What is good teaching practice?

Good teaching practice is a key influence on student learning - a desired outcome and primary goal of higher educational institutions. Teachers strive to meet the principles of good practice in an effort to provide the best learning experience for their students. Key considerations in shaping good teaching practice include:

  • Encouraging good communication between teachers and learners
  • Encouraging interaction among learners
  • Providing opportunities for active participation
  • Timely and appropriate response and feedback
  • Emphasising time on task
  • Motivating learning by communicating expectations
  • Respecting diverse talents and ways of learning

These key considerations have formed the basis of the ‘seven principles of good teaching practice' first advocated by Chickering and Gamson in 1987. Visit teaching methods for more information on their seven principles of good practice. These were later adapted by Chickering and Ehrmann in 1996 to include guidelines for implementation of the principles in online learning environments to assist teachers who are using technology in teaching.

It is important to note that good teaching practice also subscribes to Bigg's (2003) principle of ‘constructive alignment' which requires that all components of the curriculum are aligned for maximum impact on student learning. For example, assessment tools and strategies must be aligned to the learning outcomes. This means that if the desired learning outcome is to produce learners with good analytical skills then the assessment tool must include questions and scenarios that require and test analytical thinking skills. An assessment tool with multiple choice questions will not facilitate the achievement of the desired learning outcome.

Why focus on good teaching practice?
Teachers are responsible and accountable for designing and delivering a high quality of learning and teaching practice. In order to review good curriculum development practice, visit our curriculum development pages for recommended strategies to enhance curriculum design through constructive alignment.