Developing curricula for graduate students in an increasingly globalized world requires unique practices and implementation along with detailed evaluation. In this mixed method design study, students enrolled in a grant-funded distance, asynchronous course titled Global Horticulture and Human Nutrition to Enhance Food Security and Community Resilience (NEXUS) responded to guided questions in weekly reflection journals throughout the semester. They also completed pre- and post-knowledge assessments at the beginning and end of the semester. Using the Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Aspirations (KASA) framework and Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Affective Domain to guide data analysis, key themes in student narratives were identified, such as exposure to new ideas, future career benefits, and global and political connections. Knowledge and learning themes from student reflective journals included exposure to new ideas and concepts, increased understanding, positive learning experience, interdisciplinary application, and global and political connections, and these findings supported the results of increased knowledge gain determined in the pre- and post-assessment from the course. Emergent themes from Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Affective Domain included knowledge connection, future career benefits, desire to give back, and behavior change. We recommend using a mixed-method design to form a holistic understanding of student experiences in first-year courses employing novel instructional techniques.