The Conference on High-Impact Practices showcases the work of faculty and staff from various disciplines who are implementing high-impact practices (HIP) within their courses. These practices improve higher-order thinking skills and academic success. They cultivate the deep learning, practical skills, and experience that a twenty-first century workforce demands of college graduates. This conference is a time to celebrate and recognize the high-impact work taking place at SFA that is aiding the ultimate success of our emerging professional LumberJacks.
We hope you join us for our 3rd Annual Conference on High-Impact Practices on April 30, 2014 2:30-4:00pm in the BPSC Twilight Ballroom.
**Free event open to the public**
Elements of High-Impact Practices
- Students spend considerable amounts of time on meaningful tasks.
- Faculty and student peers interact about substantive matters.
- Students experience diversity through contact with people who are different then themselves.
- Students receive frequent performance feedback.
- Activities have applications to different settings on/off campus.
- Authentic connections are made with peers, faculty, community, and/or the university.
1. Collaborative Learning - focuses primarily on the internal structure of group-based work. Learners are directly taught how to function independently as a team, with minimal outside structuring.
To further delineate traditional group work from collaborative learning, those who participate in collaborative learning experiences discover that it:
- promotes a great deal of self-governance and accountability by individual;
- turns debate back to the group for decision-making;
- uses recorders and facilitators rather than authoritative leaders;
- evaluates on the basis of individual contributions;
- promotes competition between groups, and foments questioning assumptions as well as authority; and
- is most effective where "conditional knowledge" is involved rather than issues of general acceptance and agreement; that is, for knowledge that depends on a more explicit set of conditions, such as at the edges of a debate, where the lack of consensus about underlying assumptions or their relative weights (the conditions) leads to an array of interpretations (Coppola, 1996)
However, group-based work looks different from course to course. We propose collaborations as a goal which requires individuals to organize themselves to create a match between group members' skills and the task at hand.
- promotes more active engagement by students in their own learning;
- emphasizes that role of teachers and students as learners who benefit from teaching one another;
- creates the opportunity to develop important higher order interpersonal and group skills; and can promote the development of self-learning skills so that students can deal with new information rather than only relying on authorities to 'cover' content (Coppola, 1996)
2. Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship - the process of scholarly endeavors that incorporate undergraduates. MUGS includes a number of activities - including original research, creative works, and rigorous reviews of the literature.
The central premise of such work is the formation of a collaborative enterprise between student and faculty member (most often one mentor and one student scholar, but sometimes a team consisting of either one or both or a group of student scholars) (Dotterer, 2002). It is scholarship done with a mentoring model or jointly by students and faculty member.
In order to have a successful undergraduate scholarly experience, three basic components must be present:
- STUDENT - has an attitude that reflects being open-minded and excited about engaging in research or creative work.
- SCHOLARLY PROJECT - undergraduates can do research or creative work within any discipline.
- FACULTY MENTOR - willing to devote time to helping to develop an undergraduate's research skills by expanding his/her knowledge of the discipline
3. Field-Based Learning - Simply put, field-based learning extends the walls of the classroom. Students learn from direct experience (such as internships, service learning, practicum, and experiential learning) in their major field of study.
- Internships are periods of structured work placements for trainee professionals. "They engage students in a process of active learning that links work experience with opportunities for critical analysis and reflection" (O'Neill, 2010). Academic internships are a three-way partnership between institutions of higher education, intern site (or community), and the student. They provide hands-on learning opportunities and allow students to collaborate with faculty and community.
- Service learning is a strategy that incorporates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and strengthen community ties. Through service learning, students use what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life problem solving (NSLC, 2011).
- Practicum is a course that is designed to give students a practical application of studied theory. They provide real-world experience, are useful in evaluating ability, support socialization within the profession, stimulate the development of skills, provide a protected environment for experimentation, and allow new thoughts and perspectives as well as increase motivation for continuing education.
- Experiential Learning is defined in two ways. One way describes the sort of learning that is undertaken by students. In this way, experiential learning involves a direct encounter with what is being studied, instead of merely thinking about it. The other way defines experiential learning as education that occurs as a direct participation in the events of life (Smith, 2001).