Adding an
8th Principle
to the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

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Consider the "8th Principle"
This is really a "thought experiment."  The Seven Principles were built on a solid base of
research and practice.  We do not propose to extend those Principles formally in this workshop.  However, we encourage thought and discussion about what might usefully be added.   If anyone accumulates a variety of these "8th Principles" as a result, the compilation could offer a valuable perspective.
Optional:  Click here for a VERY simple form to use for this activity.

Please think about and discuss

  • Most Important?
    Which of the Seven Principles is most important to you?   Why?

  • Add an 8th Principle?  Which one?   Why?
    What, if anything, do we need to add to make the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education:

    • More applicable to the conditions and situations most relevant for your institution?  

    • More helpful to you and your colleagues?  

    • More applicable to your own experience and values?

  • See also:  Table - 7 Principles, Challenges, Solutions, 8th Principle

Examples of "8th Principles"
Possibilities that have already been suggested by some participant in an 8th Principle workshop


  • Caring
    In what ways is “caring” already part of the Seven Principles?
    Should "caring" be more explicitly and prominently included?
    Consider faculty caring about students; faculty caring about ideas and knowledge; faculty caring about their colleagues; as well as students caring about faculty; students caring about ideas and knowledge; students caring about each other…. Academic support professionals caring enough, but not too much about helping faculty improve their teaching and their students’ learning!

  • Learning by Teaching
    Almost everyone who has ever taught another person anything - formally or informally - eventually notices that doing so is one of the most powerful, effective ways to learn.
     Almost anyone who prepares for and then engages in teaching other(s) learns more than the students, learns more than he/she had previously learned about that topic.  So, it is surprising how few discussions of pedagogy include "learning by teaching" as an effective strategy option.  Shouldn't it be? What are some tactics for increasing options for "Learning by Teaching" in traditional courses?  In very large enrollment courses?  When using various combinations of face-to-face and online communications?  Do some of the 7 Principles reflect or support "Learning by Teaching" better than others?  Or is "Learning by Teaching" in a completely different category from the 7 Ps?

  • Differences Among Teachers
    In what ways is acknowledgement of this kind of diversity already part of the Seven Principles?
    Should it be more explicitly and prominently included?
    Can or should all teachers, all faculty members apply each of the 7 Principles equally?
    Even when teaching the similar courses to similar groups of students, can or should teachers apply the 7 Principles in the same ways?
    Are there ways of being a good teacher that seem to be overlooked by the 7 Principles?

  • Reflective Thinking about Learning
    In what ways is “reflective thinking about learning” already part of the Seven Principles?
    Should "reflective thinking about learning" be more explicitly and prominently included?
    Doug Eder, then at Arizona State University: "...e-learning provides a special, if not unique, opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned and how they learned it. The asynchronous nature of e-courses provides this special opportunity and, coincidentally, I do not see provision for reflective thinking displayed in the original Seven Principles." e-mail message to Steve Gilbert et al. 4/5/2007

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Other Useful Discussion Questions

  1. Being Elevated by the Seven Principles? Can anyone take the Seven Principles seriously WITHOUT being led toward larger issues?  How do any of these Seven Principles connect to other, larger issues?  

  2. Historical Context? How were the Seven Principles (developed in the 1980s/1990s) shaped by their historical context?  How have conditions changed so that the Seven Principles need to be revised?  How do they still apply?  

  3. Research Supporting Seven Principles?  What kinds of research supported the identification of these seven principles? Is there any one place to go to see the citations of the research behind each of the seven principles? 

  4. Challenge:  Awareness, Use?  Why do so few people in higher education seem to have heard of these Seven Principles?  To what extent were these principles accepted?  Embraced?  Implemented?  Is their work done?   Is there anything that has superseded the Seven Principles?     

  5. Connecting Seven Principles with…? To what extent are the Seven Principles useful not only in your work with courses in higher education, but also within other activities on campus?  Off campus?  In what ways do the Seven Principles relate to Service Learning?  

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