Assessing Quality and Equity in High-Impact Practices
The Assessing Quality and Equity in High-Impact Practices (HIPs) project, supported by Lumina Foundation, builds on NSSE’s key role in catalyzing interest in HIPs, assessing HIPs, and supporting colleges and universities to use NSSE data to improve HIP quality and equity. It also builds on our longstanding commitment to study and advance effective educational practice and student success. It promises an approach to address the current urgency to make HIPs more widespread while assuring their effectiveness, as well as to develop long-term strategies for studying and assessing HIPs.
Interest in HIPs and their educational benefits remains high. Processes for tracking participation, disaggregating who experiences HIPs, and developing HIP standards and taxonomies have expanded. Awareness about the value of HIPs, attention to equity, and overall HIP activity have become more widespread. However, it is well known that HIP implementation matters more than the labels attached to these practices, and many institutions, state systems and member- and consortium-based organizations (e.g., HIPs in the States, the National Association of System Heads’ (NASH) Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3), and the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ (AAC&U) Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence) have raised concerns about assuring HIP quality and equity. In particular, we lack evidence about the eight vital elements that typify HIPs and need to assure that historically underrepresented students have access to high-quality HIP experiences. There is also strong interest in exploring specific HIPs in depth to discover more about the features that contribute to student learning and success. Most of all, institutional and collective initiatives to elevate and expand HIPs need straightforward measures to assess HIPs, study their effectiveness, and inform implementation efforts.
Given the popularity of HIPs in higher education and the keen interest of a range of higher education member organizations (including AAC&U, NASH, AASCU, etc.), employers, and the public in high-quality experiential learning, there is great interest in anything having to do with HIPs. Attention by higher education media outlets remains high, evidenced by the recent research and opinion piece, “What Really Makes a ‘High-Impact' Practice High Impact?” featured on May 1, 2018, in Inside Higher Ed.
Current Project Activities
Grant activities between August – February 2019 involved developing and testing survey items corresponding to the eight key elements of HIPs (displayed in the column on the right), literature review, participating institution recruitment, and administration process planning.
Activities related to the administration of the HIP Quality Experimental item set began in February 2019 and concluded May 15, 2019. The standalone Qualtrics survey option wrapped up June 15, 2019. Data and reports were provided to participating institutions in August 2019. Data and reports are available through the Institution Interface for institutions that participated as part of their NSSE administration, and through Box for those in the Qualtrics administration.
HIP Quality Item Set
View the HIP Quality items here.
A Qualtrics demonstration version can be viewed here.
View the Assessing Quality and Equity in High-Impact Practices project summary and preliminary results here.