On NextThought, there are several tools available to leverage your learning network. Establish yourself by building your profile and adding contacts. Collaborate with your network by chatting in real time, setting up groups, and interacting on group and global community pages.
Your profile houses your private and publicly viewable information as well as your activity stream.
To view your profile, click on your profile image in the upper right-hand corner. Click “View Profile.”
The about tab allows you to edit your public profile, as well as update private information about yourself like your personal email. Click “Edit Profile” to get started. Once you are done making edits, click “Save” and view your public profile as others would see it.
Your activity tab contains all of your social activity on the platform, including your discussions, notes, thoughts, and even your chat transcripts. These filters help you find activity you’re looking for. Other people can view your profile, but they will only see the activity that you’ve shared with them. In other words, they can’t view your private notes, chat transcripts, or any material shared outside a mutual course.
Your memberships tab displays your groups and communities. We discuss groups and communities in further detail below.
Add contacts to grow your learning network.
Navigate to your contacts page by visiting the chat bar located on the right-hand side of your platform and clicking on the contacts icon. If your browser window is smaller, this bar may be closed. If it is closed, you can open it by clicking on the chat icon in the upper-right hand corner.
Now, type a name into the search field, and add that individual as a contact by selecting “Add Contact.”
Contacts online will show up in the chat bar to the right.
Chat with an online contact by clicking on their profile image in the chat bar. All of your chat transcripts will be saved and can be located for later reference in your profile activity tab.
If there is a group of individuals you regularly communicate with, consider creating a group to make communication quick and easy!
First, navigate to your contacts page and click on the tab labeled “Groups.” Click on “Create Group” and type a group name.
Select “Create” to create the group. Once you create a group, it will appear on your Groups tab. Click the dropdown menu and select “View Group Code” to view and copy the group code to send to your contacts.
Your contacts will need this group code to join the group. (Instead of clicking “Create Group” they will click “Join Group” and enter the code.)
Once a group is created or joined, click on the group to visit the group page.
Group pages are the members-only meeting hubs! A group page’s activity stream will display all notes shared with the group across readings and other materials, and allows members to post a discussion directly to the group page regarding any topic such as group meeting times, project ideas, and more.
Frequently share comments with just a few people? Sharing lists make this even faster. Create a list, add people to it, and start sharing.
First, navigate to your contacts page and click on the tab labeled “Sharing Lists.” Click on “Create a Sharing List.” Type in a name to remember your list by, then search for an individual under “Add People.” As you type, search results will appear. Select a user to add them to “Members.”
You can manage, edit, and delete your list at any time. Simply use the dropdown arrow to return to the list menu.
Note: Groups and Sharing Lists serve different purposes. Groups have memberships; all learners know they are a part of the group and share a Group page. Lists, however, are private. Learners are not alerted that you’ve added them to a list, and cannot view your lists. Creating a list is just a shortcut to quickly sharing a discussion with multiple people.
While group pages offer a private meeting space for its members, the community page offers a public space for individuals to interact outside the context of a text or course. These communities are already set up by your organization or university, and can be located on your homepage, or from your memberships tab in your profile. Click on the community to view its page.
The community page offers members a space to post a topic or pose a question. It also displays course notes and forum posts shared to the community. Group members are located at the bottom left, making networking and communication easy.