14 Responses to Do “high impact” teaching practices have any impact?

  1. Dog says:

    I think the data nationally, as well as locally, suggests the main impact on this kind of programs and first year programs is to improve retention between year 1 and year 2,3 and I think that is the main outcome of their existence.

    Graduation is a whole other matter and as long as most credits towards graduation are earned by butts in seats, I doubt much progress can be made.

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    • Define it correctly says:

      The study looked at High-impact Practices as commonly defined in the literature (not high-impact teaching practices as stated in title of post):

      These include:
      First-Year Experiences.
      Common Intellectual Experiences.
      Learning Communities.
      Writing-Intensive Courses.
      Collaborative Assignments and Projects.
      Undergraduate Research.
      Diversity/Global Learning.
      ePortfolios.

      As pointed out in the comments of the article and by Dog, these have been touted as beneficial for students in a variety of ways and linked to higher retention rates, but not necessarily linked to timely completion.

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  2. Charlie says:

    A few highly concentrated core curriculum courses ain’t gonna backfill a lack of preparation for rigourous academics. Explains why football factories place a premium on year round S&C…

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    • Old Gray Mare says:

      Nor do they help students who work full time and simply cannot spend the hours needed for mastering a rigorous curriculum.

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  3. just different says:

    I thought completion rates were mostly a function of money rather than instructional quality.

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    • Dog says:

      completion rates are a function of many things

      a) students with part time jobs
      b) single mom students
      c) poor advising
      d) students that can’t figure out a major
      e) unfocused students and meandering students

      and other factors that exist

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      • just different says:

        Right, all of which is strongly correlated with social class and the school’s commitment to making investments in students, or in other words, money. The only exception in your list might be (d), but I’m willing to bet that’s the least common explanation.

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  4. Big XII says:

    Interesting Report Here:
    https://www.amacad.org/content/Research/researchproject.aspx?i=21999

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  5. Big XII says:

    Also look here at what Cornell is doing. Their results show that they are erasing the achievement gap between under-represented students and majority students. Also seeing improvement across the board with better grades.

    http://as.cornell.edu/education-innovation

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  6. Big XII says:

    Sorry for the spam, more from Cornell on active learning:

    Ballen, who is now at the University of Minnesotta, has just released another paper, co-written with Kelly Zamudio, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Jeremy Searle, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; and Carl Wieman and Shima Salehi of Stanford University. Their research examines why underrepresented minorities do better in ALI classes, using data from Cornell’s ALI biology classes. Their research, says Ballen, indicates that “active learning helps remove social-psychological barriers that limit achievement among underrepresented minority students.”

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    • oldtimer says:

      Of course, the gaps are much smaller to begin with at highly selective private schools, for many different reasons.

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