High-Impact Practices

The teaching and learning practices below have been widely tested and have been shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds, especially historically underserved students, who often do not have equitable access to high-impact learning. These practices take many different forms, depending on learner characteristics and on institutional priorities and contexts.

  • First-Year Experiences
  • Common Intellectual Experiences
  • Learning Communities
  • Writing-Intensive Courses
  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Diversity/Global Learning
  • ePortfolios
  • Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone Courses and Projects

On many campuses, assessment of student involvement in active learning practices such as these has made it possible to assess the practices’ contribution to students’ cumulative learning. Educational research suggests that the high-impact practices mentioned here increase rates of student retention and student engagement. However, on almost all campuses, utilization of active learning practices is unsystematic, to the detriment of student learning.

Read an excerpt from High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh (AAC&U, 2008).

Download a pdf flyer describing the High-Impact Practices here.