Faculty Resources

In 2008, researchers using data from years of the National Survey of Student Engagement found a set of experiences that college students said were impactful on their learning and that had remarkable, measurable positive effects on their success in college and life after. These experiences became known as high impact practices or HIPs: 

  • Capstone Courses Collaborative Assignments 
  • Common Intellectual Experiences (e.g. Core Courses)
  • Diversity/Global Issues 
  • ePortfolios 
  • First-Year Seminars 
  • Internships 
  • Learning Communities 
  • Community-Based Learning, Service Learning, Immersive Learning 
  • Undergraduate Research 
  • Writing-Intensive Courses 

Many colleges and universities over the last decade have worked to increase enrollments in HIPs because of the profound positive impact the experiences have on students, particularly for students in the “new majority,” first-generation students, students of color, and students with higher financial need. At the same time, colleges and universities have provided professional development to faculty on best practices for teaching HIPs. Thus, universities, like Ball State, are simultaneously working on developing capacity (more seats and sections of high impact classes) and fidelity to principals of good high-impact teaching.

HIPs Mini-Course

This mini-course helps faculty to imagine how they could embed high-impact practices into the courses they teach at Ball State University. The research shows that high-impact practices, when done well, have ridiculously positive effects on students and faculty. This mini course is self-paced and asynchronous except for a 90-minute final group meeting via Zoom. This opportunity is open to all current, full-time Ball State instructors (tenure-line or non-tenure-line). Faculty who complete all course modules, assignments, and discussion boards by the end of the three weeks will receive $250 in their Research Incentive Account. The course is offered each semester (fall, spring, and summer). More details and registration are available on Infoready (in category “Immersive Learning”).

Immersive Learning Mini-Course

The Office of Immersive Learning offers a self-paced, three-week online course for faculty members interested in teaching immersive learning courses in a future semester. This training covers immersive learning basics, such as how to find a community partner, develop a project idea, and navigate available university resources. This opportunity is open to all current, full-time Ball State instructors (tenure-line or non-tenure-line). Faculty who complete all course modules, assignments, and discussion boards by the end of the three weeks will receive $250 in their Research Incentive Account. The course is offered each semester (fall, spring, and summer). More details and registration are available on Infoready (in category “Immersive Learning”).

What are the “Core Four” at Ball State?

The Destination 2040 Strategic Plan Goal 1E establishes the goal that “Every student completes at least one course that includes one of the following high-impact practices: undergraduate research; immersive learning; study abroad or study away; or a course that focuses on a societal issue or global challenge and that engages students with people across diverse disciplines, cultures, and thought.”  

With this imperative in mind, our priority with high impact practices currently is on the four course types articulated in the plan that we call the “core four:” immersive learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, and diverse perspectives. You can find the definition, implementation criteria, student learning outcomes, key features, and Banner attributes here.

How do I Designate a “Core Four” Class as High Impact?

Courses that meet the definition, criteria, and use high-impact teaching strategies of our “core four” high-impact classes (immersive learning, undergraduate research, study away/abroad, and diverse perspectives) should be tagged in Banner with the appropriate attribute. This allows students to find these courses during registration periods and allows us to accurately track participation in HIP classes to see if we are meeting our strategic imperative. When we count departmental or college-wide sections of HIPs, we will only count sections with the attributes. Likewise, when we contact faculty and students about funding or other opportunities related to HIPs, we will contact the faculty who have tagged sections. Banner attributes can only be added by your college/departmental scheduling specialist. They can be added during the course build process or later.

Though we certainly want to build capacity in high-impact sections, it is equally important to us that we have fidelity. If a class does not meet the definition, all of the criteria, and adopt the HIPs teaching strategies, the attribute should not be added. In almost every case, a course should only have, at most, one high-impact attribute.

Does my class already have the high impact attribute?

High-impact attributes are added at the section level because sometimes one instructor will teach a particular course as a high-impact course and another will not. Because these attributes are added at the section level, they need to be added every semester. They do not roll over.  

This step-by-step guide will show faculty how to check if a class has the immersive learning attribute. (The same steps can be used to check for other attributes; just select the appropriate attribute in Step 7.)

Are there any other high impact class types at Ball State?

Yes! According to the research, there are 11 official high impact practices and all of them can be found at Ball State. Here are how others are designated in Banner: 

  • Writing Intensive Courses (Guidance); [Attribute: UCC Writing]
  • Internships [Schedule Type: Internship]
  • Service Learning [Attribute: Service Learning]
  • Capstones [Attribute: UCC T3 Course/Experience]
  • Student Philanthropy [Attribute: Philanthropy]
This page provides the information faculty need to know regarding HIPs assessment.

HIPs Mapping Teams

The HIPs Mapping Teams work on documenting where and when high impact courses exist within their departmental undergraduate programs. This allows departments to coordinate their efforts so students have the opportunity to take high impact courses during their time at Ball State. Mapping teams should have 2-4 colleagues from the same department. Each participant will receive $500 in their RIA. More details and application are available on Infoready (category Immersive Learning).

Request a presentation or meeting on High Impact Practices

Of course. We know it is crucial to minimize potential barriers—including financial—that may limit which students participate in high impact courses. The following funding sources will help you design impactful experiences while limiting or eliminating extra costs to students.

Provost Immersive Learning Teaching Grants

Applications accepted in September and January; Typical awards are $5,000-50,000

The Provost Immersive Learning Grant competition provides funds for faculty teaching immersive learning courses. Typical awards range from $5000-$50,000. Find details on the grants on the Immersive Learning website

CHIRP Scholar Awards

Applications due in August, November, and January; Typical awards are $250-1000

Students in a “core four” high impact course can apply for funding to offset additional costs that may be associated with taking a high impact course through our CHIRP Scholar awards. More details are available here.

CHIRP Faculty Awards

Applications due in August and January; Typical awards are up to $500

Faculty teaching a “core four” high impact course can apply for funds to enrich the high impact experience for students. Application and full fund details are on Infoready (in category “Immersive Learning”).

ASPIRE Grants [from Sponsored Projects Administration]

Ball State University's Aspire Internal Grant Program provides funding to faculty, professional staff, and students to support projects in the areas of research, scholarly studies, and creative endeavors.

Study Abroad Scholarships [Rinker Center for Global Affairs]

Typical Awards are $500-3,000; apply within Study Abroad Application

The Rinker Center administers 13 different scholarship funds. Some are need-based, others are merit-based, and eligibility varies. The Rinker Center has a streamlined application process so that applying for one of these scholarships puts you in the pool for all eligible scholarships. Find additional information here.

Community-Engaged Alliance [External] High Impact Practices Grant

Applications accepted June and October; Award up to $4000

Supporting the development and implementation of practices that strengthen community-campus partnerships, High-Impact Practices Grants include projects aim to deepen student learning and development as a means of preparing the next generation of civic-minded leaders. Find details here.

Recognized Incentive Activity Accounts (RIAs)

Many faculty have earned RIA funds through participating in professional development activities. Faculty can use RIA funds towards expenses in high impact courses such as travel, transportation, and supplies. See here for specific guidelines.

Immersive Learning Student Module

The Office of Immersive Learning has created a Canvas module to help ready students for community-engaged work. Reach out (immersive@bsu.edu) if you would like to embed this module into your Canvas course.

Immersive Learning Team Building and Workshops

The Office of Immersive Learning has some funds each year to support classes in team building activities. Additionally, they can also facilitate workshops for your students on Project Management. Reach out (immersive@bsu.edu) if you would like to learn more.

We hope that all of our faculty who teach high impact practices will want to also present or publish on high impact practices. Here are some resources that might help:

Research Design Studio

If you are looking for help developing your project or analyzing your data, Ball State’s Research Design Studio can help.

HIPs Summer Scholarship Grants

Applications due in May; Awards up to $2000 

For the last three years, we’ve been able to award summer funding to full-time faculty working on manuscripts related to their high impact teaching experiences at Ball State. Typical awards are $2000; half is awarded at the beginning of summer and half is awarded when the manuscript is submitted to a journal at the end of summer. Find full details here.

Immersive Learning Travel Grants

If you have taught an immersive learning class, you might be eligible for supplemental funding (up to $1500) to help cover conference expenses. More information can be found here.

Present to Your Colleagues Here at Ball State

There are several opportunities to share at Campus Forums like the Student Success Summit, Provost Faculty Summit, or Teaching and Technology Summit.

Community Engaged Faculty Toolkit

The Community Engaged Faculty Toolkit includes a list of conferences and journals that accept scholarship related to Immersive Learning.

Become a HIPs Faculty Ambassador

The HIPs Faculty Ambassador program offers a pathway for faculty to learn about teaching high-impact courses, to offer their own high-impact course, and to get rewarded for doing so. Any full-time faculty member with interest in teaching in one of the four High Impact Practice areas as defined by the strategic plan (Immersive Learning, Study Abroad/Away, Undergraduate Research, and Diverse perspectives).

Level 1: Take the HIPs Mini-Course and/or Immersive Learning Mini-Course
Level 2: Offer and tag a “core four” HIP undergraduate course
Level 3: Join a HIPs Curriculum Mapping Team and/or Publish or Present on Ball State HIPs
Level 4: Teach a HIP undergraduate course for a second time
Reach HIPs Ambassador Status: Receive Certificate, Digital Badge, & Office Signage

More information on the HIPs Ambassador Program

Immersive Learning Outstanding Teaching Award

Immersive Learning Outstanding Teaching awards recognize faculty for demonstrating excellence in creating, mentoring, and executing immersive learning projects. Faculty awards will be presented at the Immersive Learning Showcase in April. Award recipients will receive a $1,000 prize.  All immersive learning faculty teaching classes the previous academic year are eligible for nomination. Nominated courses should have the High Impact Immersive Learning Banner attribute. Nominations may be made by students, faculty, staff, department chairs, or other administrators. Self-nominations are strongly encouraged! For more information and to see past winners, visit the Immersive Learning website. For more information and to submit a nomination, go to InfoReady. Nominations are due in February each year.

Rawlings Outstanding Distance Education Teaching Award

Faculty Awards and Recognition

If you have any additional questions about High Impact Practices at Ball State, please contact Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Director of Immersive Learning and High Impact Practices.