Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Seven Principles at WPI: Technology as a Lever Principle Two: Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

October 2, 2006

In 1987, Chickering and Gamson first published their “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” In 1996, Chickering and Erhmann published a follow-up to this original essay taking into consideration the new and innovative technologies available at that time that would enable the implementation of these principles in the classroom entitled “Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as a Lever.”  

During the next six newsletters, we will explore ways faculty at WPI can implement the remaining Seven Principles into their undergraduate and graduate courses using many of the technologies and resources supported by the Academic Technology Center.

Last month, we explored the first principle, “Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty.” This month, we will explore the second principle, “Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students.”

Chickering and Gamson wrote, "Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort that a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one's own ideas and responding to others' reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding.” (1987). Group work is shown in research studies to improve student understanding of the content while also encouraging students to be active learners. There are many tools available at WPI that enable peer learning and reflection.

For ideas and tips on incorporating group work into your classroom and online, visit the following:

Next month we will explore the third principle, “Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students.”


Chickering, A.W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.