourselveswith a little
cation? Many campuses around the bit of help ....
courray are asking this question. To

*Prepared uith the assistance of Aleuznder W. Education Commission of the State& The John-
Agin, Houard Bowen, Carol M. Boyer, K son Foundation sty:forted the preparation of
Patricia Cross, Kemzeth Eble, Russell Edgenon, early drafts and a meeting for the authors at
Jary Gaff, Jaseph Katz C Robert Pace, Martin WMgvread in Racine, Wisconsin William
W. Peterson, and Rithard C Richardson,Jr. Bowl and Henry Halsted of the Johnson Foun-
This woriz uas co:sponsored by the Ameri- dation made usefid contributions to the
can Association for Higher Education and the grotp's deliberations and to revisions.

T hese seven principles are not
ten commandments shrunk to a
twentieth century attention span.
Good practices hold as much
meaning for professional programs as
for tht liberal arts. They work for
wide range of schooLs in this countty.
We draw the implications of this
research for practice, hoping to help
They are intended as guidelines for many different kinds of students us all do better.
faculty members, students, and white, black, Hispanic, Asian, rich, We address the teacher's how, not
administratorswith support from poor, older, younger, male, female, the subject-matter what, of good prac-
state agencies and trusteesto well-prepared, underprepared. tice in undergraduate education. We
improve teaching and learning. These But the ways different institutions recognize that content and pedagogy
principles seem like good common implement good practice depends interact in complex ways. We are also
sense, and they arebecause many very much on their students and their aware that there is much healthy
teachers and students have experi- circumstances. In what follows, we ferment within and among the disci-
enced them and because research describe several different approaches What is taught, after all, is at
supports them. They rest on 50 years to good practice that have been used least as important as how it is taught.
of research on the way teachers teach in different kinds of settings in the In contrast to the long history of
and students learn, how students last few years. In addition, the power- research in teaching and learning,
work and play with one another, and ful implications of these principles there is little research on the college
how students and faculty talk to for the way states fund and govern curriculum. We cannot, therefore,
each other. higher education and for the way make responsible recommendations
While each practice can stand on institutions are run are discussed about the content of a good under-
its own, when all are present their briefly at the end. graduate education. That work is yet
effects multiply. Together, they employ As faculty members, academic to be done.
six powerful forces in education: administrators, and srudent personnel This much we can say: An under-
10. Activity staff, we have spent most of our graduate education should prepare
P. Cooperation working lives trying to understand srudents to understand and deal intel-
O. Diversity our students, our colleagues, our ligently with modern life. What better
10. Expectations institutions, and ourselves. We have place to start but in the classroom
110. Interaction conducted research on higher educa- and on our campuses? What better
10. Responsibility tion with dedicated colleagues in a time than now?


be a learner. In the Undergraduate tive and isolated Working with others
1. Encourages Contacts Research Opportunities Program at often increases involvement in learn-
Between Students and the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- ing. Sharing one's own ideas and
nology, three out of four undergradu- responding to others' reactions sharp-
Faculty ates have joined three-quarters of the ens thinking and deepens under-
Frequent student-faculty contact in faculty in recent years as junior standing.
and out of classes is the most impor- research colleagues. At Sinclair Com-
tant factor in student motivation and munity College, srudents in the Col- Some examples: Even in large lecture
involvgittent. Faculty concern helps lege Without Walls program have classes, students can learn from one
students get through rough times and pursued studies through learning another. Learning groups are a com-
keep on working. Knowing a few fac- contracts. Each student has created a mon practice. Students are assigned
ulty members well enhances srudents' "resource group," which includes a to a group of five to seven other stu-
intellectual commitment and encour- faculty member, a student peer, and dents, who meet regularly during
ages them to think about their own two "community resource" faculty class throughout the term to solve
values and future plans. members. This group then provides problems set by the instructor. Many
support and assures quality. colleges use peer tutors for srudents
Some examples: Freshman seminars who need special help.
on important topics, taught by senior Learning communities are anotht:.
faculty members, establish an .arly 2. Develops Reciprocity popular way of getting students to
connection between students and fac- work together. Students involved in
ulty in many colleges and universities.
and Cooperation Among SUNY at Stony BrOok's Federated
In the Saint Joseph's College core Students Learning Communitits can take sev-
curriculum, facuhy members who Learning is enhanced when it is more eral courses together. The courses,
lead discussion groups in courses like a team effort than a solo race. on topics related to a common theme
outside their fields of specialization Good learning, like good work, is like sdence, technology, and human
model for students what it means to collaborative and social, not competi- values, are from different disciplines.


Faculty teaching the courses coordi- started, students need help in as,sess- task Learning to use one's time well
nate their activities while another ing existing knowledge and compe- is critical for students and profe&sion-
faculty member, called a "master tence. In cla&ses, students need als alike. Students need help in learn-
learner," takes the courses with the frequent opportunities to perform ing effective time management.
student& Under the direction of the and receive suggestions for improve- Allocating realistic amounts of time
master learner, students run a semi- ment. At various points during col- means effective learning for students
nar which helps them integrate ideas lege, and at the end, students need and effective teaching for faculty.
from the separate courses. chances to reflect on what they have How an institution defines time
learned, what they still need to know, expectations for students, faculty,
and how to assess themselves. administrators, and other profe&sional
3. Uses Active Learning Some examples: No feedback can
staff can establish the basis for high
Techniques occur without assessment. But asse&s- performance for all
Learning is not a spectator sport. Stu- ment without timely feedback con- Some examples: Mastry learning,
dents do not learn much just by sit- tributes little to learning. contract learning, and computer
ting in classes listening to teachers, Colleges a&sess students as they assisted instruction require that stu-
memorizing pre-packaged assign- enter in order to guide them in plan- dents spend adequate amounts of
ments, and spitting out answers. They ning their stuaits. In addition to the time on learning. Extended periods
must talk about what they are learn- feedback they receive from course of preparation for college also give
ing, write about it, relate it to past instructors, students in many colleges students more time on task Matteo
experiences, apply it to their daily and universities receive counseling Ricci College is known for its efforts
lives. They must make what they periodically on their progress and to guide high school students from
learn part of themselves. future plans. At Bronx Community the ninth grade to a BA in six years
College, students with poor academic through a curriculum taught jointly
Some examples: Active learning is preparation have been carefully by faculty at Seattle Preparatory
encouraged in classes that use struc- tesAed and given special tutorials to School and Seattle University. Provid-
tured exercises, challenging discus- prepare them to take introductory ing students with opportunities to
sions, team projects, and peer
courses. They are then advised about integrate their studies into the rest of
critiques. Active learning can also the introductory courses take, their lives helps them use time well.
occur outside the classroom. There given the level of their aci, 'emic Workshops, intensive residential
are thousands of intemships, indepen- skills. programs, combinations of televised
dent study, and cooperative job pro- Adults can receive assessment of instruction, correspondence study,
grams across the country in all kinds their work and other life experiences and learning centers are all being
of colleges and universities, in all at many colleges and ur.iversities used in a variety of institutions, espe-
kinds of fields, for all kinds of stu- cially those with many part-time stu-
through portfolios of their work or
dents. Students also can heIp design through standardized tests; these pro- dents. Weekend colleges and summer
and teach courses or parts of courses. vide the basis for sessions with residential programs, courses offered
At Brown University, facuky members advisors. at work sites and community centus,
and students have designed new Alverno College requires that stu- clusters of courses on related topics
courses on contemporary issues and taught in the same time block, and
dents develop high levels of perfor-
universal themes; the students then mance in eight general abilities such double-credit courses make more
help the professors as tching assis- as analytic and communication skills. time for learning. At Empire State
tants. At the State University of New
Performance is assessed and then dis- College, for example, students design
York at Cortland, beginning studems
cussed with students at each level for degree programs organized in man-
in a general chemistry lab have ageable time blocks; students may
each ability in a variety of ways and
worked in small groups to design lab by a variety of assessors. take courses at nearby institutions,
procedures rather than repeat pre- In writing courses across the coun- pursue independent study, or work
structured exercises. At the University try, students are learning, through with faculty and other students at
of Michigan's Residential College, Empire State learning centers.
detailed feedback from instructors
teams of students periodically work and fellow students, to revise and
with faculty members on a long-term rewrite draf...s. They learn, in the pro-
original research project in the social cess, that feedback is central to learn-
ing and improving performance. 6. Communicates High
Expect more and you will get more.
4. Gives Prompt Feedla tck High expectations are important for
Knowing what you know and don't
5. Emphasizes Time
everyonefor the poorly prepared,
Imow focuses learning. Students need on Task for those unwilling to exert them-
appropriate feedback on performance Time plus energy equals learning. selves, and for the bright and well
to benefit from courses. When getting There is no substitute for time on motivated Expecting students to per-


form well becomes a self-fulfilling the College of Public and Community ductory phrics students may choose
prophecy when teachers and institu- Service, a college for older working between a lecture-and-textbook
tions hold high expectations of them- adults at the University of Massachu- course, a computer-based version of
selves and make extra efforts. setts-Boston, incoming students have the lecture-and-textbook course, or a
taken an orientation course that computer-based course based on
Some examples: In many colleges
encourages them to reflect on their notes developed by the faculty that
and universities, students with poor
learning styles. Rocldand Community allow students to program the com-
past records or test scores do extraor-
College has offered a life-career- puter. In both computer-based
dinaty work Sometimes they outper-
educational planned course. At the courses, students work on their own
form students with good preparation.
University of California, Irvine, intro- and must pass mastery exams.
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside
has communicated high expectations
for underprepared high school stu-
dents by bringing them to the univer-
sity for workshops in academic WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY
subjeccs, study skills, test taking, and
time management. In order to rein- IS IT?
force high expectations, the program
involves parents and high school Teachers and students hold the the value of their contributions, and
counselors. main responsibility for improving to confront the consequences of their
The University of California, Berke- undergraduate education. But they
ley introduced an honors program in need a lot of help. College and uni- State;, the federal government, and
the sciences for underprepared versity leaders, state and federal offi- accrediting associations affect the
minority students; a growing number cials, and accrediting associations kind of environment that can develop
of community colleges are establish- have the power to Alpe an environ- on campuses in a variety of ways. The
ing general honors programs for ment that is favorable to good prac- most important is through the alloca-
minorities. Special programs like tice in higher education. tion of financial support. States also
these help. But most important are Wilat qualities must this environ- influence good practice by encourag-
the day-to-day, week-in and week-out ment have? ing sound planning, setting priorities,
expectations students and faculty hold 110. A strong sense of shared mandating standards, and reviewing
for themselves and for each other in purposes. and approving programs. Regional
all their classes. Pl. Concrete support from adminis- and professional accrediting associa-
trators and faculty leaders for those tions require self-study and peer
purposes. review in making their judgments
110. Adequate funding appropriate for about programs and institutions.
7. Respects Diverse the purposes.
Talents and Ways of 110. Policies and procedures consist-
These souices of support and influ-
ence can encourage environments for
Learning ent with the purposes.
good practice in undergraduate edu-
There are many roads to learning. PP Continuing examination of how
cation by:
well the purposes are being achieved.
People bring different talents and
styles of learning to college. Brilliant There is good evidence that such IP. Setting policies that are consistent
students in the seminar room may be an environment can be created. with good practice in undergraduate
`Then this happens, faculty members education.
ali thumbs in the lab or art studio.
Students rich in hands-on experience and administrators think of them- 110. Holding high expectations for
may not do so well with theory. Stu- selves as eduotors. Adequate institutional performance.
dents need the opportunity to show resources are put into creating Pr. Keeping bureaucratic regulations
their talents and leirn in ways that opportunities for faculty members, to a minimum that is compatible with
work for them. Then they can be administrators, and students to cele- public accountability.
brate and reflect on their shared pur- 111. Allocating adequate funds for new
pushed to learning in new ways that
do not come so easily. poses. Faculty members receive undergraduate programs and the
support and telease time for appro- professional development of faculty
Some examples: Individualized priate professional development members, administrators, and staff.
degree programs recognize different activities. Criteria for hiring and pro- IP. Encouraging employment of
interests. Personalized systems of moting faculty members, administra- under-represented groups among
instruction and mastery learning let tors, and staff support the institution's administrators, faculty members, and
students work at their own pace. Con- purposes. Advising is considered student services professionals.
tract learning helps students define important. Departments, programs, No Providing the support for pro-
their own objectives, determine their and classes are small enough to allow grams, facilities, and financial aid nec-
leiming activities, and define the faculty members and students to have essary for good practice in under-
criteria and methods of evaluation. At a sense of community, to experience graduate education.
Chickering Gamson
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