Skip to Main Content


Create your courses

High Impact Practices

High impact practices are positively associated with student learning and retention and are “life changing” (Kuh, 2008) promoting deep thinking and personal gains; conditions for HIPs include necessitating lots of time and effort, facilitating non-classroom learning, ensuring meaningful faculty/learner connection, encouraging collaboration with others wo are diverse and including substantive feedback often (High-impact practices, 2018).
According to Kuh (2008, 17-), the types of practices that have proven through research to be high-impact include first-year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, service learning/community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects.  Each of these is defined further in Kuh’s 2008 publication.
Incorporating high impact practices into curriculum is a best practice, and Kuh recommends that each learner experience two HIPs, at minimum, during an undergraduate experience:  one in first year and one related to the learner’s major (High-impact practices, 2018)

Pedagogies of Engagement

Engaged pedagogies is a term coined by Russ Edgerton (2001) and incorporates proven student-centered approaches to teaching and learning with the objective of “producing student learning” through pedagogies of engagement like service learning, cooperative learning, problem-based learning and more that support engagement.

Cooperative Learning

According to Smith (2006), “Cooperative Learning is instruction that involves people working in teams to accomplish a common goal, under conditions that involve both positive interdependence (all members must cooperate to complete the task) and individual and group accountability (each member is accountable for the complete final outcome).

Key concepts of cooperative learning include positive interdependence, individual and group accountability, face-to-face promotive interaction, teamwork skills, and group processing.”

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

Another “pedagogy of engagement”, problem-based learning (PBL) was first used in medicine (Barrows and Tamblyn, 1980); however, its usage has now extended beyond that. Characterized by engaging learners with real world problems, PBL is a learner-centred pedagogy that allows learners to determine and use a number of skills to identify and solve problems.


Barrows, H.S. and Tamblyn R.M. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education. Springer Publishing Company New York. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from

Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from

Ensuring Quality & Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale by George D. Kuh and Ken O’Donnell, with Case Studies by Sally Reed. (Washington, DC: AAC&U, 2013). For information and more resources and research from LEAP, see

Edgerton, R. (2001). Education white paper. Retrieved June 25, 2019 from

High-impact practices (2018). National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Retrieved April 2, 2018, from

Smith, K.A. Engaging students through active and cooperative learning. Faculty workshop. College of Engineering, Utah State University. Retrieved April 8, 2018 from