UNT Research, Volume 18, 2009 Page: 20
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By the end of the 2008-09 academic year, sections of 22
of UNT's core undergraduate classes will have been redesigned,
which means students will have the option of taking a course in a
traditional format or a new format that blends lectures with tech-
nology and other teaching methods. Although each course is dif-
ferent, all apply innovative active learning methods, such as small
groups, debates, computer simulations and interactive projects in
To date, the project, which includes a variety of disciplines in
the arts, humanities and sciences, has received more than $3 mil-
lion in state and federal funding. The grants support development
of courses that can be piloted at other universities and colleges
"In its devotion to effective principles, its pragmatic support
for the creative efforts of faculty and in the depth of its commitment,
UNT is one of the best I've seen in this arena. Its work deserves
international attention," says Steve Ehrmann, vice president of the
Teaching, Learning and Technology Group, a national not-for-profit
corporation committed to improving teaching and learning.
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Turner says that blending online learning with high-impact
classroom lessons provides optimum learning potential for stu-
dents. And capitalizing on technology to provide students with
online materials and information that typically would have been
delivered in a lecture frees face-to-face class time for applying that
new knowledge in creative, interactive and analytical ways.
"Universities nationwide have struggled with how to maintain
high-quality learning as enrollment figures break records and class
sizes continue to grow," Turner says. "UNT was no different, and
for many years, we had been grappling with how to make sure all
of our students truly learned the higher-level thinking skills that
attaining a bachelor's degree requires.
"Finally, technology gave us tools that allow us to truly break
our classes apart and rebuild them in a way that lets students expe-
rience intense, intimate instruction and learning."
In 2008, the Next Generation Course Redesign project was
selected as a Texas Education Star Award finalist. The award pro-
gram was established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board to recognize exemplary contributions toward closing the
higher education gaps that challenge the state. UNT is planning
to co-host a conference on course redesign with the coordinating
board this spring.
One of the innovative courses during UNT's redesign pilot
program was the "U.S. History to 1865" course, which was designed
and taught by Kelly McMichael, now associate director of UNT's
20 SPRING Z009 UNT RESEARCH
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 18, 2009, periodical, 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115032/m1/20/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.