High Impact Practices
Student involvement in active learning practices has been shown to increase student engagement and academic success.
UND offers many High Impact Practice (HIPs) courses as well as HIP experiences where students can engage outside of the classroom. HIPs courses and experiences focus on active learning, tend to involve projects or outcomes that can be added to a resume or CV, and include the kind of learning that helps students with problem solving and making connections across disciplines. These are kinds of skills and abilities employers are seeking!
UND HIPs Courses
At UND, we encourage students to choose High Impact Practices when possible while selecting courses. Explore courses categorized by college:
- College of Arts & Sciences HIPs Courses
- School of Aerospace Sciences HIPs Courses
- College of Education & Human Development HIPs Courses
- Nistler College of Business & Public Administration HIPs Courses
- College of Engineering & Mines HIPs Courses
- College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines HIPs Courses
- School of Medicine & Health Sciences HIPs Courses
- VPAA/Provost HIPs Courses
- Campus-wide HIPs Experiences
HIPs Course Categories
Capstone Courses and Projects
Capstones are culminating educational experiences, and therefore should involve content and activities that reflect both depth and breadth of learning. HIPs typically involve both Essential Studies knowledge and proficiencies and discipline-specific knowledge and proficiencies, with students asked to synthesize and apply learning from their discipline and from their broader liberal arts education. However, a capstone would not likely meet HIP standards based simply on being taken near or just before graduation, because it serves as a course that typically occurs at the end of most students’ curriculum, or because it is an Essential Studies capstone.
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.
The University of North Dakota is committed to becoming a more inclusive institution and a place where students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds and perspectives feel welcome and supported to succeed. To demonstrate that commitment, the university is developing and emphasizing existing courses and programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These courses, programs and experiences — which may address U.S. diversity, world cultures, or both—often explore differences centered on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, class and ability as they intersect. Such learning calls for students to think about their own positioning in relation to societal structures and to continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, this work is augmented by experiential learning in the community and/or by study abroad.
First-Year Seminars and Experiences
Students engaging in an FYE with high intensity interactions will experience a range of outcomes such as: a greater sense of belonging to the classroom, institutional and academic community; supportive relationships with faculty and peers; greater understanding of and engagement with campus programs and resources related to academic, professional, and social development; and a greater depth of learning and understanding of academic content, skills, and the learning process through shared learning experiences.
Internships and cooperative education (co-op) experiences are a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills developed in a professional setting. Both give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. These experiences can be high impact for students when intentionally organized as an activity that leads to particular learning outcomes; when students apply what they have learned in courses to work experiences, reflect on these experiences, and receive feedback that helps them to improve; when students build mentoring relationships with supervisors, faculty, and peers; when students are exposed to differences across people and in ways of thinking; and when students are asked to use their experiences to clarify their values, interests, and personal goals—including their values, interests, and goals related to careers.
The key goals for learning communities are to encourage integration of learning across courses, to involve students with “big questions” that matter beyond the classroom and to create a community of scholars. 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 or another form of experiential learning.
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
In these projects, 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 projects 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 projects 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.
UND is providing undergraduate research experiences for students in many disciplines. Faculty are reshaping 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.
Writing-intensive (WI) courses emphasize writing across the curriculum and in many genres. Writing assignments are linked directly to the progression of course material and are integral steps towards building comprehension of core threshold concepts or primary course learning goals (that is, they are woven into the course fabric, not simply stitched onto the surface). As such, student writing is required regularly throughout the course and assessed on a weekly or biweekly basis, and assignments are sequenced so that they facilitate both improvement in student writing and mastery of course learning goals. Revision of written work is central and timely feedback from teaching staff is essential. Feedback should be both written and spoken, and should include both conferences between student and instructor, and peer review/feedback from classmates. WI courses should be small or have small sections and a significant portion of the student’s final grade in the course should be determined by the quality of the student’s thought expressed in writing.