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The Learning Blog

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NextThought: Tomorrow's Learning Solutions Today

NextThought is an online learning solutions company. We offer our partners a combination of technology, learning design services, and video production centered around content-based collaboration and online communities. Our learning management system was created to combine a unique blend of rich content and active engagement that provides a learner experience that is both personal and dynamic.

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The NextThought LMS is differentiated by its focus on contextualization, collaborative design, and communities. These elements provide the foundation for NextThought’s connected-learning environment and promote educational structures that are both expansive and impactful.

Modern User Experience

We recognize the power of visual design when it comes to creating engaging learning experiences. Our design team works to ensure that the visual presentation of your content is optimized for learning and your message is clearly communicated. Also, when learning online, students should never have to ask, “Where am I?” or, “What am I supposed to do next?” Our learning platform is designed to be both intuitive and attractive. Whether you are navigating a course, or engaging with your peers, it will be a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Conversation and Collaboration

We believe every piece of content should be an opportunity for conversation, contribution, and collaboration by learners. That’s why we allow facilitators and learners to engage in dialogue on every page of a course. Instructors can facilitate meaningful class and group discussions at any time, and always within the context of the content being viewed or studied. Additionally, users can create notes and initiate or respond to conversations in all content types and at almost every location in the platform (the only exception being graded assignments). These conversations can include text, images, and
video, and allow the markup of images to clarify communication. This means instructors can “seed” discussions within video transcripts, readings, and practice quizzes in order to prompt reflection and dialogue by participants throughout the course and at the actual point of learning.

Communities and Groups

With its community feature, the NextThought platform adds a new dimension to online learning. Partners can create communities and discussion forums within the learning platform that are organized around particular course content, professional networks, or departmental interests. Groups can be designated as open or closed and provide a way for participants to stay abreast of relevant information and to communicate with each other. Learners are able to instantly chat with other learners within the platform and receive email notifications of activities they miss while offline.

3 Ways Learning Communities Can Enhance Member Loyalty

Key Features

Mobility and Branding

mobility-and-flexibility-ipad@2xWe know that today’s learners often use multiple platforms and need to access their content at anytime and while on the go. That’s why we make the NextThought platform available as a full Web application and a mobile Web application accessible on all mobile devices. The NextThought LMS can be branded with partner logos and color schemes and we can provide partners with a branded iPad app. Learners can work in all of these environments on different platforms and their work is constantly saved and synchronized to the cloud.

Authoring Tools

NextThought offers a full array of authoring tools, which allows partners to develop native content, import files, insert pictures, embed videos, create discussion forums, and build assignments.

Assessment Creation Tool

The NextThought platform features a wide range of assessment types. Our test creation tool allows you to customize assessments, create pools of questions, randomization of question choice, and the assignment of values to quizzes. Additionally, our team of learning designers and developers can create custom assessments and interactivities to meet specific assessment requirements not supported by our authoring tools.

Course Status Dashboard

The NextThought gradebook provides a clear overview of class and learner performance on course assignments for instructors. Dashboards also provide a record of course completions, course grades, and a course history for both the organization and each individual learner. We also provide user activity reports for our partners based on different aspects
of user participation across the platform. Reports can be customized to client specifications.

Video Conferencing

Most popular web conferencing tools can be integrated into the NextThought LMS so that in a blended course you can plan both face-toface and online components of a course within the learning platform.

Comprehensive Analytics

The NextThought platform is unique in its ability tracks all aspects of user participation, including formal coursework, informal engagement with other learners, personal content creation (including notes and dialogue responses). Our goal is to work with partners to understand how they want to view learner progress, and to create the best reporting solution possible to support that goal.

Group Creation

The NextThought platform allows instructors to create groups for the purpose of discussions and projects. Group members can tag the entire group or specific group members to share conversations and content.

Activities Tab

This tab contains announcements concerning course assignments, due dates, and material. It includes the latest threads of
communication between learners in one place where you can catch up with course or community discourse.

Communication

Instructors can easily email individual learners or an entire course cohort from the roster list within the LMS.

Certificates and Completion Badges

NextThought can design, assign, and manage both certificates and completion badges for courses. Badges can be exported to Mozilla Open Badges Backpack.

Survey Creation and Management

NextThought creates custom surveys and subsequent reporting for its clients. We can build these per client specification
and you can use our authoring tools to insert them as you desire in the NextThought LMS.

Comprehensive search

searchfeatureWe’ve designed the NextThought search feature to allow users to search, locate and easily navigate across all content types including video, readings, resources, and their own highlights and comments within a conversation.

Custom marketing pages

We provide custom designed marketing or promotion pages to help inform your customers and move them seamlessly into their learning experience.

Extended Special-Interest Communities

NextThought supports creating communities that can participate in selected content, but that exist separately from traditional course groups. We can support multiple, as well as multi-layered
communities. This allows organizations and institutions to extend learner engagement beyond the space-and-time parameters of traditional courses. It allows for professional networking and sharing across the platform.

Custom marketing pages

We provide custom designed marketing or promotion pages to help inform your customers and move them seamlessly into their learning experience.

Extended Special-Interest Communities

NextThought supports creating communities that can participate in selected content, but that exist separately from traditional course groups. We can support multiple, as well as multi-layered
communities. This allows organizations and institutions to extend learner engagement beyond the space-and-time parameters of traditional courses. It allows for professional networking and sharing across the platform.

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LEARNING DESIGN

NextThought’s Learning Design team specializes in the creation of collaborative and community-based learning experiences. This includes an emphasis on:

NT lms chart

Learning Environment Design

NextThought creates unique, connected-learning experiences through the use of a visual design process called LEML (Learning Environment Modeling Language). Using this shared visual language, NextThought learning designers work collaboratively with our partners to design custom learning environments that are optimized for engagement.

Connected Learning

At NextThought, we believe learning is a collaborative, social process. This means that learners are at the center of their own learning networks, which consist of other people, communities, and information. Within this framework, our mission is to design experiences that help learners connect with as many different people and information sources as possible within their networks. By growing the number of connections, we increase the levels of learning engagement, which creates a community that endures beyond a traditional course.

Learner Engagement

We know that relevant content, personalization, and peer interaction lead to dynamic learning communities. Our Learning Design team helps our partners create rich learning experiences through the design of learning activities that foster high levels of engagement. We also provide workshops, program creation and marketing, course design and redesign services, as well as ongoing and continued support.

Learning Services

curriculum (1)Curriculum Design Services

Curriculum Evaluation and/or Course Optimization -- The NextThought Learning Design team evaluates existing program content or courses to optimize for connected learning across multiple learning environments (face-to-face, hybrid, and online). This may include the addition of specific activities as well as collaboration enhancement in the form of participant
interaction and dialogue.
Curriculum and/or Course Redesign -- Our team can evaluate existing content or courses and provide complete redesign services. This work includes a comprehensive evaluation and optimization for face-to-face and online learning and, more specifically, for online collaboration, community, and participant engagement. This may entail restructuring courses,
rewriting content, and creating new content or learning activities.
Curriculum and/or Course Development -- NextThought learning designers work with partners to assess specific needs and provide the necessary design and content development services to create exceptional collaborative learning experiences for a variety of environments, ncluding face-to-face hybrid, and online. Our team provides design and
development services, which include: 1) conducting a needs assessment  and creating learning objectives; 2) creating a learning environment design that serves as a blueprint for content delivery, participant interaction, and
supports learning outcomes; 3) providing subject matter expertise for content development; 4) creating content activity templates that facilitate the translation of existing and future content efficiently and effectively into the learning framework; 5) designing and producing media elements such as video and interactives; 6) developing all core content and resources,
designing learning communities and; 7) developing a connected learning structure designed for collaboration and learner engagement.

Content Development Services

Instructional Facilitation -- High levels of learner engagement and community interaction require specific facilitation throughout a course. The majority of these can be designed and integrated directly into the course content. NextThought learning designers are specialists at identifying where such facilitation needs to occur, and can create the necessary content elements to achieve your goals.
Collaboration and Engagement Activities -- Engaging participants effectively often requires new content or activity designs. As a result, we work closely with our partners to create innovative instructional frameworks that enhance both learning personalization and knowledge acquisition. We also take existing content activities and enhance them for collaboration and
community interaction.
Interactive Design -- Some concepts are best reinforced demonstrated through interactivity. The Learning Design team at NextThought can work with you to design the best learning sequences and interactions for promoting meaningful discovery and learning that sticks.
Learning Evidence and Assessments -- NextThought Learning designers help you find meaningful ways to collect evidence of knowledge acquisition and application. Properly designed and sequenced assessments, or knowledge checks for learners, are critical to positive learning experiences. Our team understands the learning theory and practice behind effective assessment, and can help you deliver content that leads to improved knowledge acquisition.

Image and Content Design

NextThought also provides content design and production services to ensure that all content, from video and readings, to assessments and discussions, is engaging and has high aesthetic appeal.

Learning Design Workshops

Building engaging content optimized for collaboration is only part of the solution for delivering successful learning experiences. That’s why the NextThought team also delivers face-to-face workshops to help administrators, course designers, and instructors develop strategies for delivering and teaching connected-learning courses.

Virtual training

Our team also provides synchronous and asynchronous virtual training services to ensure that our partners and their users understand all the capabilities and benefits of our platform and content.

5 Steps to Creating Association E-Learning Strategies

VIDEO PRODUCTION

NextThought Studios was created to address a strong demand for premium media services in the education market. We are a full-service production house that specializes in delivering clear, impactful messages via rich and engaging formats. We pride ourselves on being able to make almost anything happen. Our team of 10 producers, directors, directors of photography, artistic designers, post-production editors, sound designers and animators are tops in their field, adept at communicating complex ideas in elegant and entertaining ways.

Production Types

Our team has experience in broadcast news, sports television, reality television, documentary film, narrative film, commercial production, educational and instructional media, event coverage, music video, tourism promotion, online media, industrial and training media.

Methodology

Our experienced staff, combined with a strong commitment to producing innovative video solutions informed by research-based learning science, make us an ideal partner to produce engaging, positive media for the our clients. Since our inception, the NextThought Studios team has produced over 1000 finished video projects each year, ranging from 30 seconds to more than 1 hour in length. Each video reflects the same commitment to quality and high artistic and technical standards. These videos all fall into the educational/instructional or promotional media categories and each illustrate
our ability to distill complex concepts into elegant, easy-to-understand, engaging media.


VIDEO EXAMPLE LINK


The Benefits of a Mobile Friendly LMS for Your Association

CLIENT CASE STUDIES

PRMIA Certification Programs

PRMIA_gif_logoThe Professional Risk Managers International Association offers continuing education programs for risk management
professionals. PRMIA has delivered successful face-to-face training programs but was looking to expand its revenues
by offering online versions of its certification programs. We partnered together to translate their existing face-toface training materials for select programs into successful online programs. We developed a PRMIA-branded version
of NextThought’s learning platform complete with online administration and support.

K20 Center Leadership Training Program

K20_CenterOver the past 12 years, K20 Center has provided faceto-face leadership training to more than 2,000 principals and superintendents in Oklahoma. In spite of positive feedback about their training content, K20 Center has been
unsuccessful in generating participant loyalty or any sense of community with its attendees. K20 Center has partnered
with NextThought to create increased engagement and an enduring community for its membership. We
provide a community learning platform as well as design, storyboarding, and production of learning videos that
demonstrate workshop information more effectively than traditional presentations.

ILED Certification Program

iled_logo_3line_hrz1The Institute for Learning Environment Design is launching a new certification program for Learning Environment Architects. ILED relies on its certificate training for sustainable revenue and needs to deliver a differentiated product that will give it a solid market position. ILED has partnered with NextThought to create a successful certification program launch through marketing assistance that includes market research and program promotion. We also provide video production, learning design, and an online community to connect program participants, industry experts, and potential employers.

Social Learning: The Next Big Wave for Associations

NextThought team
About the Author NextThought team

Our mission... To constantly explore innovative ways to rethink education. We engage learners, build community, and deliver value. We will always go above and beyond standard learning solutions, providing perfectly-tailored educational experiences for our clients and their audiences.

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