Arbaugh & Hornik

Do Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles Also Apply to Online MBAs?

J. B. (Ben) Arbaugh, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Steven Hornik, University of Central Florida


Given a relative lack of empirical testing of conceptual frameworks of web-based course effectiveness, empirical testing of such frameworks is important because it can help determine similarities and/or differences in web-based and classroom-based courses. Such frameworks help determine whether and/or to what extent the training of faculty must be modified to prepare them adequately for online teaching. To assess whether conventional teaching wisdom needs to be modified for the online learning environment, we tested the applicability of a commonly-used framework, Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) Seven Principles of Good Practice in Education using a sample of twenty-four online MBA courses conducted at two Midwestern U. S. schools. The results support the extension of five from the seven principles of good practice in classroom-based undergraduate education to web-based graduate education. These findings suggest that principles of effective classroom teaching may be used as a starting point for developing and teaching web-based courses.

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