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  • High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices ed. by Kathryn E. Linder and Chrysanthemum Mattison Hayes
  • Jessica Hale
Kathryn E. Linder and Chrysanthemum Mattison Hayes (Editors). High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2018. 248 pp. Softcover: $30.86. ISBN 978–1620368473

In 2008, George Kuh published a collection of high-impact educational practices that are now considered fundamental in promoting student retention and engagement. High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices, edited by Kathryn E. Linder and Chrysanthemum Mattison Hayes, examines the translation and application of these high-impact practices (HIPs) in the online environment. The text includes an introduction and summary written by the editors, twelve chapters exploring the existent literature and best practices for each HIP, and one chapter dedicated to the supporting role of the library in these efforts. The practices covered include first-year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity and global learning, [End Page E-32] internships, capstone courses and projects, and ePortfolios (recognized as a HIP in 2016 by Watson, Kuh, Rhodes, Light, & Chen).

Chapter 1, by Jennifer Keup, discusses the evolution of first-year seminars (FYS) and the societal and technological trends leading to translation of these courses into the online environment. While few institutions currently offer FYS exclusively online, Keup presents data that indicates the number is growing. She highlights the pivotal role instructors play in making online FYS engaging for students and asserts that instruction across the institution can be improved by developing faculty to teach online FYS, using appropriate technology, and applying appropriate pedagogical strategies. Keup's analysis of the literature reveals that much of the existent research focuses on single instutions or case studies and, as a result, more large-scale scholarly research is needed examine the efficacy and outcomes of online FYS as HIPs, the prevalence and influence of online FYS, online FYS pedagogy and instruction, and the efficacy of other online first-year experience practices.

Chapter 2, by Jason D. Baker and Michael Pregitzer, explores building a common intellectual experience in online coursework. The authors present a case study examining an online common learning experience at Regent University's College of Arts & Sciences. Using Kuh's research as a theortical framework, the authors developed a narrative, engagement, transformation (NET) model and applied it at the program level (utilizing master courses, course review, and program review) to create a continuity of experience for students. According to the authors, "By deliberately structuring the online program as a unified whole, rather than a collection of independent courses, and guiding students through their program with the use of an overarching narrative filled with rich and frequent engagement opportunities, students are more likely to have a transformational rather than transactional experience" (p. 37). Institutional analyses indicating strong graduation and retention rates among online students (exceeding those reported at peer institutions) are presented as support for this model.

Chapter 3, by Kathy E. Johnson, Amy A. Powell, and Sarah S. Baker, discusses Learning Communities (LCs) as HIPs and the translation of this strategy into the online environment. While no direct research exists comparing outcomes of online learning communities to the outcomes of face-to-face learning communities, there is evidence to suggest that the essential LC components can be adapted to the online environment. The authors provide a list of research based strategies to promote community online and identify factors and models worth considering when developing LCs at a distance. Also addressed is the need for assessment tools that directly measure the impact of student and faculty participation in online LCs and the benefits of using taxonomies to engage in process evaluation and scaling efforts. The authors highlight the use of taxonomies to guide, evaluate, and scale HIPs in the California State University system and present a case study of how a taxonomy for themed online LCs is being utilized at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Recommedations for how the taxonomy could be modified to support the development of other online LCs is also included.

Chapter 4 examines writing-intensive courses as a HIP and identifies...


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