High Impact Practices Curriculum Development

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High Impact Practices

Workshop Resources

January 25, 2013

What are High Impact Practices?

First-Year Seminars and Experiences
Lane is still in the process of developing a comprehensive, integrated first year experience for all new students. We currently offer First Year Learning Communities as well as orientation and advising services face-to-face and online.

Common Intellectual Experiences
Lane's Reading Together Program is a great example of a common intellectual experience. Faculty and staff can give Lane students a feeling of being part of an academic community by supporting curricular and co-curricular activities that foster engagement outside of the classroom. Field trips, campus and off-campus activities that extend the curriculum beyond the textbook can be great ways to offer students an experience of shared learning.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Promising Practices for Promoting Community College Success

Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)

Assessment and Placement
Completing developmental education requirements early is related to higher overall achievement, and students can't complete if they don't enroll. [....]Making sure that students take the right classes is a multistep process. Colleges should create opportunities for students to participate in review or brush-up experiences before placement tests to minimize the amount of remediation students need.

Research shows that orientation services lead to higher student satisfaction, greater use of student support services, and improved retention of at-risk students.

Academic Goal Setting and Planning
While academic planning certainly includes course selection, community college students need advising that helps them set and maintain long-term goals. This type of advising and planning centers on creating a clear path from where they are now to their ultimate educational goals.

Timely Registration
Students who register after the first meeting of a class (late registration) may be decreasing their chances for success before even walking through the classroom door. Late registration correlates with lower grades, lower completion rates, and lower reenrollment the following term. [. . . .] Colleges do not have to block the door to late registrants. Instead, they can offer options, such as late-start classes or intensive experiences for refreshing academic skills.

Accelerated or Fast-Track Developmental Education
The longer it takes a student to move through developmental education into a credit program, the more likely he or she is to drop out. Accelerated or fast-track developmental programs both enhance learning and engagement and help students move to college-level work more quickly.

Student Success Course
Student success courses help students build knowledge and skills essential for success in college, from study and time-management skills to awareness of campus facilities and support services. When these courses are required, students are more likely to complete courses, earn better grades, have higher overall GPAs, and obtain degrees.

Class Attendance
Attending class is a key element of succeeding in college, and emerging evidence indicates that class attendance policies have value. For example, researchers have found that students' class attendance is the best predictor of academic performance in college – it more reliably predicts college grades than do high school GPA, SAT scores and other standardized admissions tests, study habits, and study skills.

Alert and Intervention
Early academic warning processes typically are triggered when faculty members identify students who are struggling and notify others in the college who step in to support the students. Colleges might follow up with students by e-mail, text, social media, or telephone and encourage them to access services, such as tutoring, peer mentoring, study groups, and student success skills workshops.

Experiential Learning Beyond the Classroom
Experiential (hands-on) learning, such as internships, co-op experience, apprenticeships, field experience, clinical assignments, and community-based projects, has multiple benefits. It steeps students in content, and it encourages students to make connections and forge relationships that can support them in college and beyond.

Studies suggest that participation in tutoring is associated with higher GPAs and pass rates,* and students who receive peer mentoring – one approach to tutoring – get higher grades and re-enroll and graduate at higher rates than students who do not receive peer mentoring.

Supplemental Instruction
Supplemental instruction typically involves a regularly scheduled, supplemental class for a portion of students enrolled in a larger course section. Supplemental instruction may be taught by the class instructor or a trained assistant, often a former student who was successful in the class.

Curriculum Development

Note: We are no longer accepting applications for the HIP mini-grants. Curriculum development mini-grants were available on a rolling basis. The final deadline for applying for grants was midnight, May 1, 2013.