by Eric Hall
This past fall I had the opportunity to attend and present with multiple colleagues at The Forum on Education Abroad European Conference and the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference about undergraduate research mentoring in global contexts. The importance of engaging students in high impact practices is well documented, but more recently there has been interest in the benefits that happen when multiple high impact practices are engaged concurrently or “stacked” (Banks & Gutiérrez, 2017).
The basis of these presentations focused on using the salient practices of high quality undergraduate research mentoring (Shanahan, Ackley-Holbrook, Hall, Stewart, & Walkington, 2015) to think about engaging students in research in various global contexts. In previous research my research group has found that most undergraduate research mentors find three practices to be particularly challenging (Walkington, Hall, Shanahan, Ackley, & Stewart, 2018):

  • Strategic pre-planning (practice 1)
  • Building community among research teams (practice 5)
  • Creating intentional opportunities for peers/near peers to learn mentoring skills (practice 9)

However, in discussion with my colleagues through these presentations, we realized that while many view these as challenges, these are even more important when helping students navigate undergraduate research in a global context. Often times there needs to be strategic pre-planning with mentors before students are able to begin their research in global contexts. This strategic pre-planning must focus on the methodology being used in the research project, but also great intentionality needs to be placed in helping the students understand the culture within which the research will take place.
My colleagues also identified the importance of building community among research teams as being important in these settings. In all the experiences that were discussed in these presentations, there was great intentionality by the mentors to help students identify peers, near peers, colleagues, community partners to assist with the research process. Often times this was done in an effort to help the student understand the environment in which research was going to happen. The hope was then that in the future these same students would be able to act as mentors in future research collaborations in these environments.
Some excellent examples of these ideas can be found in a recent special issue of Perspectives in Undergraduate Research Mentoring which focused on undergraduate research mentoring in global contexts. Many of these articles discuss the importance of utilizing the salient practices as a mentoring pedagogy and to help mentor students. These efforts to provide the highest quality of mentoring will benefit the students so that they can make the most of these unique opportunities.


  • Banks, J. E., & Gutiérrez, J. J. (2017). Undergraduate research in international settings: synergies in stacked high-impact practices. CUR Quarterly, 37(3), 18–26.
  • Shanahan, J. O., Ackley-Holbrook, E., Hall, E., Stewart, K., & Walkington, H. (2015). Ten Salient Practices of Undergraduate Research Mentors: A Review of the Literature. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(5), 359–376.
  • Walkington, H., Hall, E., Shanahan, J. O., Ackley, E., & Stewart, K. (2018). Striving for excellence in undergraduate research mentoring: The challenges and approaches to ten salient practices. In M. Vandermaas-Peeler, P. Miller, & J. Moore (Eds.), Excellence in mentoring undergraduate research. council on undergraduate research.

Eric Hall, Professor of Exercise Science, is the 2018-2019 Senior Center for Engaged Learning Scholar. Dr. Hall’s Senior CEL Scholar project focuses on undergraduate research mentoring.

How to cite this post:
Hall, Eric. 2019, January 24. More Bang for the Buck: Concurrently Engaging Students in Multiple High Impact Practices. [Blog post]. Retrieved from