Seven Principles at WPI: Technology as a Lever Principle Six: Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
March 5, 2007
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 last six newsletters, we have explored ways faculty at WPI can implement the 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 sixth principle, “Good Practice Communicates High Expectations.” This month, we explore the seventh and last principle, “Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.”
Chickering and Ehrmann wrote: "Different students bring different talents and styles to college. Brilliant students in a seminar might be all thumbs in a lab or studio; students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need opportunities to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily” (1996). WPI faculty can take advantage of many technology resources available to them to help meet the needs of the diverse learners and student personalities in their classrooms.
For ideas and tips on using technology to adapt your teaching and learning activities to your student learning styles, visit the following:
- Enhancing lecture presentations: Incorporate graphics, audio, video and web resources into your lectures to help convey content. This appeals to the kinesthetic and visual learners.
- Use myWPI to post your lecture slides/notes. Posting lecture notes helps those students who learn best by reading and listening. It also provides an effective way for students to review what they learned when studying for exams.
- Encourage class discussion in your class and online. Listening to and participating in discussion enables extroverts and students who learn best aurally the opportunity to process information.
- Use the Classroom Performance System to allow your introverted students to convey to you whether or not they generally understand the material you are teaching.
- Promote student collaboration. Students can learn a lot from each other in group work.
- Encourage student responsibility for learning. Provide students with self-directed learning opportunities and help them to discover how they can learn most effectively in your class.
Chickering, A.W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.