Close up photograph of a hand writing in a a notebook.

ePortfolios as a
High Impact Practice

ePortfolios are the latest addition to AAC&U’s list of high-impact educational practices, and higher education has developed a range of ways to implement them for teaching and learning, programmatic assessment, and career development. ePortfolios enable students to electronically collect their work over time, reflect upon their personal and academic growth, and then share selected items with others, such as professors, advisors, and potential employers. Because collection over time is a key element of the ePortfolio process, employing ePortfolios in collaboration with other high-impact practices provides opportunities for students to make connections between various educational experiences.

Traits of Effective HIPs

The associated benefits of High Impact Practices rely heavily on effective implementation. When done well, HIPs include each of the following elements:

  1. Considerable time and effort requirements for students
  2. Facilitated learning outside of the classroom (real- world applications and relevance is highlighted)
  3. Meaningful interactions between faculty and students
  4. Collaboration across disciplines and cultures (experience diversity)
  5. Frequent and substantive feedback
  6. Reflection and integrative learning opportunities

Benefits of HIPs

Students who participate in High Impact Practices have shown evidence of several positive benefits. This was further supported by the findings of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) report published in 2007.

  • Increased persistence & GPA
  • Deep approaches to learning (richer more lasting connections to materials)
  • Higher rates of student-faculty interaction
  • Increased critical thinking and writing skills
  • Greater appreciation for diversity
  • Higher student engagement

(Kuh, 2008) (Hobbs & Kropp, 2018)
View full IJEP article

(Kuh, 2008) (NSSE, 2007)
View full NSSE report

Students who engage in High Impact Practices (HIPs) benefit in unusually positive ways”

~George Kuh

For additional resources and support, please visit the OTL ePortfolio Project site.


AAC&U – Association of American Colleges & Universities, (2017). High-Impact Educational Practices: A brief overview. Retrieved from

Hobbs, P. and Kropp, E. – Faculty Focus, (2018). Leveraging High-Impact Practices at the Course Level. Retrieved from impact-practices-at-the-course- level/?st=FFdaily;s=FF181015;utm_term=FF181015&utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium =email&utm_content=Leveraging+High- Impact+Practices+at+the+Course+Level&utm_campaign=FF181015

Kuh, George D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. AAC&U, Washington, D.C.

NSSE – National Survey of Student Engagement, (2007). High-Impact Practices. Retreived from

Watson, C. E., Kuh, G. D., Rhodes, T., Penny Light, T., and Chen, H. L. (2016). Editorial: ePortfolios – The Eleventh High Impact Practice. International Journal of ePortfolio, Vol. 6, No. 2. Retrieved from