Next Generation Course Redesign
On a quest to make learning better in large enrollment undergraduate courses, the University of North Texas embarked upon a bold journey to transform the student learning experience in 2006. The journey began with a handful of faculty who had strong desires to transform the learning experience in their courses by designing, applying, and assessing innovative instructional techniques. Over the years, the Next Generation Course Redesign Program™ has, itself, undergone a transformation - from fledgling initiative to robust Community of Scholars, consisting of members who are passionate about enabling learners to achieve greater success by providing engaging, relevant experiences in a variety of learning environments, such as online and experiential, as well as traditional face to face.
Through a carefully choreographed series of events, NextGen Faculty Fellows are identified, trained, nurtured, and mentored as they navigate the redesign process. Aided by NextGen staff and Senior Faculty Fellows, instructors develop these innovative courses to meet rigorous standards of objective-instruction-assessment alignment. The results? Classes that have been redesigned, evaluated, and revised utilizing the never-ending NextGen process of perpetual improvement qualify to bear the NextGen brand. To date, UNT has created more than 377 NextGen sections to meet the needs of over 20,000 students in a variety of disciplines. With a growing team of over 200 quality instructors continuing to teach and create more courses, NextGen is doing its part to meet UNT’s goal of providing the best undergraduate educational experience in Texas.
Since 2004, the University of North Texas has engaged faculty in transforming the student learning experience in large enrollment undergraduate courses through the Next Generation Course Redesign Program™. The program was pioneered as the Blended Learning Project with the redesign of nine courses in 2004-2006, and continues to grow with the addition of new quality courses and top caliber instructors every year.
While the NextGen process has been streamlined, refined, and continuously improved upon over time, the primary mission of the NextGen Course Redesign Program remains true to its beginnings:
- to improve student learning through the articulation of well-defined student learning outcomes
- to address higher level thinking skills through carefully crafted teaching strategies
- to foster the development of critical thinking in learning environments that are constructed to encourage deeper connection with course content, instructors, and peers.
NextGen is also an important and major element of UNT’s reaccreditation process for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and has recently been cited by SACS as an exemplary model for other universities to emulate.