Reference List Entry:

Kilgo, Cindy A, Jessica K Ezell Sheets, and Ernest T Pascarella. 2014. "The Link between High-Impact Practices and Student Learning: Some Longitudinal Evidence." Higher Education 69 (4): 509-525.

About this Journal Article:

This study used pre- and post-tests to estimate the efficacy of the 10 high impact practices supported by AAC&U and found that overall, the high impact practices do, in fact, support student learning. They found that active, collaborative learning and undergraduate research were especially effective in promoting critical thinking, cognition, and intercultural effectiveness, while capstones (among other HIPs) had more mixed effects. For capstones in particular, the authors found a negative link to critical thinking, “but positive net association with four-year gains in need for cognition” (519). The authors highlight several other specific positive gains in student learning as a result of capstones, and this data can be especially helpful in advocating not only for the value of capstones themselves, but in the value of intentionally designed capstones. The multi-institutional results help generalize the benefits, and even more importantly point to areas where negative links occurred, suggesting that administration and facilitation are key in capstones actually having high (positive) impact.