Engaging Online and Blended Students in High-Impact Educational Practices

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Historically, high-impact educational practices (HIPs) have focused on teaching and learning practices to engage and enhance the experience of students in traditional or face-to-face classes. This session will focus on ways in which instructors can engage online and blended students in HIPs to promote deeper and more reflective learning.


Extended Abstract

High-impact practices (HIPs) are “teaching and learning practices that have been widely tested and have been shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds” (AAC&U, 2013, n. p.). While there are many examples of HIPs that are embedded in or connected to traditional or face-to-face courses, attention has not been paid to how these practices may be adapted and incorporated into courses taught through online or blended modalities. The proposed presentation will focus on ways in which instructors can leverage the online and blended teaching modalities to engage students in “mini-HIPs” that promote deeper and more reflective learning.

A mini-HIP is a scaled down version of one or more of the HIPs, which include: first-year seminars and experiences, learning communities, common intellectual experiences writing-intensive courses; collaborative assignments and projects; undergraduate research; diversity/global learning; service-learning, community-based learning; internships; capstone courses and projects (AAC&U, 2013). In the context of an individual course, a mini HIP might include a semester-long research project that focuses on a global issue and groups students in collaborative teams to complete assignment and present their research. The proposed session will focus on guiding participants through a process of conceptualizing how these practices can be scaled and adapted intentionally to engage students in online and blended classes.

Specifically, in this presentation, participants will:

  • Explore the research and examples of High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs)

  • Examine effective approaches to engaging students in HIPs in online and blended modalities through course design and development

  • Review and explore ways of evaluating student learning and engagement in HIPs delivered in online and blended courses

The session will begin with an explanation of HIPs research and a discussion about which HIPs the facilitators have found to be best suited to adapt to the online environment, and a description of how the facilitators have translated those practices into their online and blended classes. Next, the participants will share ideas at their tables about how they may be able to incorporate the practices discussed into their courses. Following this table talk, the facilitators will lead a large group discussion on the effective approaches to engaging students. Finally, the facilitators will share ways to evaluate and assess student learning outcomes associated with HIPs in the online and blended environments. Participants will share their ideas on evaluation, as well as their ideas for implementing these practices into their own online and blended courses.

Organization, engagement, and alignment are key to creating quality online and blended courses. Throughout this educational interactive presentation, these key characteristics, as well as effective practices for online and blended courses, will be the framework for the participants exploration with HIPs. Discussion with other participants and the facilitators will lead participants to making the determinations about which HIP(s) will best align to their course goals and will be easily facilitated through their course design. Participants will leave this presentation with information about HIPs and how they will be able to adapt a HIP to fit into their online or blended courses.