Inventories of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

These Inventories are designed to help faculty members, departments, colleges, and universities examine individual behaviors and institutional policies and practices for their consistency with Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. (See Summary.)

The Faculty Inventory has seven sections, one for each Principle:

  1. Student Faculty Contact,
  2. Cooperation among Students,
  3. Active Learning,
  4. Prompt Feedback,
  5. Time on Task,
  6. High Expectations, and
  7. Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.

It can be useful to faculty members, student services staff, and administrators who also teach. The questions address activities consistent with Good Practice in Undergraduate Education and help respondents identify activities they might wish to pursue.

The Inventories are not neutral; they express the point of view in the Principles. These Principles are anchored in decades of research about teaching, learning, and the college experience. It is obvious which responses are "good" with respect to each Principle so it is easy to create a positive picture. The Inventories will be useful only to the extent that responses are honest reports of individual behaviors and the institutional environment.

The purpose of these Inventories is the improvement of undergraduate education, not the evaluation of individual units, faculty, or administrators. The Inventories will be most helpful if they are used as a basis for diagnosis, rather than as a basis for judgment about performance, summative evaluation, or self-justification. In conjunction with the Principles statement, they can be used in a variety of ways by individuals or groups.

The Faculty Inventory can be used by faculty members who are interested in improving their own teaching, or as a basis for discussion in department meetings, curriculum committee meetings, and other committees concerned with undergraduates. This inventory will be used best by faculty members as a stimulus to becoming more effective. It can also suggest professional development activities for both faculty members and administrators.

Arthur W. Chickering
George Mason University

Zelda F. Gamson
University of Massachusetts at Boston

Louis M. Barsi
American Association of State Colleges and Universities