The NextGen Program

Over the years, the NextGen Course Redesign Program has, itself, undergone a transformation - from fledgling initiative to a robust community of scholars, consisting of members who are passionate about enabling learners to achieve academic success by providing engaging, relevant learning experiences. 

With the help of NextGen specialists and resources, instructors undertake course redesign using a careful process of creativity, planning, reflection, application, and analysis. This process allows participants to:

  • Develop an instructional framework for multiple instructors to teach undergraduate courses consistent with departmental and institutional goals and objectives.
  • Establish consistency and alignment among course goals, assessments, and instruction.
  • Develop quality assessments that allow departments to determine the overall effectiveness of the course.
  • Align assessments with UNT Core Objectives, institutional objectives, departmental objectives, and/or external organization objectives (such as accreditation organizations).
  • Develop instructional strategies for facilitating engaging learning environments and activities.
  • Participate in a community of practice concerned with instructional and pedagogical excellence and cross-disciplinary collegiality.

The NextGen program is a two-year long process consisting of a development stage where instructors redesign their courses and an implementation stage where instructors teach their redesigned courses. The process begins with a request for proposals that is sent out mid-Spring semester. Applications are reviewed and applicants notified of whether or not they have been selected to be a NextGen Faculty Fellow by late April.

During the development stage, NextGen Faculty Fellows first participate in the CLEAR Course Design Institute (CLEAR CDI) in June. CLEAR CDI consists of a mix of online and face-to-face workshops that provide faculty with the training, support, and space to design or redesign their courses. The institute consists of approximately 10 hours of online preparation prior to the face-to-face portion of the institute. The online work is designed to introduce faculty to the vocabulary and theoretical underpinnings that inform the outcomes-based UNT CLEAR model for course design. The face-to-face portion of the institute is four days of interaction and training. Methods of training consist of a multitude of instructional methods such as interactive presentations (several of which are led by exemplary UNT faculty), small group work, and individual work. These methods are designed to model best educational practices and facilitate an interdisciplinary collegial and collaborative community of UNT course design scholars.  

After CLEAR CDI, NextGen Faculty Fellows participate in online workshops via TREE and attend luncheons throughout the academic year. These workshops are designed to address issues involved in teaching and facilitating NextGen courses, model best practices for small group work, and provide opportunities for participants to refine their course redesigns with their colleagues and the NextGen team.

During the implementation stage, NextGen Faculty Fellows pilot and teach their redesigned courses. They also collect assessment data in order to make instructional decisions towards the continuous reevaluation of their courses.

Throughout the entire process, NextGen Faculty Fellows receive continuous support from NextGen specialists and Senior Faculty Fellows. Senior Faculty Fellows are NextGen instructors who have gone through the process of redesign and taught the course at least twice. For more information on Senior Faculty Fellows, click here.

For a look at the Request for Proposals for 2015, click here.