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Rob Reynolds
Works at NextThought, LLC
Attended University of Texas at Austin
Lives in Norman, Oklahoma
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Rob Reynolds

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I work with many course designers and instructors who ask, "How can I make my content more engaging and collaborative?" The answer, for the most part, has little to do with the content they already have (text, images, video, activities), but rather with the learning design framework they're placed it in. In this post, I take a specific look at video and how we can re-purpose talking heads and other information video types for maximum collaboration and learning impact.
Here’s some good news – content is not the problem. The difference between online courses that are static and dull and online courses that are dynamic and interactive is seldom a result of the content. The solution to design...
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Rob Reynolds

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This is the latest in my series of posts about different NextThought partners and the interesting models they are creating around communities and connected learning. At Oklahoma Christian, we are working with Director David North to create a cohort-based, connected-community model for their Computer Science  program. It is an interesting challenge and, even in the pilot, shows great promise.
In this post, I want to share the work we’ve been doing in partnership with OC’s Professor David North to create and deliver a connected-learning hybrid education experience at Oklahoma Christian University.
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We won't be finalizing the reports and presenting recommendations to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education until next month, but we're far enough along that I can share a preview of the work our amazing faculty and staff in Oklahoma have done on this project to advance online learning in state universities and colleges. It has been a profound pleasure being able to work with such dedicated and talented professionals.
For almost six months, NextThought has been working with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE), as well as with representatives from public universities and colleges in Oklahoma, to explore opportunities for...
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Rob Reynolds

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In this latest learning design post I talk about my research and thinking related to going "deeper" with learning design.
 
"I want to identify and understand the elemental particles that, when combined, make up the macro engagement forms we're currently studying. It's my belief we can find useful patterns at this micro particle level that will assist us to develop learning design models that will increase student engagement in courses."
 
#learning #onlinelearning #connected
Much of our current work at NextThought with our partners focuses on designing learning environment models that will generate increased learner engagement and network activity. In this post, I want to share a line of thinking...
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I really enjoyed this post by +Harold Jarche on connected leadership in organizations. Many lessons here for learning design across all segments.
 
"My conclusion for a while has been that knowledge cannot be managed, and neither can knowledge workers. It will take a new social contract between workers and organizations in order to create an optimally functioning enterprise."
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I hadn't seen this post by Dan Meyer, but I agree with his conclusion: "I think we're seeing a level of human creativity unknown since the time of da Vinci."
Watch some students play our new Marbleslides activity. In the first example, Maggie and Claire exemplify basically all of the mathematical practices and then some as they try and fail and try and …
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Rob Reynolds

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I'm getting ready to share our final report and recommendations with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and wanted to share this brief preview from the section on affordable content. I continue to be really encouraged about the opportunities coming out of this collaboration between Oklahoma institutions.
The decision about what learning materials are used in a course remains the domain of faculty. One obvious key to effecting increased affordable content adoptions – and thus reducing costs and boosting efficacy (see here and ...
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This the first post in a new weekly series on Learning Design for online and hybrid learning. I thought I would start off with a common request I get from our partners, which happens to deal with the dreaded Passive Information->Passive Information->Passive Information->Passive Information>Quiz model. My goal with these posts is to provide high-level design solutions that can be extended to almost any technology or environment.
 
#learningdesign #connectedlearning #onlinelearning
A frequent question I hear from our partners is, “How can we make our online course content more engaging for the learner?” In this post, I want to discuss a common lesson model I encounter and the high-level solutions I norm...
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Rob Reynolds

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I'm extremely pleased to announce our plans to develop a #growthmindset program designed to integrate parents as formal success coaches in Oklahoma public schools. Our goal is to increase capacity in our schools by partnering with parents and creating a culture of success in which our children can thrive. We want to create a program that is flexible and sustainable, and that can be adopted and implemented throughout Oklahoma at no cost to districts or schools. I promise to share more details in the coming months, as we build out the program for fall pilots.
 
#connectedlearning
At NextThought, we're focused intently on the power of learning communities to increase capacity in formal education systems. That's why we've been spending considerable time of late thinking about how to leverage models of c...
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I certainly have my favorite television programs that I like to "binge watch" via Netflix or Amazon. After reading an article about the changes in episode design to encourage and accommodate new viewing behaviors for streaming media, I began wondering what it might look like if we designed online courses for "binge-learning."
A recent New York Times article talked about the new streaming entertainment channels created by Netflix and Hulu, and how their shows are designed specifically for binge-watching. This made me think about the suitability o...
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I'll admit that, as much as I have written about e-books and e-textbooks in the past, these days a post like this surprises me a bit. My reaction when reading this was, "Oh, their still talking about that?" It's not that it isn't relevant, mind you. It's just that, from  technology perspective, I feel like education and digital content are moving beyond the "book" and "textbook" paradigm. There are other conversations to be had.
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Nice quote from Tim Stahmer in his summary of a recent EdSurge piece on MOOCs -- "Because, as best I can understand from reading EdSurge, MOOCs are all about the business, not learning."
 
This is consistent with what +Laura Gibbs wrote yesterday about a post on where different education trends fall on the hype cycle. Laura asked, quite simply, "Where is the pedagogy?" Following Tim's suggestion, perhaps it was jettisoned in favor of business. Of course, great pedagogy and learning design can also make for good business.They just take a bit more time and expertise.
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+Rob Reynolds What's nice is that the same ethos of design there is also such a good ethos for student achievement too: we need to communicate; they need to communicate... we need to use technology effectively; they need to use technology effectively... which means we really can all, instructors and students alike, be cooperating far more than is normally assumed. COLEARNING rocks. :-)
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366 people
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Work
Occupation
Chief Product Officer
Employment
  • NextThought, LLC
    Chief Product Officer, present
    I work with the talented team at NextThought to develop a unique, online course delivery solution designed for connected learning. As a company, we are committed to making a difference by creating a next-generation platform that allows people to teach and learn through interactivity, collaboration, and rich, connected content.
  • MBS Direct Digital
    Director
  • Xplana Learning
    Co-Founder Chief Product Officer
  • Cengage Learning
    Vice President Digital Solutions Group
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Norman, Oklahoma
Previously
Columbia, Missouri
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Introduction
I'm an educational technologist and product designer with a unique perspective derived from decades of experience as a technologist, faculty member, administrator, educational publisher, educational content distributor/retailer, and industry analyst.
Education
  • University of Texas at Austin
    Spanish, 1985 - 1992
  • Abilene Christian University
    Spanish, 1977 - 1981
  • Texas Tech University
    Spansih, 1981 - 1983
Basic Information
Gender
Male