Task 2: Articulating good practice (no more than 2 hours) (badge activity)

Articulating good practice
by Elaine Ulett - Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 4:41 PM

My inventory of good practice is based on Chickering and Gamson's 7 Principles because they outline what I came to appreciate as an online student that is encouragement and engagement. They emphasise good practice by the tutor because they act as an instructional strategy for creating an online course. However, the principles play down, or at least do not fully address the characteristics of the tutor. Palloff and Pratt's 6 excellent online tutor characteristics could be applied to ensure the tutor is able to effectively engage with the students. The principles would be generalisable across different roles and disciplines because they focus on good practices rather than the process of creating an activity relating to a specific subject. Each numbered text corresponds with the seven principles. As an IT trainer, an example of this would be teaching Google drive and documents,

  1. I would have lots of contact with my students particularly at the beginning which will help to manage student expectations..
  2. Students would work as team to create a document in Google doc a collaborative environment which will allow them to work synchronously.
  3. Exercises will be structured but flexible enough to allow student creativity and the discussion of wider issues.
  4. I would give feedback as soon as possible relating questions to what the student has discussed.
  5. The student would have a set time in which to complete tasks which is a good way to help them plan each task and would help prevent them from falling behind.
  6. Students will be expected to participate in all the activities.

There would be the opportunity for students to receive information and learn in different ways. For example, students could receive task details in video or text format depending on their preference for learning.


Picture of marion waite
Re: Articulating good practice
by marion waite - Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 2:24 PM

Hi Elaine

Thanks for your post. One of my principles of good practice within my online courses is to suggest that learners comment on at least two other posts and give feedback. Therefore I am going to suggest that you compare and contrast your inventory with at least two others that have posted.

Thank you.


Re: Articulating good practice
by Elaine Ulett - Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 5:57 PM

Hi Marion,

Yes I will, I was waiting for some to appear.


Re: Articulating good practice
by Katherine Staples - Thursday, 7 May 2015, 3:55 PM

Hi Elaine

I was interested to read your online good practice was based on Chickering and Gamson's 7 Principles. I hadn't thought about structuring my response like this, so it was refreshing to see something different.

I liked your short concise points - I wondered if I had put too much into my inventory? Is there anything you feel you didn't add, but would have liked to add?

I noticed that you didn't include anything about Assessment - is this because your usual online courses aren't assessed? If they aren't - how ill you ensure that all the students would participate?

Would you envisage that you are the sole tutor? Would there be others to support you? If you are the sole tutor - how much time would you expect to allocate to a course like this?

I like the fact that you want the flexibility in the course to structure exercises and to enable the students to learn in different ways? How would you see this happening? Do you think you may have to recreate or add to the course whilst it was in progress to enable this flexibility?

Apologies for all the questions...


Picture of Michael Mason
Re: Articulating good practice
by Michael Mason - Thursday, 7 May 2015, 7:19 PM

Hi Elaine, it was good to read your relation of the Chickering and Gamson principles to your own IT teaching.  I think it is interesting that although the principles were written in the context of undergraduate education before on line teaching was possible, they still seem as fresh and relevant to latest on line practices. I agree, they seem to serve as a prompt to consider many associated practical steps that go towards performing to each principle.  

With regard to your points 2 and 6 about students working together as a team and being expected to participate in set activities, how would you try and counteract weak or non-participation by some (notwithstanding you have set well designed material and have socialised the group as well as is possible)? On my programmes, where most students are in full time employment, time and life pressures are regularly cited as reasons why students were not able to contribute much. This can be very disappointing when much well thought out material has been prepared. Do you think formal assessment of online contribution fits with your approach in this regard?

Sorry it’s another question but I’m interested in all views on the issue of enhancing participation!