High-impact practices (HIPs) engage students in learning activities inside and outside of the classroom. Students who participate in HIPs at UNT develop essential and meaningful learning because they can apply the skills learned to their futures!
Students who participate in HIPs at UNT acknowledge the purpose and goals of their experiences which helps students develop marketable skills like critical thinking, communication (both oral and written form), teamwork, leadership, personal and social responsibility, and empirical and quantitative reasoning skills.
HIPs are not just activities embedded in student experiences because successfully implementing HIPs requires intentionality and assessment:
Students engaged in meaningful learning (Kuh, 2008):
- Understand and appreciate the dimensions of the problem,
- Understand the underlying meaning of information,
- Integrate different perspectives,
- Discover patterns and themes,
- Apply knowledge in different contexts, and
- View issues from multiple perspectives.
There are many benefits of faculty fostering high-impact practices within curriculum (Kuh, 2008) such as:
- Lead to more positive attitudes about college, faculty, learning, and students themselves.
- Promote greater engagement in deep learning and self-reported gains through learning.
- Increase retention and graduation rates with the largest benefits for historically disadvantaged students.
- Students are better equipped to showcase and articulate their learning to future employers.
- Employers want to hire graduates who are able to articulate and demonstrate skills necessary for success.
Conditions for Quality High-Impact Practices (Kuh, 2008; NSSE, 2019; Uno, 2018):
- Significant investment of time and effort by students over an extended period of time.
- Multiple interactions with faculty and peers about substantive matters.
- Students experience diversity.
- Frequent, timely, and constructive feedback.
- Periodic, structured opportunities to reflect on and integrate learning.
- Opportunities to discover relevance of learning through real world application.
- Performance expectations set at appropriately high levels.
- Public demonstration of competence.
Why do HIPs matter at UNT?
Throughout college, students are exposed to learning opportunities to develop marketable skills that employers’ value, but students often struggle articulating what was learned in college and how it may apply to their future. This articulation is made simpler when the experiences students have collected in a central place with assessment and validation. NACE identified several skills that employers’ value in a college graduate entering the workforce such as critical thinking, communication (oral and written), teamwork, leadership, personal responsibility, social responsibility, and empirical and quantitative skills. All of these valued skills are marketable skills that Connect provides support for assessment and validation!
Faculty already engage their students in high-impact practices throughout their coursework and partnering with Connect can support students collecting these experiences in a meaningful and intentional way that supports future success! Connect Faculty assess their students experiences on common rubrics developed by AAC&U, see Marketable Skills Rubrics.
Other Helpful Tips for Evaluating HIPs could be considering:
How could your students demonstrate that they have risen to a challenge?
- What kind of specific, substantive goal did the student achieve?
- How much time did the student spend on the assignment or project?
What could learning from others look like?
- What does learning from different circumstances and people mean in your course?
- How could students demonstrate collaboration and teamwork?
How might your student demonstrate an adjustment in performance?
- How are students using feedback and reflections to guide performance?
- How did the student learn from mistakes or demonstrate increased awareness of process and self?
How might your student apply learning to real-life situations?
- What could a public demonstration of competence be in your course?
- What could a student do to demonstrate integration of learning with the world outside of the class?
Connect developed considerations for engaging students in high-impact practices that can support faculty in successfully implementing these experiences into their curriculum. For more information, contact Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org or Melanie.Mitchell@unt.edu
This resource helps faculty and staff determine how to integrate important elements of high-impact practices into the student experience.