GSI Guidebook

The Seven Principles Resource Center

Winona State University

The Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education grew out of a review of 50 years of research on the way teachers teach and students learn (Chickering and Gamson, 1987, p. 1) and a conference that brought together a distinguished group of researchers and commentators on higher education.  The primary goal of the Principles’ authors was to identify practices, policies, and institutional conditions that would result in a powerful and enduring undergraduate education (Sorcinelli, 1991, p. 13).

The following principles are anchored in extensive research about teaching, learning, and the college experience.

1. Good Practice Encourages Student – Instructor Contact

Frequent student – instructor contact in and out of classes is an important factor in student motivation and involvement. Instructor concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Knowing a few instructors well enhances students’ intellectual commitment and encourages them to think about their own values and future plans.

Implementation Ideas:


Linda Acitelli, Beverly Black & Elizabeth Axelson
Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

Office hours can be an extremely valuable part of your teaching experience and their impact should not be underestimated. Technically, office hours are those times of the week you are expected to be in your office and available to confer with your students.

Office hours are crucial to creating good relations between you and your students.

Talking with each student on a one-to-one basis can give you insights into the class that might never be gained by addressing them in a large group. You will know more about the students as individuals and have a better understanding of their performance in class and on assignments. You can get to know the quiet students who are reluctant to speak up in class. Furthermore, this can be a time when students can get to know you as an individual, too.

Office hours provide a valuable opportunity for individualized teaching and learning Read more »


Maryland State Department of Education

Call on students randomly.

Not just those with raised hands.

Utilize "think-pair-share."

Two minutes of think time, two minutes discussion with a partner, then open up the class to discussion.

Remember "wait time."

Ten to twenty seconds following a higher-level question.

Ask "follow-ups."

Why? Do you agree? Can you elaborate? Tell me more. Can you give an example?

Withhold judgment.

Respond to students in a non-evaluative fashion.

Ask for a summary (to promote active listening).

"Could you please summarize John's point?"

Survey the class.

"How many people agree with the author's point of view?" ("thumbs up, thumbs down")

Allow students to call on other students.

"Richard, will you please call on someone else to respond?"

Play Devil's advocate.

Require students to defend their reasoning against different points of view.


Prepared by: the Voices Technology and Best Practices Team


This document was originally developed to provide a set of guidelines in the use of social media applications within VOICES Community, but we believe it has wider application for the University of Michigan. The rapid growth of social media technologies combined with their ease of use and pervasiveness make them attractive channels of communication. However, these tools also hold the possibility of a host of unintended consequences. To help you identify and avoid potential issues we have compiled these guidelines. They are examples of best practices from various institutions and are intended to help you understand, from a wide range of perspectives, the implications of participation in social media.

Things to Consider When Beginning to Use Social Media

Applications that allow you to interact with others online (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, etc.) require careful consideration to assess the implications of “friending,” “linking, ” “following” or accepting such a request from another person. For example, there is the potential for misinterpretation of the relationship or the potential of sharing protected information. Relationships such as faculty-student, doctor-patient, supervisor-subordinate and staff-student merit close consideration of the implications and the nature of the social interaction. The following are some guidelines to follow in these cases. Read more »


The GSI Guidebook is available to Departments, faculty, and GSIs free of charge. Please call 764-0505 or email for copies. Read more »