May 30, 2013High Quality High-Impact Practicesby Peter FeltenIn 2008 George Kuh synthesized research on engagement and persistence in college to conclude that certain experiences are particularly beneficial for students. Kuh’s original list identified ten high-impact practices: 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. These practices are not perfect, of course. Research on first-year seminars, for example, demonstrates that the quality of the experience is linked to its impact. Higher quality experiences lead to deeper outcomes. For example, according to research by Linda DeAngelo (in press 2013), discussing course material outside of class with peers is a significant indicator of positive outcomes for first year students, more than either being in a first year-seminar or living in a learning community. As Ashley Finley from AAC&U comments in a Center for Engaged Learning interview, a crucial challenge with high-impact practices “is not that they exist on campus, but that they are done well.” What makes for a high quality high-impact practice?