Innovations Designed for Deeper Learning in Higher Education


Seven institutions received $1.7 million from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Building Blocks for College Completion grant program to scale innovations designed to promote deeper learning and student engagement in higher education to other institutions. The group reached nearly 10,000 students at 135 institutions during the grant term. The grant recipients adopted different technology-enabled educational innovations to help students achieve deeper learning, including supplementing existing courses, supporting the adoption of blended learning, and completely redesigning a course (the most successful approach). This report analyzes the projects through the lens of the Hewlett Foundation's definition of deeper learning.  

Results suggest that students need support to transition to the more active role that deeper learning demands and that faculty need support, training, and time to create, implement, and sustain reforms that change student learning. Furthermore, fundamental, comprehensive redesign occurring over more than one academic term appears to promise the best outcomes for deeper learning.

Author: Andrea Venezia, Associate Director, Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy, California State University, Sacramento

NGLC accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. To learn more about NGLC and the grantees it supports, visit

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