23 TO: TABLE OF CONTENTS 4.3 Better Practices for Teaching and Learning The courseware reinforces best practices for teaching and learning by incorporating Chickering and Gamson’s good teaching principles throughout the training. These Seven Principles, with examples of their relevance to blended learning in the courseware context, are listed below. 1. GOOD PRACTICE ENCOURAGES INTERACTION BETWEEN LEARNERS AND FACULTY. Learner motivation and involvement increase with learner-instructor contact. The courseware offers additional interaction opportunities through forums, wikis, polls, calendars, messaging, blogs and face-to-face opportunities in the computer room. Learners can also use the digital tools to continue communicating and participating even if life events prevent them from attending traditional classes. 2. GOOD PRACTICE ENCOURAGES INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION BETWEEN LEARNERS. Learning is enhanced when it is collaborative and constructive. Social constructivist activities are supported through the wiki and forum tools. Learners are required to work together to construct successful wiki projects. As well, learners often use forums to resolve issues or negotiate strategies. These non-competitive and collaborative elements often increase involvement in learning. 3. GOOD PRACTICE USES ACTIVE LEARNING TECHNIQUES. Active learning makes lessons more engaging and memorable. The learning objects are interactive and self-correcting. The learning objects simulate a game in some respects with an instant score on the activity. Other courseware tools such as wikis, blogs, polls or forums encourage activity through the process of contributing to and building concepts or projects. 4. GOOD PRACTICE GIVES PROMPT FEEDBACK. The self-correcting activities provide immediate feedback. Instructors can also give timely feedback using discussion forums or the assignment tool. This practice helps learners stay engaged in the course. It creates learners who can self-assess to a degree. Sometimes learners need time to reflect on what they have learned and what they did not master. The courseware can also accommodate reflection, especially the blogs or forums. 5. GOOD PRACTICE EMPHASIZES TIME ON TASK. Time on task helps learners stay focussed and is a key to learning concepts and skills. The courseware allows learners to take time and complete a task to their satisfaction. Learners can repeat tasks at the library or at home through the Internet. The calendar helps to remind learners of deadlines. Instructors using the Assignment tool can require learners to upload a completed assignment by a specific time. 6. GOOD PRACTICE COMMUNICATES HIGH EXPECTATIONS. Expecting more from learners is a strategy that often yields pleasant results. Providing learners with optional learning opportunities at Edulinc courses opens the prospect that they will attempt more learning tasks than are set for a session. This can be communicated to learners in the News (or other) forum. It can also be communicated to individual learners when assignments are returned. 7. GOOD PRACTICE RESPECTS DIVERSITY – Talents, Experience, and Ways of Learning. Learners bring different talents and learning styles to the classroom. Open projects, discussion topics and interactive activities offer learners a variety of opportunities to show their talents, learn with methods that work for them, and even learn in new and unfamiliar ways.