Creating Impactful Student Experiences

AOI | Learning Innovations
Faculty Insider

Weekly Tip: Creating Impactful Student Experiences

Impactful student experiences promote deep learning resulting in increased student curiosity, attention, and passion. Using impactful practices allows for greater student success/retention and saves you time in the long run.

Listed below are components that, when implemented, lend themselves to increased student retention, time saved for instructors, and deeper connections with content for students. Implementing any combination of these components can result in substantial benefits.


  1. Rubrics to align assignments with objectives and communicate clear expectations (more about rubrics)
  2. Low-stakes formative assessments
  3. Authentic assessment and learning experiences
  4. Collaborative assignments and projects
  5. Experiences beyond the classroom


Saves Time for the Instructor

Strategies such as the regular use of rubrics save time by clearly communicating expectations, resulting in fewer misconceptions. Collaborative peer assessment, used alongside rubrics, can save time by having students review each other’s work.

Create Deeper Connections with Content Resulting in Increased Student Retention

Research has shown that the implementation of these impactful student experiences has resulted in increased student retention. These components require students to become more actively involved in their learning and empowers students to take control of their education. When students better engage with the course content they are more likely to succeed in class and remain invested in their learning.

Reaches All Learners

Implementing these components can allow for all students to contribute to the conversation. These components provide a variety of ways for students to engage with the content.

Greater Appreciation for Diversity*

Creating an inclusive environment allows learners to interact with their peers and will provide them exposure to a variety of perspectives. This is applicable to any content area or level.

Additional Resources

Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

National Survey of Student Engagement (2007). Experiences that matter: Enhancing student learning and success—Annual Report 2007. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

Hansen, Michele J., and Jennifer Thorington Springer. “IUPUI Next Steps in the Assessment of High-Impact Practices.”


* Bronwell, J & Swaner, L (2010); NSSE, (2007); Kuh (2008)

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