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The Learning Blog

Learn the latest in LMS, learning design, online learning
and more from the industry's top thought leaders.

Global Internet Trends and Association Learning: Part 2

This is the second in a three-part series that deals with opportunities for association learning initiatives inspired by Mary Meeker’s recent report on global Internet trends. In my first post, I addressed trends related to Millennials and the vital questions associations should be asking about serving this important group. In this post I want to point out the evolving new realities of video usage and consumption, and look at their possible impact.

Global Internet Trends and Association Learning: Part 2

This is the second in a three-part series that deals with opportunities for association learning...

Content without Real Context: Setting Personal Learning Benchmarks

We’ve all sat in this lesson beginning. Heck, we’ve all designed this lesson beginning. It’s the...

10 Feedback Tips

In today’s business world, professionals are responsible for providing feedback on a regular...

Introducing Generation Z

You may still feel like you’re getting used to millennials, but Gen Zers are already entering...

Re-engaging Learners in the Online Learning Community

It’s safe to say that most online learners are busy. Especially for those earning certifications...

Online Learning Activities That Engage and Inspire Learners

For many online course creators, the tendency is to provide the learner with static content. ...

Practical Tips for Using Social Media in the Virtual Classroom

As discussed in our previous article, integrating social media into the online classroom is a...

5 Ways Social Media Can Benefit Online Learning

Educators can change the way we use social media. Since their inception, social media platforms...

Engaging Millennial Learners in Online Education

Millennials continue to be a hot topic around the online learning space, and the biggest...

Online Learning: Friend or Foe of Traditional Learning?

Education is a hot topic in the association space and in recent years discussion has been heavy...

Instructional Design: Getting the Content Right

When designing an online course, whether you are starting from scratch, or updating a...

Creating Effective Learning Environments: A Road Map for Success

When you begin to develop an online learning environment two factors are in play: 1) You have...

Social Learning Trends in the Association Space

Strategically implementing collaborative learning can revolutionize the way your association...

Boost Association Education Products with Learner-Centered Experiences

The Gallup-Purdue Index provides an interesting look at the relationship between a person’s...

New Workshop Series to Build Capacity for Great Learning Experiences

The Institute for Learning Environment Design (ILED), a partnership between NextThought and the...

Unknown Professional Futures and Opportunities for Associations

In their recent white paper, “The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm,” Shelly Alcorn...

Six Tips for Creating Great Digital Learning Content

Last week, Dan Meyer shared the Desmos guidelines for building great digital math activities. ...

Finding the Right Blend of Analog and Digital

The trends pointed out by the Pew Research Center in its recent report on Book Reading 2016 are...

Moving Beyond Traditional Self-Paced Learning Models in Professional Education

Ambient Insight has just released a report that predicts a sharp decline worldwide in the...

Employing Learning Design to Avoid the The Awkward Translator Syndrome

The Awkward Translator A key to designing and creating effective learning solutions is to remove...

Good Learning Design Begins with the "What"

Beginning with What vs. How Often, learning technology companies focus their product messaging...

Building Organizational Capacity through Great Learning Design

It’s not uncommon we encounter an organization with a strong desire to deliver an innovative...

Effective Networked Learning Environments for Professional Development

Question 1: How can we design online professional development environments that help...

Designing Innovative Learning Experiences

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of sitting with both NextThought and ILED colleagues at the...

Improving Learning by Adding Inquiry

One of the most common learning design questions I’m asked is, “How can I get learners more...

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (In Revenue)

The era of associations relying on member dues to support revenue is all but gone. The challenge...

Using Synchronous Communication Tools to Enhance Learning Environment Design

For today’s learning environment architect, synchronous communication tools are an important and...

Millennials, Listicles, and Learning

Listicles have quickly become one of the more popular online writing styles. What is the...

The Simplicity and Power of Learning Environment Design

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Virginia Tech’s Conference on Teaching Large Classes,...

Designing NextThought’s Learning Video Playbook

One of the great things about being Chief Learning Officer at a company like NextThought is that...

Pinterest As A Learning Environment

We all participate in some form of online content curation whether we realize it or not. From...

Meetings and Meeting Agendas as Learning Environments

Most people who work in organizations are familiar with and are, sometimes, resigned to the...

5 Tips for Designing Learning Video for Mobile Contexts

I’m a big fan of professional cycling and, over the years, July has become a special time for...

Millennials: Digital or Paperback Learners?

My mom is a former teacher, and as soon as I could crawl she had a baby-proof book in my hands....

Your Video As A Learning Environment

When creating video for learning, it’s easy to forget that the video itself is a complete,...

What’s Workplace Development Anyway?

A Gallup poll shows that 87% of Millennials find development to be important in a job. So in the...

5 Questions to Ask When Designing Informational Videos

In an earlier post, we discussed the growing importance of video as part of the online learning...

The Value of a Shared Language for Learning Environment Design

Beginning last fall, NextThought began integrating Learning Environment Modeling (LEM) and the...

5 Suggestions for Improving Learning with Video

There is little doubt about the effectiveness of video as a tool for improving learning. As...

Build A Community Through Associations

Millennials are used to surrounding themselves with a community that stems from shared...

NextThought Announces Exciting Association Research Partnership

As part of our partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma and its Institute for...

4 Considerations for Better Training Video

There’s no doubt that video is an important part of the online learning toolkit. Ideally, video...

How To Make Association Members Out of Millennials

There is a lot of discussion about the role millennials have to play in association membership...

Global Internet Trends and Association Learning: Part 3

This is the third in a three-part series that deals with opportunities for association learning...

Design Thinking Projects in Online Learning Environments

I do a good bit of design thinking research related to learning design and and I’ve found design...

Personalization in Online Learning Environments

Today’s learning environment design challenge was prompted by a discussion I read in the online...

Design Studio Session #1: Open Content In Project Based Learning Environments

Next Thursday, on May 26, ILED will host its first Design Studio Session: Open Content in...

5 Steps for Creating Successful E-learning Solutions

All too often our discussion about e-learning becomes a constraint exercise that begins with the...

A New Course: Introduction to Learning Environment Design

We’re a week away from the launch of the first course in The Institute for Learning Design’s...

A Partnership for Learning Environment Design

Early last August, I attended a workshop on Learning Environment Modeling (LEM) and was inspired...

Learning Design Is Truly Global with LEML

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Ratul Dev, our visiting Fellow from the

A Bright Future for Faculty Development Training in Oklahoma

I have enjoyed teaching and have celebrated good teachers as long as I can remember. Not...

Learning Design Solutions for Increasing Student Engagement in Math

Dan Meyer gave yet another thought provoking presentation about math education at the recent...

Connected Learning as a Solution for Occupational Shifts

Still fresh off a great learning experience at last week’s digitalNow conference for...

Parable #11: The Invisible Lesson

The Prime Minister for a certain country had just returned home from the most important event in...

When Content Is No Longer the Product: Part 3

This is the third article in a three-part series on shifting product models in Higher Education....

Parable #10: The Two Dresses

The Queen of a certain kingdom, needing a new evening gown by the end of the month, decided to...

Weekly Update: It's an Open and Closed Future

When I write a weekly update like this, I always begin by looking for a theme in the articles...

Learning Design for Visual Transcripts

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to sit down and chat about a wide range of topics with Jon...

Open, Closed, Or...?

There are times when I think all the tactical talk about Open and Closed learning environments...

Parable # 9: The Story of the Beautiful Meal

A wise woman was making her way through a distant land and she came upon a peculiar village. The...

When Content Is No Longer the Product: Part 2

(This is the second article in a three-part series on shifting product models in...

Learning Environment Models for Creating T-Shaped Individuals

I'm presenting today at the T-Summit 2016 in Washington D.C. This is a conference focused on...

When Content Is No Longer the Product: Part 1

Introduction What do publishers – whose stock and trade has always been content – do when...

One Key to Ubiquitous Affordable Content: Metadata Designed for Distribution

Much of our current work with Oklahoma universities and colleges on behalf of the Oklahoma State...

LEM, LEML and PEACE at Southern Nazarene University

On Friday, I had the good fortune to spend the afternoon discussing learning design with our...

Connecting the Dots for Affordable Content in Oklahoma

Over the past week, there have been a string of intersecting articles on OER and digital content...

Making Online Learning Personalized and Engaging

When it comes to creating engaging and personalized learning experiences, one of the constraints...

Ten Reasons to be Excited about Open and Affordable Content in Oklahoma

We’re starting our #Open TeachingOU / #OpenOK Twitter chat series for the semester this Friday...

Santa Fe South — A Vision for Eliminating Math Remediation in Higher Ed

It takes a village, or better yet, a community. Chris Brewster, the Superintendent at Santa Fe...

Repurposing Existing Video Content for Collaboration

Here’s some good news – content is not the problem. The difference between online courses that...

Making Learning Content Affordable in Oklahoma

(Note: Within the context of this post, affordable content is defined as “free, at-no-additional...

From Cohort Learning to Alumnification at Oklahoma Christian University

Recently, I’ve started sharing concrete examples of how we at NextThought are using a...

Making Information Engaging in Online Courses

A frequent question I hear from our partners is, “How can we make our online course content more...

The Power of Collaboration for Advancing Online Education in Oklahoma

For almost six months, NextThought has been working with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher...

NextThought Announces The Family Network

(In the initial version of this post back in February, we introduced our vision with the title,...

The Elemental Particles of Connected Learning

Much of our current work at NextThought with our partners focuses on designing learning...

Adding a Personal Touch to Online Learning Design

Companies and academic institutions have turned increasingly to online learning models in order...

Are Our Content Models Worthy of Binge-Learning?

A recent New York Times article talked about the new streaming entertainment channels created by...

Oklahoma State's Farm to Fork: A Modest MOOC Proposal

Oklahoma State University is gearing up to offer, for the second time, its Farm to Fork course –...

Designing Lesson Openings for Connected Learning

One of the biggest opportunities for effective course re-design, when it comes to learner...

Learning Efficacy through #Growthmindset and Connections

Last Friday I was flying back from the Online Learning Consortium in Orlando and – hooray! – my...

Selected Resources for Promoting Student Engagement

My recent work on student engagement – including our NextThought Power of Connections course...

Creating Powerful Learning Experiences: Big XII TLC Keynote

[The following is the script from my keynote address delivered at the Big XII Teaching and...

Connecting Learners to the Real World

Dan Myer wrote a nice post this week on modeling with mathematics. In his post, he designed a...

​NextThought Begins Consulting Engagement with Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

NORMAN, OK (September 16, 2015) – NextThought, LLC. is excited to announce that it has been...

Six Important Tips for Designing Student Engagement Activities

Currently, there are a number of effective models circulating that show how easy it is to offer...

Connected Learning Is Mobile Learning

Connected learning is about placing learners at the center of their learning networks and...

Reinforcing Collaborative and Connected Learning with Social Media

Join us for our #NTPoC Twitter chat this Thursday at 10:00 AM CDT. We'll discuss re-imagining...

Weekly Briefing: Interesting Back-to-School Trends

My wife recently went to the law school bookstore to purchase a book she'd studied while in law...

Designing Collaborative Learning with LEML

While attending the Big XII Teaching and Learning Conference last week, I had the opportunity to...

NextThought Launches Power of Connections Course on Student Engagement

NextThought announced the launch of a new online learning experience today called The Power of...

Connected Learning Through Community

The participants in our Power of Connections learning experience are exploring student...

Opening up Our Conversations for Student Engagement

I wrote a post yesterday on our Power of Connections course blog about how we're exploring...

Teaching Engagement by Teaching out Loud

This week marks the kickoff of our Power of Connections open course on student engagement. In...

Branching Narratives, Interactive Learning, and Open Storytelling

Reading about the new full-motion video (FMV) game Her Story this week, definitely set me on a...

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Student Engagement?

This is an honest question because, listening to people in education circles discuss the topic,...

Custodians of Connections

Two weeks ago I interviewed the inimitable Kerry Magruder for our upcoming interview series, The...

Creating Communities Beyond the Class Cohort

In the first part of my career as an educator, I was preoccupied almost exclusively with a...

e-PD Episode 11: Time Management 1

Easy tips to follow to help you manage the time you spend on your online course well!

Parable #8: The Man with Two Sons

A certain father wanted to provide his son wise counsel for choosing a profession in life. With...

Designing for Connection: Helping Students Get Lost

For anyone with a smartphone or a smart watch or smart glasses, or anyone who is attached in...

The Serendipity of Connection

Learning. The serendipity of connection. Like the kind that happens when you head to New York to...

e-PD Episode 10: Color Choices

This video will assist you in making color choices that will make your video more visually...

Weekly Briefing: Is the Future About Technology or Learning?

In January, 2003, I was sitting in a hotel lobby in New Orleans talking to Jon Stowe (now...

The Promise of Connected Learning

The Promise of Connected Learning Rob Reynolds, Ph.D. Chief Product Officer, NextThought

Gary England Leads New Severe Weather Series on OU's Janux Platform

Trusted Oklahoma meteorologist Gary England joins OU in creating an exciting online video series...

Dark Matter and the Uncertain Future of EdTech

My experience at the 2015 ASU+GSV Summit last week reminded me of this great post on Dark Matter...

e-PD Episode 9: Imagery and Animation

This video helps you with using imagery and animation to make your video great!

Weekly Briefing: Mapping the Future of Higher Education

Wouldn't it be great if we had a complete map that shows the future of Higher Education?...

A Textbook, What Is It Good For?

On Friday, we'll have our next #OpenTeachingOU Twitter Chat. The topic for this session will be...

What Is Connected Learning?

As a company focused on Connected Learning solutions, it's not surprising that the most common...

Parable #7: The Best Bread in the World

A certain young woman lived at the foot of the Pyrenees in a small village in Southern France....

Making Learning Content Affordable (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I identified what I believe to be the primary obstacle to reducing or...

Requirements for Making Great Connections

Last Friday, I participated in a panel on "Creativity and the University" as part of an event...

Weekly Briefing: The Price of Learning Materials

Evidently content is still king when it comes to education. But what does or should it cost? For...

Parable #6: The Little Stream

There was a certain man who owned a large farm and, in one section of that farm, ran a sizable...

Making Learning Content Affordable (Part 1)

Affordable content is a choice. It's a choice that many students have made in recent years as...

How Learning Connections Extend the Traditional Boundaries of a Course

This power of learning connections was re-emphasized for me this weekend when I read Phil Hill's...

e-PD Episode 7: Quality Video and Sound

In this episode we share a number of helpful tips and tricks to help make your educational...

Parable #5: The Woman and the New Bicycle

A certain woman decided one day that she would begin competing in triathlons. She had been a...

Three Priorities for Sustainable OER in Higher Education

Last week's inaugural OpenTeachingOU conversation was a big success, and we're looking forward...

Unlocking the Potential of Connected Content

Nick Shackleton-Jones references this image to talk about the future of learning. In it, we move...

Join Us Today for #OpenTeachingOU

Open is a celebration of choice, and a triumph of community. It's about the freedom to create,...

New Land Academy: Connecting Learners to Personal Freedom

When I was a child, I loved it when my mother sang to me, and one of my favorite songs was, " I...

Retouching Education

We live in a world of retouching. We boost and smooth photos. We enhance audio with sonic zones....

e-PD Episode 5: Meaningful Interaction and Rewards

This video will help you create and maintain meaningful relationships with your online students,...

Weekly Briefing: What do We Keep and When do We Innovate?

I like new, shiny objects as much as anyone, and the current object of my eye is the Hemmingwrite

Parable #4: Your Time is Now

The Starship Intrepid has just left dock for open space. The captain stands on the bridge. An...

The UnTextbook as a Path to Open Pedagogy

Some days, "open" means that someone left the cover off the rabbit hole and you go tumbling down...

Making Great Connections through Production

One of the key learning and design principles of connected pedagogy is "production" — learners...

Know Thyself, EdTech Product!

We dream. We design. We code. We market. We innovate. We project. We tweak. We hire. We evolve....

e-PD Episode 4: Availability and Feedback

Being available and providing meaningful feedback are two key elements in creating a successful...

Parable #3: Knowing Your Store

It's a beautiful day. On the corner sits a candy shop. Outside the shop is a neatly-painted...

Eight Qualities of Open Pedagogy

A week ago, I got into one of those spontaneous Twitter discussions with two of my good friends...

The First Connection

Great connections happen when people are willing to share honestly and truthfully, when they...

e-PD Episode 3: Student Relationships Part 2

This video presents useful strategies for developing positive relationships with students in an...

Parable #2: Rearranging the Furniture

A certain woman received a letter saying that she had inherited a house from a distant relative.

Important Themes and Dreams for Open Content

There are strong indications that the various components of open education will continue to gain...

The Unbearable Messiness of Learning Connections

"When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object." ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable...

Weekly Briefing: Pivots, MOOCs and the Difficulties of Change

Watching companies pivot or change their business models can be fascinating.

Parable #1: Getting out of the Way

Imagine a man driving a rented moving van down a major highway that leads toward the downtown...

What I Got Wrong (and Right) about Digital Learning Materials Back in 2012

Back in 2012, I released a book with the auspicious title, The Future of Learning Content ( free...

Farm to Fork: Food news you can use

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (January 17, 2015) -- Farm to Fork: A Panoramic View of Agriculture is a free...

Inside OSU with Burns Hargis: Farm to Fork

STILLWATER, OK (December 19, 2014) -- In this interview, Oklahoma State University President...

HISTORY Channel Teams Up with OU for Janux Course

NEW YORK, NY (October 28, 2014) – A+E Network®'s HISTORY® Channel will partner with the...

Weekly Briefing: ​Is This Change Real or Just Another Prediction?

It's that time again. Everyone is squeezing in their predictions about the three, or five, or...

Weekly Briefing: Interesting Futures for Education

It seems that Chegg has decided to ditch the textbook rental business in favor of its...

10 Keys to an Effective Video for Subject Matter Experts

Have you ever wanted to create a video course? Record a lecture? Subject Matter Experts have a...

e-PD Episode 1: Overview

In this first episode, trainers Meleah Meadows and Chris Kalinski provide a brief overview of ...

Five Assumptions about Why Learning Connections Matter

Certain aspects of the human journey are universal enough that we generally place them in the...

At NextThought, Learning is about Connections

Welcome to the NextThought blog. My name is Rob Reynolds and I want to welcome you to our...

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