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Seven Principles of Good Teaching Practice: Predictors of perceived learning and satisfaction with online courses

Lilian del Carmen Gomez Alvarez, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Online courses and degree programs are increasingly common in higher education. However, there is little theory-based knowledge of what constitutes effective online teaching practice. A 56-item Web-based survey (α = .95) was used to investigate the predictive value of the “Seven Principles of Good Teaching Practice” (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996: Chickering & Garrison, 1987) for student perceived learning and satisfaction with graduate online courses. Background variables were also examined. Student ratings were collected in the spring semester 2005 from 40 education and humanities courses (N = 173) at a large Midwestern university. ^ Demographic data showed students were primarily female, 26–35 years old, with family responsibilities, working full time outside of home, studying part time, taking a required course, and taught by a male instructor. ^ Results indicate students perceived their online instructors used the “seven principles” regularly in their courses. Highest scores were for “active learning,” “cooperation among students,” and “prompt feedback.” Differences were found in active learning, time on task, high expectations, and respect for diverse talents by teacher gender, student marital status, academic status, course status, and number of courses taken at UNL. Positive correlations were found between the perceived use of the “seven principles” and student perceived learning and satisfaction. “Active learning” was the best predictor for both criterion variables, and “prompt feedback” and “high expectations” were good predictors for satisfaction with the online course. ^ This study has expanded our knowledge of the “seven principles” to include graduate courses in online environments. The results of the study support previous research and provide empirical evidence to promote the use of the “seven principles” as a theoretical and practical framework to guide the design and implementation of online courses. Such a framework may be useful for novice instructors, teacher training and development, student support structures, and future research seeking to develop a theory of distance education, particularly involving online environments. ^

Subject Area

Education, Teacher Training|Education, Technology of|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Gomez Alvarez, Lilian del Carmen, "Seven Principles of Good Teaching Practice: Predictors of perceived learning and satisfaction with online courses" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186855.