High Impact Practices (HIPs)

By Muriel C. Lopez-Wagner, Director, Office of Institutional Research,
California State University, San Bernardino
Infographic by Lauren Albrecht, Graduate Assistant  

The Office of Institutional Research (IR) at California State University, San Bernardino, found that infographics are succinct alternatives to 10-20 page reports with graphs, tables, and statistical notations. The purpose of our infographics is to inform our campus community, stimulate conversations about students’ success, and provoke inquiries pertaining to continuous improvement. Our infographics have to be short, colorful, and carry a simple message. The recent infographic on high-impact practices (HIPs) below carries two messages: 1) the number of seniors who said they participated in HIPs and 2) the number of HIPs in which they participated. Infographics allow us to share our story with a larger audience than if we were to use text alone. Readers are visually engaged by the eye-catching colors and graphics that make the message easier to understand, recall, and share with others. The coyote logo links readers to our university mascot. The layout enhances readers’ experience because it is easy to visually navigate. Key messages flow from broad to specific.

Since the implementation of our monthly infographics, we've received emails and comments from our campus community about various topics on student success. Recent results from a survey about IR’s efficacy indicated that our infographics were a source of conversation for some offices.

View Larger PDF Version (opens in new tab).


   ir.csusb.edu                                                                      CSUSB Office of Institutional Research                                                                June 2014





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Total Comments: 17
Jessica posted on 10/16/2014 11:47 AM
Thank you for sharing this infographic. It's great to hear that this is drawing the attention of others on your campus and engaging them in deeper conversation around student success. I would be interested to know if this has encouraged them to dig deeper into the data with you.
Norma posted on 10/16/2014 11:54 AM
While Infographics may be a quick way to share data they are easily open to error. For example: The top line says 66% of seniors have participated in HIPs. The bottom Infographic says 35% have not this is a difference of 1%.
Raja posted on 10/16/2014 11:57 AM
Thank you, I think it is an exceptional colorful visual infographics expressing the purpose of it clearly.
Sam posted on 10/16/2014 11:59 AM
Excellent visual of descriptive statistics. Good title, cute icons and very eye catching layout. I wish we had this capability. I have just a few thoughts. First, does your office have the resources to continue in the vein with other data? You've set the bar very high. Second, the data sort of begs the question whether HIP's actually lead to better outcomes (e.g. Honor's diploma, grad school enrollment). The quote from Kuh is legitimating, but if academic affairs is going to spend more money on HIP's, they probably want some understanding about which of these matter (in this case, more of a limitation of NSSE than your effort). Third, you seem to be blending the 2011 and 2013 collections. Is there a trend over time? Has participation in HIP's increased? Also, can you verify some of these self-report numbers with hard data from CSUSB offices? For instance, the study abroad % seems a little low.

Tim posted on 10/16/2014 2:22 PM
I love it! We've talked as an intuition about the need to do more of these streamlined, single-message, easily-consumed info-tidbits. I wonder if it could be further simplified by reducing the bands of color--perhaps by combining "Four or more." The big message that gets a little bit lost in the detail is that almost 2/3 of seniors have experience at least one HIP, but over 1/3 have none. Nice work!
Evette posted on 10/16/2014 2:25 PM
Your visual representation using infographics was eye-catching. It was easy to understand the purpose of your message.I think this format is beneficial to stakeholders who want to get to the information quickly without having to skim through a 10-20 page document. Thank you for sharing!
Tim posted on 10/16/2014 2:27 PM
Oops, scratch my last comment above--I failed to read the top line! Nice summary in a single sentence!
Becky posted on 10/16/2014 2:38 PM
I love this infographic! Two minor comments: 1) although you show the # of responses, what was the response rate? and 2) since you can barely see the "Six" group on the chart (0.2%), you may want to combine with the Five group (and perhaps call it Five-Six?). Thanks for sharing this!
Meg posted on 10/16/2014 3:02 PM
Love your graphics! much more succinct than the two pages I provided about HIPs
Jonathan posted on 10/16/2014 4:12 PM
I'm curious, what software did you utilize to generate these infographics?
Steve posted on 10/16/2014 4:34 PM
Here's a crusty contrarian perspective. I appreciate the attention-grabbing intent of infographics, but they are often more -graphic than info and can mask or distort the data. For example using same-size icons to represent HIP participation misses the relative frequencies that we would see by displaying the frequencies in a column chart. It would be immediately clearer that almost twice as many students participate in Capstone Courses as Foreign Language courses, four times as many as Independent Study, etc. You could still use the catchy icons by embedding them within the columns or as column headers, etc.
Terry posted on 10/17/2014 8:15 AM
Very cool! A great example of displaying data to grab attention but without overemphasizing one piece of the data. Of course, being so involved with data, most infographics make me want to look at the underlying data. I think that is a good thing.
Rachel posted on 10/17/2014 10:52 AM
Great job with the infographic. I like how your layout is clean and simple - it really draws a reader's attention to what is important so they can take away the main idea. It was really smart to list the HIPs in descending order of percent participation. An alternative to this idea (so that all HIPs are list on the same horizontal row rather than two) is to use your icons as labels on a traditional bar chart or needle chart. Great work!
Betsy posted on 10/19/2014 9:13 AM
This is a really nice display and focuses my attention fully on the topic. The small thumbnail icons for each practice are well chosen and the color scheme is nice. Using the school mascot makes the chart more striking. It makes me want to try the info-graphic idea. Kudos to Lauren Albrecht for the execution of the graphic.
Mary posted on 10/20/2014 11:14 PM
The graphics are eye catching and the meaning is easily understood. I too think that the way of the future for IR is in these quick graphics that can convey the information quickly to stakeholders and interested outsiders who may not understand the underlying data. Nice job.
Tom posted on 10/22/2014 12:34 PM
Very engaging presentation of NSSE high impact practices. The use of color and high-quality graphics makes the information you are communicating come alive. I’m jealous – nice work and thanks for sharing!
Muriel posted on 10/29/2014 8:09 PM
Lauren and I appreciate all your comments!!!