Course Content

Supported Content

Below is a list of the types of content NextThought supports as well as descriptions of each. In a later section, we will discuss how this material is organized. Please note that supported materials are always being updated. If you do not see the type of material you want to support for your course, please contact NextThought.

  • Readings
  • PDFs, Slides, and Other Downloadable Materials
  • Videos (From Kaltura, Vimeo, YouTube, Storyline, and others)
  • Video Transcripts
  • Assignments and Self-Assessments
  • Discussion Forums
  • External Links
  • Surveys and Polls
  • Timelines
  • Images and Video Reels
  • Webinars
  • LTI Tools

Reading Materials

Reading materials can be hosted on the platform or embedded on the platform through another format such as a PDF. Notes can be created beside all types of readings.


Create fully interactive text to display on the platform by using our authoring tools. Please see “Create a Reading” for more information.


  • Highlight and add sharable notes to specific sections of the text.
  • Select and define words.
  • Add links, polls, assessment questions, videos, images, block
    quotes, code blocks, footnotes, timelines, and more.
  • Easily navigate multiple pages with paging tools.

Embedded PDFs


This type of reading displays a static PDF inside of the platform. Learners can scroll through the PDF, read, download, and print it, and can add notes to the side of the displayed PDF.


Videos enhance learning by introducing course lessons, demonstrating ideas, and engaging learners.


Videos can appear in a lesson or they can be included inside of other content such as readings, discussions, or assignments. NextThought can assist you in creating professional videos to enhance your lessons, or we can incorporate any prerecorded YouTube, Kaltura, or Vimeo video into your course.


Please contact NextThought if you are interested in using our Video Team and Learning Designers to assist you in creating videos. Our Video Team works both in-studio and on location. Visit to learn more.


Video transcripts allow learners to search for keywords, add contextualized notes, and review the video’s transcript at their own pace.

Every video can have an attached transcript, and NextThought assists instructors in creating transcripts for videos. Transcripts appear beside the video and offer many benefits for learners. Transcripts allow learners to simultaneously watch the video and read the transcript. It also allows users to add contextualized notes, search for keywords in the video’s text, and jump to a specific place in the video by selecting a section of the transcript’s text. Transcripts can also feature slides to allow users to conveniently view the slides that correspond with the ones in the video.

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The transcript player has three views and also a gallery displaying all videos in the course. To play the video in full screen, split video, or split transcript view, select the dropdown arrow displayed in the upper panel of the player. To preview all videos within the course within the gallery, click the icon to the left of the transcript view dropdown.


Assignments and Self-Assessments

Test learners’ comprehension of the material or give them an opportunity to test themselves with assignments and self-assessments.

Assignments and self-assessments can be added to any lesson. Self-assessments can also be included within a reading. Each assignment or self-assessment can include downloadable documents, links, and embedded videos and images. Each question can also include tips and hints for that question, as well as display the solution once the assignment has been submitted. Displaying tips, hints, and solutions are optional.



  • Choose from several different Question Types. To see a list of question types supported, visit “Assignment and Self-Assessment Question Types.”
  • Include downloadable documents, links, or embedded videos or images.
  • Display optional  tips, hints, and solutions for each question.
  • Set assignments to grade automatically upon submission (with the exception of essays, uploads, graded discussions,  and participation points, all which require manual grading).
  • To learn about more options and features, please see the
    Create an Assignment.

Question Types

Listed below are the types of questions we support in assignments and self-assessments. If you do not find a question type compatible with the type of assessment you have, please contact us and we’d be happy to assist you.

  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Answer
  • Ordering
  • Word Bank (Matching)
  • Mathematical Notation
  • Short Answer
  • Essay
  • File Upload
  • Discussion
  • FEATURE: Timed
  • FEATURE: Randomization
  • FEATURE: Question Bank
  • FEATURE: Gradebook Entry

Multiple Choice


Allows learners to select the best possible answer out of a list of solutions. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use when the answer to the question asked is a single sentence or statement.

Multiple Answer


Allows learners to select multiple answers out of a list of solutions. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use when the answer to the question asked is potentially more than one sentence or statement.



Allows the learner to arrange data and information into the appropriate order. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use when the solution requires a specific ordering of information, such as the order of steps or events.

Word Bank (Matching)


Allows learners to use a word bank to match with blank spaces in statements or phrases below. The word bank can be customized to allow a response to be used multiple times.


Best to use when answers can be left out of a statement and collected into a bank. It can also be used to match terms with definitions.

Mathematical Notation


Offers learners the use of mathematical characters in the response field.


Best to use when the solution to the problem includes mathematical notation.

Short Answer


Provides a text field for learners to type a word or short phrase as their response. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use for questions that prompt the learner to display his or her breadth of understanding and knowledge in writing. It allows for a single word or short phrase answer.



Provides learners with a text field to respond to questions in short sentences or several paragraphs. Responses are not limited in length. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use for questions that prompt the learner to display understanding in writing. This type of response requires extensive recall and extra time to complete.

File Upload


Allows learners to submit files directly to instructors for review. The NextThought platform will accept any specified file type. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use when the assignment requires a file by a program outside the NextThought platform. Instructors can download learner files.



Prompts learners to respond within course forums. The discussion is displayed within the assignment and includes learner activity information. Available to editors using authoring tools.


Best to use when participation within course discussions are not only encouraged and expected, but required and graded.


FEATURE: Randomization


Most question types allow “randomization” for the questions and/or solutions. Randomizing the questions would create a unique ordering of the questions for each learner. Randomizing the solutions would create a unique ordering of solutions for each individual.

Available to editors using authoring tools.

FEATURE: Question Bank


Allows a designated amount of questions from a larger set of questions to be randomly selected and assigned to learners. For example, five different questions can be randomly assigned to a learner from a bank of ten questions. The learner would only see and respond to those five questions.

Available to editors using authoring tools.

FEATURE: Timed Assessments


Restricts the learner to a designated amount of time to complete the assignment. A window will prompt the learner to acknowledge that the assignment is timed. The submitted assignment will indicate to both the instructor and learner if the learner submitted within the allotted time.

Available to editors using authoring tools.

FEATURE: Gradebook Entry


Allows the instructor to add a grade when one is needed for an activity that occurs outside the platform, or on another part of the platform. It does not require a submission within the assignment itself, but only acts as a grade entry.

Available to editors using authoring tools.

Discussion Forums

Engage learners and encourage participation and exploration of the lesson through discussion prompts.


The course forum displays all course discussions and can be accessed from the Discussions View. Individual discussions in the forum can also be accessed directly through each lesson. This allows access to the discussion from the Lesson View itself to contextualize the discussion within readings, videos, and assessments. Discussions may also be part of a graded assignment.

Instructor-led vs. Learner-led Discussions

Typically only instructors can create new discussion threads in the discussions and announcements forums. Learners, however, are able to create and post new topics in the general course “Forum.”


Provide documents for learners to download, interact with, and/or print.


Downloadable documents may be included as a resource within a lesson or can supplement other content types by adding them within assignments or assessments, readings, and surveys and polls.

Surveys and Polls

Create surveys and polls to collect feedback from learners.


Surveys and polls gather feedback allowing instructors to assess opinions or comprehension. Results, absent of learner names, may be displayed in graphs or charts. A survey is a single page of questions. A poll, on the other hand, only includes a single question and is located in other course material such as a reading.



Poll in reading:



Allow learners to visualize and interact with events on a timeline.


The Timeline feature allows learners to visualize the order of events as they learn about and interact with them. The Timeline includes a scrollable timeline reel with events. Above the timeline, supplementary images and text display, corresponding with the date and event selected.

Image and Video Reels

Organize supplementary videos and images into a reel.


By collecting images and videos in one place within a reading, learners can easily and quickly scroll horizontally through a collection of videos or images, clicking on them to play or enlarge.