Course Creation and Setup

This guide will walk you through creating a new course “shell,” as well as course setup.

Note

Please be aware that although creating a new course is reserved only as a Site Admin feature, course setup can be completed by those with editing and full access. We will discuss these roles below.

Create Course Shell

To create a new course:

  1. Click on the “Create” button in the upper right-hand corner of your admin account.
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  1. Select “Create a Course” in the dropdown menu.
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  1. Now, add the course title, a course ID, and a description. Click “Continue.”
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You can come back to edit these fields at any time.

Note

You will now continue to the Course Info page.

Edit Course Information

Opening a course allows you to edit all course information, add course tags, and manage facilitators.

To open a course,

  1. Navigate to your homepage.
  2. Find the course under “Administered Courses.” If you have many courses, you may need to click “See All” to view others.
  3. Click on the course.
  4. Click on the “Course Info” tab.

Course Info Page

Your Course Info page includes:

  • Cover Video
  • Course ID
  • Course Title
  • Course Description
  • Course Tags
  • Course Assets
  • Credits
  • Redemption Code(s)
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Meet Times
  • Facilitators
  • Completion and Certificates
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This view also allows you to manage course visibility and allows access to your admin tools.

Note

Site admins, instructors (full access), and editors (editing access) can all edit the Course Info page.

Course Visibility

Control course visibility.

To get started, click on the “Make Changes” button on the course’s Course Info page.

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Discoverable in Catalog

The “Discoverable in Catalog” field allows you to toggle course visibility within the course catalog.

  • Off: This option will keep the course private. This means that the course will not show up in the public course catalog. No one will be able to enroll in the course unless you provide them with the course redemption code.
  • On: This will allow the course to display in the course catalog. This means that when a site user clicks on the course catalog, the course will display and the learner can view basic course information and enroll in the course.

Course Status

This option defines when the course becomes available for learners to begin.

  • Draft: This option makes the course invisible to learners while you create and edit your course; however, if you want to allow early enrollment, you can set the course Status to “Draft” and Discoverable to “On.” This will allows learners to enroll, but the content will remain invisible.
  • Published: This option allows the course to be fully available to users.
  • Publish on Start Date: This option sets the course to be in course preview mode until the defined start date and time, at which time it will then become fully available to users.

Note

By default the course will be “Off” for Discoverable in Catalog and in “Draft.”

Enrollment Options

The next tab within the Ready to Launch menu allows you to turn on or off “Open Enrollment.” This option determines if the “Enroll” button is available from within the course catalog. If learners should enroll through another application instead of directly on NextThought, you can turn this option off.

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Basic Course Information

Basic course information includes the course ID, title, description, and tags. This information will display to learners.

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Course Identifier

Give your course an ID. The Course Identifier field allows you to create an organizational system for your courses. IDs can have both numbers and letters. Use this field to align with an external identification system, or create your own.

Course Title

Name your course. This course title will display on learners’ homepage as well as the catalog.

About this Course

Describe your course. This description will help learners decide if they wish to enroll in the course.

Categories

Tag courses with one or multiple tags (e.g., “Marketing”). Search for an existing tag or create a new one. These tags will create categories within the course catalog, and allow learners to browse available courses by category.

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Course Assets

Upload an image to represent your course. This image will display in the course catalog, and will be in the background of your course.

  1. Click on the “Edit” button next to “Assets.”

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  2. Upload the desired image.

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  3. Crop your image.

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  4. Click “Continue.”

  5. Preview and adjust the size of each asset.

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  6. Click “Apply Image” after all adjustments have been made.

  7. Click “Done.”

Course Credit

Allow learners to earn credit when they complete the course.

To assign a credit type to a course,

  1. Click “Edit” next to “Credits.”
  2. Use the dropdown to select an existing credit type and unit, or “Add Credit.” (If you do not see the credit type you want, please return to your Admin Tools to create a site credit type. See “Manage Site Credit” section within the Admin Guide to learn more.)
  3. Define the amount of credit.
  4. Click “Save.”
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Credit will be awarded when the user has completed the course as defined by completion of required materials. Learners can see the credit they’ve earned within their profile.

Warning

Two conditions must be met for your course to automatically award credit:

  • Course completion must be turned on (see Completion and Certificates section below).
  • Some course materials must be required.

Note

You can opt to award certificates (as well as credit) for course completion. If you allow certificates, the learner can “View Certificate” to view their completion certificate and credit. They can also view their certificates within their profile. Please see Completion and Certificates below. Certificates are automatically created on the platform. If you’d like to customize your certificate, please contact NextThought.

Redemption and Invitation Codes

Invite learners to enroll in your course through a redemption code. Redemption codes allow learners to enroll in private courses in the course catalog’s Redeem tab.

Two types of codes exist:

  • unlimited use
  • user specific, one-time use

Unlimited use redemption codes can be found on the Course Info page.

To generate an unlimited use code:

  1. Click “Edit” next to “Redemption Code.”
  2. Click “Create Code.”

Codes can also be deleted by clicking on the trashcan icon next to the code in edit mode. Once a code is deleted, learners can no longer use it to enroll in the course. Deleting the code will not affect current learner enrollment.

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To send a user specific code:

  1. Click on the Admin Tools tab on the Course Info page.
  2. Select the Roster “View Now” text.
  3. Select the “Invite” button.
  4. Enter email addresses and your personal message.
  5. Click “Send.”
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Along with your personal message, the platform will send a personalized course code (a separate code to each email) and a link to the course. When the user creates an account, they must sign up with the email you sent the invitation to in order to redeem access.

Start and End Date

Define when your course begins and ends.

  1. Click “Edit” next to either “Start Date” or “End Date.”
  2. Click the dropdown and select a date.
  3. Set a time.
  4. Click “Save.”
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Note

You can use the Start Date and time to define when the course becomes available for users. See the “Course Visibility” section above.

Note

Setting an End Date will not revoke access to the course. The course is available indefinitely as long as a learner is enrolled. If you would like to automatically revoke access to a course on a certain date, please contact NextThought.

Meet Times

Use this space to suggest times the course will meet, either online or in person. This field will not change course availability, but is an optional tool to encourage course engagement.

  1. Click “Edit” next to “Meet Times.”
  2. Select a day or days Sunday through Saturday.
  3. Enter a timeframe.
  4. Click “Save.”
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Manage Facilitators

Manage your facilitators roles, including Instructors (Full Access), Editors (Editing Access), and Assistants (Grading Access).

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  1. Click “Edit” next to “Facilitators.”

  2. To add a new facilitator:

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    • Click “Add a Facilitator.”
    • Search user(s) by name.
    • Assign a role (see roles defined below).
    • Click “Visible to Learners” if you’d like this facilitator to show on the Course Info page and homepage.
  3. To edit a current facilitator:

    • Locate facilitator on list.
    • Toggle “visible” or “hidden” via the dropdown.
    • Toggle role using the role dropdown.
    • Rename the name of the role using the text field. This is the role that displays to learners.
    • Remove a facilitator by clicking the “x.”“
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  4. Click “Save” within the course facilitator section to save your changes.

Warning

Please note, if you are currently a site admin, but would also like to facilitate the course, please make sure you assign yourself the full access role as well.

The current roles are as follows:

  • Course Facilitator: The term for course roles: instructor, assistant, and editor
  • Course Instructor (Full Access): Instructor and editor
  • Course Assistant (Grading Access): Instructor role only (no editor capabilities)
  • Course Editor (Editing Access): Editing only (no instructor capabilities)

Enrollment Management in Course Roster

The course roster has an option for site admins to enroll or drop users from the Course’s Admin Tools > Course Roster.

Selecting ”Manage Enrollment” will open a window displaying all site users and a search bar. Search for learners within the search bar and select a learner.

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After selecting a learner, the learner’s current course enrollment status will display. If they are not enrolled, you can select “Enroll User” to add them to the course.

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If the learner is enrolled, the “Enrolled” text and course information will display. The enrolled user can be removed from the course by selecting the “Remove User” button.

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Advanced Enrollment Options

Each site will have a defined set of user enrollment scopes. The “Advanced” dropdown will allow admins to enroll a learner into a specific scope.

For example, a university site may have two defined scopes: “enrolled” and “open.” By default learners may be enrolled into the “open” scope; however, using the advanced dropdown, and knowing the scopes allowed on the site, you can define the user as “enrolled” to enroll them in that scope.

Note

Please ask your project manager if you’d like to enroll a learner into a specific scope.

[Advanced] Completion and Certificates

Manage course completion and certificate options with your Admin Tools.

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  1. Select “Admin Tools.”
  2. Select “View Now” under “Advanced.”
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  • Completable: Toggle “On” to allow the course to be completable. This means that once learners complete all required course materials, they will have completed the course. When turned on, learners can track their completion progress from their Lessons page, which offers a percentage of completed materials.
  • Percentage: Define what percentage of required materials is acceptable for course completion. In other words, if you mark 10 items as required, and define Percentage as 50, learners only need to engage with 5 required items to complete the course.
  • Award Certificate on Completion: Toggle “On” to award a certificate once learners have completed the course. This means that once learners complete all required course materials, they will have the option to “View Certificate” from their Lessons page. Completion certificates are also viewable from their profile. Please note that certificates are automatically generated. If you would like to customize your site certificates, please contact NextThought.
  • Required by Default Decide which content types are required by default in order to complete the course. Please note that by default, assignments will be required. If a content type is Required by Deafult then each time you place that type in the course, it will be marked as required; however, this does not prevent you from manually removing the requirement of one within the content set.
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Note

Please note, you have several options when customizing your course with these tools:

  • Require materials, no certificate, no credit
  • Require materials, award certificate, no credit
  • Require materials, no certificate, award credit
  • Require materials, award certificate, award credit
  • No required materials (if you do not add required materials, no credit nor certificate can be automatically awarded)