Seven Principles of Best Practice in Undergraduate Education

The Course Design Kit is built on research and best practices in instructional design and education including two established national standards: Seven Principles and Quality Matters. (See a chart linking these standards to the Course Design Kit.)

Seven Principles of Best Practice in Undergraduate Education

For over 20 years the Seven Principles of Good practice in Undergraduate Education have been recognized as as a time tested foundation for evaluating and designing effective courses. Originally framed by Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson in 1986, Seven Principles is a concise summary of decades of educational research findings about the kinds of teaching/learning activities most likely to improve learning outcomes.

  1. encourages contact between students and faculty,
  2. develops reciprocity and cooperation among students,
  3. encourages active learning,
  4. gives prompt feedback,
  5. emphasizes time on task,
  6. communicates high expectations, and
  7. respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

Read the original study.
Read the updated Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever that looks at educational technoogy through the lens of Seven Principles.
The Ohio Learning Network further illustrates the significance of the Seven Principles for online learning

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a peer course review process built upon proven research and best practices in course design. Developed in Maryland to ensure comparable quality among online courses in the Maryland system, QM is now a national program facilitating the review of online and hybrid courses and supporting research and professional development.

Columbus State is a member of Quality Matters. This membership makes research and training available to Columbus State faculty and permits us to use the Quality Matters rubric as a teaching and development tool. We are not using the rubric for formal course review or certification.

The eight broad standards include:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Resources and Materials
  5. Learner Engagement
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility

Learn more about Quality Matters from the Quality Matters web site.
Download a copy of the Rubric. (Note the rubric has been slightly revised in 2008 but all major standards remain. An updated rubric will be available soon.)