I recently attended a webinar about High-Impact Practices (HIPs) presented by Jerry Daday and Tom Hahn (Institute for Engaged Learning, IUPUI) and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL). High-impact practices are educational practices that have been shown to increase student engagement and retention (Kuh 2008). There are eleven HIPs: service-learning/community-based learning, learning communities, writing intensive courses, ePortfolios, capstone courses and projects, undergraduate research, internships, first-year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, collaborative assignments, and diversity/global learning. (Click here to read short descriptions of these practices.) Traditionally, HIPs take a substantial amount of time and effort, have real-world applications, have high expectations, and include frequent, constructive feedback. There are great benefits to engaging in HIPs. Students are more likely to finish their degree, as well as have increased interactions between instructors and students, as well as build critical thinking skills.
George Kuh (2008) has led many conversations about HIPs with their analysis of data from the National Survey of Student Engagement. Kuh found that all students benefit from HIPs, but historically underserved and underrepresented students usually benefit more from engaging in HIPs compared to their non-marginalized colleagues. When we talk about HIPs, we need to consider the role of equity because historically underrepresented and underserved students are less likely to participate in HIPs, especially Black and first-generation students. Because of this, much of the current work on HIPs is focused on equitable access to these opportunities. As Harper (2009) explained in their article about race-conscious student engagement practices, “race-consciousness requires replacing confessions of inadequacy (‘I don’t really know how to get minority students engaged’) with committed efforts to remediate personal and professional shortcomings” (43). I encourage you to read Harper’s (2009) whole article to learn about their suggestions of committed efforts instructors can make.
As mentioned, much of this information came from a CIRTL webinar about HIPs. CIRTL is a multi-institutional network that offers professional development activities for graduate students. This means, if you’re a graduate student at IUB, you have access to all their offerings. Although they focus on STEM education, many of their programs are applicable to non-STEM fields. Learn more about High-Impact Practices through CIRTL’s upcoming events on the topic: Global Learning and Engagement (Oct. 12th), Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (Oct. 19th), and Using an ePortfolio to Promote Reflection and Integration of Knowledge (Nov. 2nd).
If you’re interested in learning more about high-impact practices or other pedagogical techniques, attend some upcoming CIRTL events! If you’d like to learn more about CIRTL, read this blog post or check out their webpage.
Harper, Shaun R. 2009 Race-conscious student engagement practices and the equitable distribution of enriching educational experiences. Liberal Education 95(4): 38-45.
Kuh, George D. 2008 High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.