High Impact Practices in Action

By Roxanne Wilson

St. Cloud State University makes a positive, long-term impact on the lives of our students. We provide rigorous and relevant academic experiences with engaged, active learning opportunities in an intellectually vibrant, inclusive and diverse campus community.

Our graduates are well prepared to act as responsible global citizens and professionals who remain actively connected with our university, thanks in large part to our learning commitments:

  • Active and applied learning
  • Community engagement
  • Sustainability
  • Global and cultural understanding

High Impact Practices

As a new faculty, I reviewed LEAP high impact practices at http://leap.aacu.org/toolkit/high-impact-practices, which include:

  • First-Year Seminars
  • Common Intellectual Experiences
  • Learning Communities
  • Writing-Intensive Courses
  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Diversity/Global Learning
  • Community-Based Learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone Courses and Projects

Putting Them Into Action

I found it somewhat daunting to think of integrating such a vast array of practices into my practice. I teach one of the first nursing courses and felt this was an opportunity to build the first year seminar concept, writing intensive learning, collaborative assignments and an understanding of research.

I met with each student on a one to one and learned their passion for nursing, their dreams for their profession and background. As an assignment, I had them learn how to use professional literature to write a paper outlining how they could use their college course and work experiences to achieve this dream. The required paper is in APA format, which I assigned in sequential segments through the class.

I had students work in groups to build collaboration. One of the groups worked with the writing center to learn APA and then worked with Writing Center staff to teach back. They created an APA song to help bind the building blocks. It was not generally successful for teaching APA as the song was too long and the students were inhibited. However, the group built a bond and the students were very interested in the overall concept. Next year, I intend to select musical students and work with the music department to make it shorter.

What high impact practices have you tried?

What were the outcomes of those practices?

About the author: Roxanne Wilson is Assistant Professor of Nursing.

 

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