High Impact Practices

Click on the High Impact Practices below to learn more about how you can expand your use (and measurement) of these learning activities.

Note that some of these HIPs are most naturally situated at the course level, whereas some, like first year experience, are university-wide efforts.

  • Common Intellectual Experiences

    A common intellectual experience (CIE) engages students from various courses or majors in a shared learning activity. 100% of CBU undergraduates participate in the common intellectual experiences of chapel and the core curriculum.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses

    University-wide examples

    • Core Curriculum
    • Chapel
    • Meditations on an annual theme
    • Cross-disciplinary participation in a book club, podcast, or case study

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    Chapel and the core corses related to biblical literacy are CIEs which align with the following ULO:

    • ULO 1 "Demonstrate spiritual literacy, including Biblical Christian faith and practice, Baptist perspectives, and the Christian's role in fulfilling the Great Commission."

    Core courses related to diversity are CIEs which align with the following ULO:

    • ULO 2: "Respect diverse religious, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic experiences and perspectives.

    Core courses related to the arts and humanities are CIEs which align with the following ULO:

    • ULO 3:  Use critical thinking skills to demonstrate literacy: listening, speaking, writing, reading, viewing, and visual representing.

    Core courses related to math, science and technology are CIEs which align with the following ULO:

    • ULO 4: Demonstrate competence in mathematical, scientific, and technological skills.

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Cruz et al. (2022) implemented a pre-and-post test study with 104 students from various disciplines (information systems, business, human services). Students worked across disciplines to discuss a case study. After the intervention, students had higher perceptions about their ability to think in an interdisciplinary way.
  • Learning Communities

    A learning community (LC) can be defined as co-enrolling students in two or more classes  (Brower and Dettinger, 1998). Some learning communities also involve co-curricular courses.  21% of CBU seniors said they had engaged in an LC. Examples are given below.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Exposure to diversity
    • Significant investment
    • Frequent feedback

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 2: "Respect diverse religious, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic experiences and perspectives.
    • ULO 6: "Implement a personal and social ethic that results in informed participation in multiple levels of community."

    University-wide examples

    Program-level examples

    • Degree program learning group
    • MS School counseling cohort model

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • A four-year study of 48 transfer students who participated in LCs related to their major showed higher retention rates and higher GPAs compared to those who did not participate in the LCs (Thomas et al., 2021)
    • A meta analysis of 39 studies showed that a combination of academic LCs, developmental LCs and academic counseling can lead to higher retention at 2 year colleges (Wurtz, 2014)
    • 13 students who participated in an LC related to their major (criminal justice) indicated reduced levels of stress in all categories, after their second semester in the LC  (Coston, Lord, & Monell, 2013)
    • A survey of 626 students showed that  "students in residential learning communities did have significantly higher levels of involvement, interaction, integration, and
      learning and intellectual development than did students in traditional residence hall" (Pike, 1997, p. 13).
  • Service Learning

    Service Learning (SL) is a learning activity where students apply their knowledge to benefit a community (Sigmon, and Pelletier, 1996). 65% of CBU students indicated that one or more of their courses involved SL.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Application to real life
    • Significant investment
    • Exposure to diversity

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 6: "Implement a personal and social ethic that results in informed participation in multiple levels of community."

    University-wide examples

    Course-level examples:

    • Have students teach a skill related to your course, to people in the community
    • Have students apply something they learned in the context of a local church, business, or school

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • A pre-and-post test of 149 students who did SL as part of an educational psychology course showed "improvements in diversity and political awareness, community self-efficacy, and civic engagement scores from the beginning to the end of the semester" (Simons and Cleary, 2006, p. 307).

    • A qualitative study of eight students who took part in SL noted participants' "complexity in thinking about self and relationships with others, an openness to new ideas and experiences, and shifts in future commitments" (Jones and Abes 2004, p. 149).

    • A descriptive study of 10 students who volunteered at least 300 hours with AmeriCorps coded participants' perceptions that the experience sensitized them to social justice and increased their multicultural competence (Einfeld and Collins 2008)

    • The Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) was given to 5,352 students. Those who participated in SL scored higher in the domains of  cognitive knowledge, intrapersonal identity, intrapersonal affect, interpersonal interactions and interpersonal responsibility (Engberg and Fox 2011, p. 96)

    • Data from the Wabash National Survey of Liberal Arts Education  (WNS) on 1.934 students showed that SL has a "strong, positive effect" on higher intercultural effectiveness as measured by the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity
      Scale (M-GUDS) (Kilgo, 2015, p. 868)

    • Feelings of civic and social responsibility (Brownell and Swaner 2010; Einfeld and Collins 2008; Engberg and Fox 2011; Pascarella and Terenzini 2005)

    • "A meta-analysis of 62 studies involving 11,837 students indicated that, compared to controls, students participating in SL programs demonstrated significant gains in five outcome areas: attitudes toward self, attitudes toward school and learning, civic engagement, social skills, and academic performance"  (Celio et al., 2011, p. 164).

  • First Year Seminar

    90% of higher education institutions in the USA offer a first year seminar (FYS) (Young and Hopp, 2014). The experience is meant to reduce stress, and increase student success (usually measured by retention rates and GPA). Note that FYS is a type of learning community. In contrast to Living/learning communities, FYS contain non-residential students or those from different residences. Nearly 100% of CBU undergraduates participate in FYS or a transfer LC.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Significant investment
    • Frequent feedback
    • Exposure to diversity

    University-wide example

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Jenkins-Guarnieri, et al. (2015) compared 342 students who took a FYS  to 1846 students in the control group. Controlling for other variables, they determined that "participation in this FYS program was associated with increases in the odds of persisting and being in good academic standing" (p. 593).

    • Rogerson & Poock (2013) chose 318 students to participate in a study on the effects of FYS. Participants (especially those who were in an FYS connected to their major) had a higher retention rate than the control group. 

    • Permzadian & Crede (2016) conducted a meta analysis of 284 studies on the effect of FYS. They determined that FYS improves first-year GPA and first-year retention rate, though the effect is moderated by the quality of the program, and the type of institution.

  • Internships or Field experiences

    An internship involves supervised exposure to a career (O'Neill, 2010). 37% of CBU seniors indicated they have done (or are in the progress of doing) an internship or field experience.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Application to real life
    • Significant Investment
    • Demonstration of competence

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 5 "Transfer academic studies to a profession and the workplace"

    Program-level examples

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Parker et al (2016) used data on 3,301 students, from the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education (WNS). "Students who were engaged in internships actually made greater 3-year gains in GPA than did their counterparts not engaged in internships" (p. 106).
  • Diversity, Global learning

    Leaders in higher education refer to three types of diversity on campus: 1) Structural diversity is "the proportion of students of color attending a particular university" (Bowman, 2011, p. 32); 2) Classroom diversity involves courses that expressly teach theories about how we process intergroup differences; and 3) "Informal interactional diversity" involves frequent, high quality  interaction with people from different ethnic backgrounds outside of the classroom (Bowman, 2011, p. 32).

    78% of CBU seniors said they frequently interacted with people of a different race or ethnicity than their own. 4% of CBU seniors  indicated they studied abroad.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Application to real life
    • Significant Investment
    • Demonstration of competence

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 2: "Respect diverse religious, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic experiences and perspectives."

    University-wide examples

    Program-level examples

    Course level examples

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Using the theoretical framework of disequilibrium, Gurin et al. (2002) show the link between exposure to divers beliefs and the development of critical thinking skills. They performed secondary analysis on data from two survey instruments that contained questions on students' perceptions of their exposure to diversity and to diversity training. The data sets also included students' perceptions of their academic engagement, writing skills, problem-solving skills, and foreign language skills. After adjusting for students' perceptions of their exposure to diversity before college, Gurin et al. discovered that "diveversity experiences explained between 1.9 percent and 13.8 percent of the variance across the educational outcomes" (p. 358).
    • Pascarella et al. (2014) analyzed  data on 949 students' responses to the Interactional Diversity Scale (CSS) and the Critical Thinking Test (CTT). "The magnitude of the general effect of interactional diversity was slightly less than .10 of a standard deviation" (p. 90).
    • Parker and Pascarella (2013) administred a pre and post test  (68 items on the  Socially Responsible Leadership Scale (SRLS)  (p. 223). Then they used data from nine items on the Wabash National Survey of Liberal Arts Education  (WNS) related to diversity experiences to determine the effect that diverse learning has on socially responsible leadership. "Diversity experiences, while in college, positively affected socially responsible leadership in students" with a R2 of 0.22 (p. 226).
    • Bowman (2011) conducted a meta-analysis consisted of 180 separate effect sizes from 27 works with a total of 175,950 undergraduate students" (p. 38). The independent variable were those coded as diversity experiences (including structural diversity, classroom diversity or interactional diversity).  The dependent variables were 1) those coded as civic engagement (values related to social justice, and behaviors like voting or community organizing); and 2) those coded as leadership. 78 of the effect sizes were over 0.10, and 22 were over 0.20 (p. 41).
    • Data from the Wabash National Survey of Liberal Arts Education  (WNS) on 1.865 students showed that study abroad "generated a significant positive effect (.143, p < .001) on the over all posttest measure of intercultural competence" (p. 12) as measured by the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale (M-GUDS) (Salisbury et al. 2013).
  • Capstone Projects

    A capstone project is a "culminating educational
    experience with a focus on the consolidation of prior learning, the development of graduatecapabilities and the transition to post-graduation settings" (Lee, 2015, p. iii). Capstones tend to be either acacemic inquiries (indpendent or guided by the professor) or real-world experiences (sometimes in a group) (Blanford et al., 2020, p. 51) which are assessed through reports,  presentations or journals (Lee, 2015, p. 15).

    About half of the universities in the USA use undergraudate capstone projects for assessment (Henscheid, 2000). At CBU, 46% of  seniors indicated they had a culminating senior experience.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Significant investment
    • Application to real life
    • Prompt feedback
    • Student-faculty interaction
    • Demonstration of competence
    • High Expectations

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 5 "Transfer academic studies to a profession and the workplace"

    Program-level examples

    • PSY781-786 Psy.D. Dissertation
    • THE498 Capstone Portfolio: A reflection on experiences in the degree program.
    • RAD495 Radiological Capstone: A reflection on the experiences in the degree program, and registration for licensure.

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • A study of 37 students indicated their highest gain from the capstone project was critical thinking, followed by problem solving, the ability to conduct research, and the ability to work independently (Blanford, et al., 2020, p. 60).
  • Undergraduate research

    Undergraduate research experiences (UREs) allows students an opportunity to work with a professor on a project that generates new knowledge.

    14% of CBU seniors indicated they have done (or are in the progress of doing) research with a faculty member.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Significant investment
    • Application to real life
    • Prompt feedback
    • Student-faculty interaction
    • Demonstration of competence
    • High Expectations

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 4 "Demonstrate competence in mathematical, scientific, and technological skills."

    Program-level examples

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Controlling for other factors like gender, family finances, ethnicity, and high school GPA, Jones, Barlow and Villarejo (2010) found that "students who participate in research in any major after their third year are almost fifteen times as likely to graduate as students who do not participate in research" (p. 96).

    • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2017)  summarizes studies that demonstrate how UREs positively impacted: students' understanding of experimental design, their abilities to collaborate, and their ability to diagnose problems (pp. 99-100).
  • Writing intensive courses

    Writing is considered a high-impact practice because, as  educational researchers have long argued, writing is a form of active learning which aids in retention of content knowledge (Eming 1977). Writing causes the learner to make meaning of the content in a personal way, and to synthesize, organize and apply that content (Banger-Downs, et al, 2004, p. 32).

    Farris and Smith (1992) characterize writing-intensive (WI) courses as those which 1) describe writing activities  in the syllabus and  course outcomes; 2) require a specific number wordcount for the writing (between 2000 and 5000 word minimum, depending on the university); 3) require students to revise their writing;  4) weight the writing assignments as a substantial portion of the grade; and 5) have a small student-to-professor ratio.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Frequent feedback

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 3: "Use critical thinking skills to demonstrate literacy: listening, speaking writing, reading, veiwing and visual representing."

    Course-level examples

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • A meta analysis of 48 studies on the effect size of writing-intensive courses revealed that time spent on writing, and the type of writing prompt, are factors which moderate the positive effects on learning outcomes (Banger-Downs, et al, 2004, p. 49).
  • Collaborative assignments and projects

    Collaborative learning (CL) activities are experiences where students work in groups of two or more. Some CL projects include a component where students reflect on the process of working as a group. 54% of CBU seniors said they often or very often worked with other students on learning activites.

    Note that if a group delegates the various tasks and has each member work on those tasks individually, this strategy would not be considered CL.

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Significant investment
    • Application to real life
    • Prompt feedback
    • Student-faculty interaction
    • Demonstration of competence
    • High Expectations

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 6: "Implement a personal and social ethic that results in rinformed participation in multiple levels of community"

    Program level examples

    Course level examples

    • Case studies
    • Peer editing
    • Think-pair-share
    • Roleplay, simulations

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • Openness towards diversity (Cabrera et al. 2002)
    • Growth in personal development (Umbach and Wawrzynski 2005)
    • Critical thinking, moral reasoning, intercultural effectiveness, Socially responsible leadership, need for cognition, positive attitude toward literacy (Kiglo et al, 2015)
    • Student success and retention of underrepresented students (Huerta & Bray, 2013; Gonzales, Brammer and Sawilowsky, 2015; Gonzalez, Baier and Brammer, 2022, Treisman 1992; Peters, 2005; Cabrera et al., 2002. Salamone and kling 2017)
    • Increased academic achievement (Kyndt et al., 2013; Tomcho & Foels, 2012)
  • e-Portfolios

    A "showcase" e-portfolio is a learning activity where students reflect on their learning experiences in order to display competence in their discipline. Typically these portfolios contain the students' signature assignments. A developmental portfolio is used for assessment, as faculty document student growth throughout the program (Allen, 2004, p. 93).

    HIP Characteristic(s):

    • Integration across courses
    • Application to real life
    • Significant Investment
    • Demonstration of competence
    • High expectations

    Alignment with CBU's ULOs:

    • ULO 5 "Transfer academic studies to a profession and the workplace"

    Program-level examples

    • EDU583 Student teaching portfolio

    While the literature on HIPs specifically speaks of e-Portfolios, there are many ways students showcase their work in real life, including entry in competitions. Consider these competitions from CBU students:

    Established benefits of this HIP:

    • A study of 46 students who developed e-portfolios for their marketing degree characterized the activity as  "enhancing their online professional presence and persona" (Schiele, 2017, p. 106). Several studies show implementation of e-Portfolios was correlated with higher GPAs and increased student retention (Enyon, et al., 2014).
    • A longitudinal study of e-Portolios indicated that the practice was associated with 10% higher  four-year graduation rates, 0.3 higher GPA. and significantly higher persistance rates (Watson, et al., 2016).

Because HIPs are key to a quality education, the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) measures individual university's implementations of HIPs in comparison to the national trends. Click here to see NSSE results on HIPs at CBU.


References

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