Why do HIPs Matter?

Research shows that high-impact teaching practices (HIPs) are especially effective at helping students reach those learning outcomes valued most by the academy, including University of Wisconsin institutions. These learning outcomes include: knowledge of human cultures and the natural world; critical and creative thinking skills; effective communication skills; intercultural knowledge and competence; and individual, social, and environmental responsibility.

Research has determined that HIPs provide multiple benefits to students, because:

  • they require greater and more purposeful attention from students in them;
  • they provide more sustained and substantive interaction with faculty and with peers;
  • they allow for deeper engagement with diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves;
  • they allow for more frequent and substantive feedback on student performance;
  • they provide more opportunities for students to apply, integrate, and synthesize knowledge gained in and out of the classroom; and
  • they can be life-changing.

In High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, George Kuh presents data on HIPs from the National Survey of Student Engagement and relates the pivotal role HIPs play in providing a 21st-century liberal education. Kuh’s research shows that the effects of participating in HIPs have been shown to be positive for all types of students. It also shows that historically underserved students tend to benefit still more, compared to their majority peers.