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Teaching Online

Resources for Castleton University faculty development around online teaching.

Best practices for effective online teaching


Some principles

M. David Merrill's First Principles of Instruction

"First Principles of Instruction are described as a set of interrelated principles which, when properly applied in an instructional product or setting, will increase student learning. These principles include the following:

  • Task/Problem-Centered – Students learn more when the instruction is centered on relevant real-world tasks or problems, including a series of tasks or problems that progress from simple to complex.
  • Activation – Students learn more when they are directed to recall prior knowledge, to recall a structure for organizing that knowledge, or are given a structure for organizing new knowledge. This activation can also include a foundational learning experience upon which new learning can be based.
  • Demonstration – Students learn more when new knowledge is demonstrated to them in the context of real-world tasks or problems. The knowledge that is demonstrated is both informational and skill-based. Demonstration is enhanced when it adheres to research-based principles of e-learning.
  • Application – Students learn more when they perform real-world tasks or solve real-world problems and receive feedback and appropriate guidance during that application.
  • Integration – Students learn more when they are encouraged to integrate their new knowledge into their life through reflection, discussion, debate, and/or presentation of new knowledge."

From Wikipedia "First Principles of Instruction"