Differences in Student Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Psychology Courses That Utilize High Impact Practices


Institutions of higher education (IHE) have incorporated high-impact practices (HIPs) in liberal arts curricula so that students can systematically analyze the conditions that lead to racial and economic disparities in the community. HIPs range from first-year seminars and service-learning to diversity learning and internships. This study compares student learning outcomes for 1,500 students enrolled in general education courses that utilize service-learning, diversity learning, and experiential learning as primary pedagogical methods.A repeated measures analyses of variance with planned orthogonal contrasts were conducted to evaluate student development between academic-based service-learners (ABSL), cultural-based service-learners (CBSL), and experiential learners (EL) from the beginning to the end of the semester. The pretest and posttest survey scores were used as dependent variables, and the type of service was the independent variable. There were a significant Group x Time interaction effects. Experiential learners had higher ratings for empathy and ethnocultural awareness compared to Academic-based service-learners also had higher ratings of their interpersonal and problem-solving skills by the end of the compared to experiential learners and cultural-based service-learners. Both academic- and cultural-based service-learners had higher posttest ratings for interpersonal engagement and White privilege. In contrast, cultural-based service-learners had higher ratings for racism, institutional discrimination, racial-cultural-ethnic identity attitudes, leadership skills, and civic responsibility by the end of the course compared to academic-based service-learners. cultural-based and academic-based service-learners from the beginning to the end of the semester.Key findings that highlight how specific teaching practices are associated with explicit student learning outcomes (i.e., cultural competence) will be discussed.


Service-learning, Practicum, Diversity


Pedagogy and Curriculum


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Lori Simons
    • psychology, professor, widener university, United States United States