Online Effective Practices
How People Learn
Good learning environments are knowledge-centered in that they consider desired outcomes. Guiding questions for creating a knowledge-centered learning environment include:What do we want students to know and be able to do when they have completed our materials or course? How do we provide learners with the “foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful transfer”?
Good learning environments are also learner-centered, that is,they function in a manner that connects to the strengths, interests, and preconceptions of learners and help students to gain insight about themselves as learners. In such environments,teachers work to bridge new content with students’ current understandings and facilitate growth while attending to the learners’ interests, passions, and motivations.
Another characteristic of good learning environments is that they are community-centered, that is, they promote and benefit from shared norms that value learning and high standards. Ideally,good learning environments connect to relevant external communities and provide a milieu where students feel safe to ask questions, work collaboratively, and develop lifelong learning skills.
Finally, good learning environments are assessment-centered, meaning that they provide learners with many opportunities to make their thinking visible and to get feedback in order to create new meaning and new understanding (Adapted from (Bransford, 2000).
The Seven Principles of Good Practice in Online Teaching and Learning
- The online instructor encourages contact and interaction between learners, with learners and with course content.
- The online instructor encourages learner cooperation and reciprocity.
- The online instructor encourages engagement and active learning.
- The online instructor gives prompt feedback.
- The online instructor emphasizes time on task.
- The online instructor communicates high expectations.
- The online instructor supports equity, accessibility, inclusion, and respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
(Adapted from Chickering, 1987).
Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, 40(7), 3–7.
Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (1999). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, And School. Washington, DC; National Academy Press.