Based on the work of George Kuh (2008) on institutionally-structured teaching and learning practices and student experiences positively associated with deep student learning, persistence, and student satisfaction, there are eleven High-Impact Practices (HIPs) recognized by AAC&U. In addition, Kuh and O’Donnell (2013) identified Eight Key Elements of HIPs that meaningfully support student success.
AAC&U and Hart Research Group reports have found the following benefits of student participation in two or more HIPs:
Based on the work of George Kuh (2008) on institutionally-structured teaching and learning practices and student experiences positively associated with deep student learning, persistence, and student satisfaction, the following are considered by AAC&U as High-Impact Practices (HIPs) when delivered with high quality:
First-year seminars have been found to increase student persistence and retention, with the work of George Kuh (2006) and the AAC&U LEAP report revealing the characteristics of the highest quality first-year experiences (characteristics bolded for emphasis): Many schools now build into the curriculum first-year seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or 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.
In Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion, and Quality, Swaner & Brownell (AAC&U, 2010) found that the following outcomes can be attributed to students’ participation in first-year seminars as high-impact practices:
New Student Transitions and First Year Experience serves as a resource for this high-impact practice, and a full list of first-year seminar courses is available through the Minerva’s Academic Curriculum website.
The AAC&U defines Common Intellectual Experiences as the evolution of a “core” curriculum to include a variety of 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. These programs often combine broad themes—e.g., technology and society, global interdependence—with a variety of curricular and co-curricular options for students.
The Learning Communities Association (2019) defines learning communities as “educational approaches that involve the integration of engaged curricular and co-curricular learning and emphasize relationship and community building among faculty/staff and a cohort of students in a rich learning environment.” Learning communities typically include “a curricular structure characterized by a cohort of students participating in an intentionally designed integrative study of an issue or theme through connected courses, experiences, and resources” and/or “a community of learners participating in a residential learning community that intentionally integrates learning through curricular and co-curricular education in a residential experience” (LCA, 2019).
Learning Community Journals
UNCG’s General Education Council defines Writing Intensive Courses as courses in which students regularly use writing, in class and in homework, to formulate, analyze, interpret, evaluate, process content, and engage with multiple perspectives on important questions and problems related to a particular subject or field of work. A key aim in any WI course is for students to learn to use multiple drafts of a paper to investigate and organize ideas, consider diverse points of view, and apply feedback from other readers in shaping the form and content of a final draft. A second key aim in any WI course is for students to receive instruction in writing processes and hands-on coaching in learning to write.
The Writing Center is one of UNCG’s multi-literacy centers and serves as a resource for instructors who are engaged in writing-intensive courses.
More information coming soon! Visit our team-based learning teaching guide to learn more about how this practice is implemented at UNCG.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” At UNCG, we recognize that undergraduate research has a “high impact” on student learning when that project is conducted under the supervision of our faculty and staff. We also like to broaden the possibilities of experience to include those projects “that seeks to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.”
The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office (URSCO) serves as a resource for implementing undergraduate research at UNCG.
According to the AAC&U, 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.
Service-learning is a credit-bearing, educational experience that integrates meaningful community service with academic instruction and reflection to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service-learning provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to enhance learning by engaging in activities that are driven by community needs. This high impact teaching pedagogy represents a necessary link in the application of theory to practice while establishing partnerships with local agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, and government.
An Internship offers students the opportunity to experience work environments while learning valuable skills. Increasingly, employers seek candidates with previous workplace experience. Internships are an excellent way to gain such experience.
Internships can be paid opportunities, and/or they can be credit bearing. Students should work with their faculty adviser or internship coordinator to determine whether or not a particular internship is eligible for academic credit.
The most effective internships exist as partnerships between students, internship sites, and educational institutions. In this ideal situation, each party shares a goal of student learning outcomes.
Career & Professional Development works actively with employers to develop opportunities for students to gain work experience and contribute first-hand to the effective operation of our partner organizations. Our career coaches can help students research, prepare for, and successfully compete for internship opportunities found through both on-campus and off-campus channels.
To find an internship, students are encouraged to utilize Handshake, UNCGs official online career management platform at handshake.uncg.edu.
More information coming soon!
When integrated into courses, e-portfolios can serve as a valuable project to engage students in synthesizing and reflecting upon the learning they’ve done. As a digital showcase of a professional persona or a presentation of an experience, an e-portfolio often helps students think through the context of their learning and how to convey its importance to a broader audience. It can re-center learning around the learner. Creating e-portfolios also requires students to gain valuable digital skills and can provide them with an immediately useful online resource for going on the job market after graduating.
The Digital Media Commons (located in the lower level of the Jackson Library) can support students and instructors who are interested in developing ePortfolios as part of the curriculum.