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Online & Active Teaching Resources (University/College-Level): Best Practices

This guide is intended for professors, instructors and teachers at the post-secondary level. It is a hub of research, information and resources/tools identified for online and active learning in college courses.

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Duquesne University Best Practices

Duquesne University Best Practices:

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

(Chickering & Gamson, 1987)

Online Teaching Applications
  1. Encourages contacts between students and faculty.
  • Hold electronic office hours
  • Instructor and student profile pages to get to know one another
  • Inform students when you will routinely check email (I check my email on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, etc.)
  • Use announcements, emails, and discussion forums
  1. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.
  • Discussion forums
  • Use Google Docs for collaborative work
  • Wikis
  • Group projects
  1. Uses active Learning techniques.
  • Organize online courses around projects
  • Assign projects that end in a product that students present to the class
  • Involve students with case studies, vignettes and problem- based learning
  1. Gives prompt feedback.
  • Inform your students how long it will take to return work (I will grade these assignments within one week of receiving them.)
  • Use rubrics
  • Use Blackboard’s Gradebook features
  1. Emphasizes time on task.
  • Set definite deadlines
  • Send reminders or announcements about deadlines
  1. Communicates high expectations.
  • Use Rubrics to show expectations for participation and assignments
  • Regularly praise quality postings and participation
  • Give students examples of exemplary work
  1. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
  • Use a variety of mediums including videos, audio clips, PowerPoint, texts, etc.
  • Allow students to choose project topics that relate to their interest or work


For more information: Promoting Student Learning in Online Courses

Duquesne Quality Online Course Framework

Duquesne Quality Online Course Framework: