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The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education and the Offices of Student Success sponsored, “Are We H.I.P. Enough? A Retreat Showcasing High Impact Practices on Campus.”  The retreat, coordinated by Brande Flack, Danielle Dunn, and Deborah Korth, featured “high impact practices” being used to improve student success at the University of Arkansas.  The goal of the retreat was to work to create new ways to collaborate more effectively and efficiently to better our understanding of the initiatives happening at the U of A.  They had volunteers from across campus assist with leading discussions, activities, and short presentations on “High Impact Practices” or “Best Practices” that can lead to increased student retention and improved overall student experiences. So what are High Impact Practices?

All content in this post was developed by Brande Flack, Danielle Dunn, and Deborah Korth.

HIGH IMPACT PRACTICES (HIPs)**

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HIPs are pre-identified practices that have been shown to promote student success, persistence, and graduation.  HIPs are research-based teaching and learning strategies that represent enriching educational experiences that have been widely tested and have been shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds.

 

Common Elements of the 11 High-Impact Educational Practices:

 

HIPs are effortful

High-impact practices “demand that students devote considerable time and effort to purposeful tasks [and] require daily decisions that deepen students’ investment in the activity as well as their commitment to their academic program and the college.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs help students build substantive relationships

High-impact practices “demand [that students] interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters…over extended periods of time.” High-impact practices help students “develop a meaningful relationship with another person…a faculty or staff member, student, coworker, or supervisor” and “put students in the company of mentors and advisers as well as peers who share intellectual interests and are committed to seeing that students succeed.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs help students engage across differences

High-impact practices help students “experience diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves” and “challenge students to develop new ways of thinking about and responding immediately to novel circumstances as they work… on intellectual and practical tasks, inside and outside the classroom, on and off campus.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs provide students with rich feedback

High-impact practices offer students “frequent feedback about their performance…. [For example,] having one’s performance evaluated by the internship supervisor is rich with opportunities for immediate formal and informal feedback. Indeed, because students perform in close proximity to supervisors or peers, feedback is almost continuous.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs help students apply and test what they are learning in new situations

High-impact practices provide “opportunities for students to see how what they are learning works in different settings, on and off campus. These opportunities to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge are essential to deep, meaningful learning experiences.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs provide opportunities for students to reflect on the people they are becoming

High-impact practices “deepen learning and brings one’s values and beliefs into awareness; [they] help students develop the ability to take the measure of events and actions and put them in perspective. As a result, students better understand themselves in relation to others and the larger world, and they acquire the intellectual tools and ethical grounding to act with confidence for the betterment of the human condition.”

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

 

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11 High-Impact Educational Practices

There are 11 educational practices that have been identified as “high-impact.” 

 

 

 

HIPs 1 - First Year Seminars

Many schools now build into the curriculum first-year seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty and staff on a regular basis. The highest-quality first-year experiences place a strong emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, collaborative learning, and other skills that develop students’ intellectual and practical competencies.  First-year seminars can also involve students with cutting-edge questions in scholarship and with faculty members’ own research.

First Year Seminars are designed to ease the transition students face when entering the University and assist with both academic and social development. These FYEs emphasize community and the exchange of ideas between students and instructors while maintaining an appropriate level of academic performance.  This performance expectation requires students to spend time engaging over an extended period of time.
 
First Year Seminars often take a variety of forms:
  • extended orientation
  • academic seminars with uniform or varied topics
  • basic study skills seminars
  • discipline-specific seminars

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Example of HIPs 1: 

University Perspectives 

  • Kelly Westeen, Director of University Perspectives, presented “Shake (UP) Your HIPs: Reimagining the First Year Experience Course” at the HIP Retreat.
HIPs 2 - Common Intellectual Experiences

The older idea of a “core” curriculum has evolved into a variety of modern forms, such as a set of required common courses or a vertically organized general education program that includes advanced integrative studies and/or required participation in a learning community (see below). These programs often combine broad themes–e.g., technology and society, global interdependence–with a variety of curricular and co-curricular options for students.

While the Common Intellectual Experiences evolved from the idea of a “common core,” they have expanded to include student goals and learning outcomes.  These common experiences may come in the form of a single event such for a particular group of students or a large program such as those designed for specific majors. 

Common intellectual experiences help students in at least four ways:

  • Helps with relationship forming
  • Helps to expose students to diverse perspectives
  • Helps in the application of learning
  • Helps provide opportunities for reflection

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs 3 - Learning Communities
The key goals for learning communities are to encourage integration of learning across courses and to involve students with “big questions” that matter beyond the classroom. Students take two or more linked courses as a group and work closely with one another and with their professors. Many learning communities explore a common topic and/or common readings through the lenses of different disciplines. Some deliberately link “liberal arts” and “professional courses”; others feature service learning.
 
Types of Learning Communities may include:
  • Paired or clustered courses
  • student cohorts
  • living-learning communities
Characteristics include:
  • Students enrolled in 2 or more courses together
  • Courses or environment is linked to an intellectual theme
  • Analyzing reading assignments using different perspectives and disciplines
Goals Include:
  • Successful academic and social transitions
  • Cultural competence
  • openness to different viewpoints

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Example of HIPs 3:

The iBelieve Initiative 

  • J.L. Jennings, Assistant Director of Retention, presented “The iBelieve Initiative: Exploring Factors Outside Academic Preparedness that Influence Success among African American Male College Students” at the HIPS retreat. 
HIPs 4 - Writing Intensive Courses
These courses emphasize writing at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum, including final-year projects. Students are encouraged to produce and revise various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines. The effectiveness of this repeated practice “across the curriculum” has led to parallel efforts in such areas as quantitative reasoning, oral communication, information literacy, and, on some campuses, ethical inquiry.
 
Writing Intensive Courses are characterized by the volume of compositions students produce, the variety of audiences for whom they write and the diversity of functions their writings serve. Active reflection in a writing-intensive environment helps deepen
learning and increase student recall of the material learned. 
 
Features of writing assignments that lead to increased learning and development:
  • Engaging students in the writing process
  • Creating meaning-making with writing tasks
  • Providing clear expectations

Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

 

HIPs 5 - Collaborative Assignments and Projects
Collaborative learning combines two key goals: learning to work and solve problems in the company of others, and sharpening one’s own understanding by listening seriously to the insights of others, especially those with different backgrounds and life experiences. Approaches range from study groups within a course, to team-based assignments and writing, to cooperative projects and research.
 
By working cooperatively on projects, students get to know each other, learn how to communicate and hold each other accountable, and
become more vested in the outcome of the course.
 
Collaborative Assignments and Projects may be:
  • Organized Study Groups
  • Team-Based Research Projects
  • Service Learning Assignments
  • Research with Shared Data Sets

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Examples of HIPs 5:

In class collaborative assignments

  • Douglas Adams, associate professor in the department of Sociology and Criminology, and Erica Estes, Director of Employer Relations for Fulbright College, gave a presentation titled, “3 Questions: Using HIP Collaborative Class Assignments and Life Design” at the HIPS retreat.

 

HIPs 6 - Undergraduate Research

Many colleges and universities are now providing research experiences for students in all disciplines. Undergraduate research, however, has been most prominently used in science disciplines. With strong support from the National Science Foundation and the research community, scientists are reshaping their courses to connect key concepts and questions with students’ early and active involvement in systematic investigation and research. The goal is to involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions.

The goal of incorporating undergraduate research in teaching is to involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions.

Characteristics of excellence in undergraduate research includes:

  • Scholarly faculty
  • broad disciplinary participation
  • Accessible opportunities for undergraduates
  • Integrations with other engaging and HIP opportunities
  • Institutional and monetary support and committment

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Visit the University of Arkansas’ Office of Undergraduate Research for more information on what we are doing at the University of Arkansas.

HIPs 7 - Diversity/Global Learning

Many colleges and universities now emphasize courses and programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These studies—which may address U.S. diversity, world cultures, or both—often explore “difficult differences” such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, intercultural studies are augmented by experiential learning in the community and/or by study abroad.

Diversity and Global Learning allows students to:

  • Explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews
  • Improve their ability to work well with others
  • Foster a deeper and broader commitment to collaborate to solve global problems
  • Expand the inclusiveness of marginalized populations in public-policy setting
  • Provide students with the opportunity to learn about people with different languages, religions, politics, genders, and cultures
  • Provides tools for communication and cooperation in a world where global interaction and travel is commonplace

This HIP can take the form of a required core class, or as opportunities to participate in student organizations and campus events.

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Examples of HIPs 7:

Building Intercultural Competence in Student Learning

  • Jacquelyn Wiersma-Mosley, Associate Professor in the School of Human Environmental Sciences, and Brande Flack, Director of Retention at the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, gave a presentation titled “Building Intercultural Competence in Student Learning” at the HIPS retreat. 
HIPs 8 - ePortfolios

ePortfolios are the latest addition to AAC&U’s list of high-impact educational practices, and higher education has developed a range of ways to implement them for teaching and learning, programmatic assessment, and career development. ePortfolios enable students to electronically collect their work over time, reflect upon their personal and academic growth, and then share selected items with others, such as professors, advisors, and potential employers. Because collection over time is a key element of the ePortfolio process, employing ePortfolios in collaboration with other high-impact practices provides opportunities for students to make connections between various educational experiences.

ePortfolios (or digital portfolios) are used to collect evidence of student learning over time.  They can be used for student learning, assessment, professional development, and employment.  They assist students in collecting, selecting, organizing, and reflecting on their own material.  Students should understand the purpose of the portfolio and be able to feel as sense of ownership of the content.

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs 9 - Service Learning, Community-Based Learning

In these programs, field-based “experiential learning” with community partners is an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.

Service and community-based learning aim to motivate learning through:

  • keeping the course work relevant and immediately applicable
  • improving students’ sense of civic responsibility
  • initiating reflection on their real-world settings within a classroom environment

Engaging students in service and community-based learning may come in the form of

  • allowing students to select engagement based on personal interest
  • attaching the activity to graded credit hours
  • requiring students to complete projects over time

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Examples of HIPs 9:

Service Learning as High Impact Practices

  • Katherine Wilson, Associate Director for Student Success in the Honors College, and Febriyanti Lestari, Graduate Assistant for Service in the Honors College, gave a presentation titled “Service Learning as a High Impact Practice.” 
HIPs 10 - Internships

Internships are another increasingly common form of experiential learning. The idea is to provide students with direct experience in a work setting—usually related to their career interests—and to give them the benefit of supervision and coaching from professionals in the field. If the internship is taken for course credit, students complete a project or paper that is approved by a faculty member.

Internships can serve a unique purpose for each individual student.  Colleges should work to provide adequate numbers of paid internships to decrease opportunity costs for students with financial barriers.  

Impactful internships typically include elements of the following:

  • Clear and specific objectives and student learning outcomes
  • Abundant opportunitites for students to articulate their understanding of their experiences and how those experiences have Influenced their thought and values relative to being a professional in the field
  • Robust feedback on student performance
  • regular and thorough program evaluation 

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

HIPs 11 - Capstone Courses and Projects

Whether they’re called “senior capstones” or some other name, these culminating experiences require students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates and applies what they’ve learned. The project might be a research paper, a performance, a portfolio of “best work,” or an exhibit of artwork. Capstones are offered both in departmental programs and, increasingly, in general education as well.

Capstones can include integrating general education requirements or be attached to major/discipline specific programs. Faculty should be provided support for the mentoring and teaching often required in capstone courses or projects.

Capstones are as diverse as undergraduate programs themselves:

  • Undergraduates in public health studies might develop a tenable plan for a local health initiative
  • Undergraduates in history might produce a report about local history or biography based mainly on primary sources
  • Undergraduates in cinema might produce a short animated documentary film
  • Undergraduates in education might produce a course design with syllabus and sample assignments and assessments
  • Undergraduates in engineering might create apparatus to retrieve materials from the deepest regions of the ocean
  • Undergraduates in marketing might design an ad campaign that is also a public service announcement
  • Undergraduates in bio-chemistry might conduct a  study of the distribution of mold in a given environment and report on teh impact of such distribution on those exposed to it

*Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

Modified from AACU High-Impact Educational Practices handout & Kuh (2008) High-impact educational practices

 

**This content was developed from a presentation and materials created by Brande Flack, Danielle Dunn, and Deborah Korth at “Are We H.I.P. Enough? A Retreat Showcasing High Impact Practices on Campus” sponsored by the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education and the Offices of Student Success.
 
This presentation can be downloaded and viewed as a pdf: HIPs – High Impact Practices