A third party supplier recommended by FutureLearn, whose services include transcription of video and audio content, generating closed captions, and providing translated subtitles. Find out more.
A course building block which is made of two or more steps. Multiple activities build up into a week.
Digital accessibility aims to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skills or abilities or disabilities, can access information, technology, products, and services. We adhere as closely as possible to WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0.
A course is accredited if it is recognised or endorsed by a relevant organisation, such as a professional group or regulatory body. Gaining accreditation adds value for learners on your course.
A short description of an image on a web page, which is used by assistive technologies such as screen readers enabling visually-impaired users to access the web. It is a requirement for all visual elements on a course including illustrations, graphs and diagrams. Ideally, in order to be useful, alt text should convey the same information as the image it is describing. See also Accessibility.
A type of step which can include rich text and inline images. Typically, article steps are 500-800 words and can take a variety of forms such as case studies, literary extracts or short essays.
Courses can include two types of assessment: formative assessment (to help the learner check and develop understanding) and summative assessment (to test the learner’s knowledge). Quizzes and tests are examples of assessment steps.
A type of step consisting of an audio file which the learner listens to. Find out more.
Can edit the course run and access stats and demographics dashboards. Find out more about permissions.
Our Partner blog showcases the latest updates from FutureLearn about the platform and upcoming events. Contact email@example.com for a login! On the Research Insights blog, we share regular profiles featuring outstanding courses and educators, as well as research from our teams on topics including user experience, education policy, and pedagogy. Meanwhile, learners can explore learning tips, career advice, FutureLearn updates and more via the About blog.
Certificate of Achievement
A robust way for learners to prove their knowledge upon completion of a course, Certificates of Achievement are available in physical and digital formats.
This can refer to either a type of permission allowing a user to edit a course run, or an organisation which collaborates with a partner in the production of course content.
The proportion of all learners who have who have completed (completed 90%+ of the course and achieved an overall score of 70%+ if the course is scored).
The platform we all use to create and edit FutureLearn courses.
Guidelines on making a suitable FutureLearn course that will pass our Quality Assurance (QA) process.
Course description page
A landing page for your course where visitors to FutureLearn can enrol on your course and learn more. Find out more.
The course proposal is a high-level outline of a course you’re planning to create, including a description of how long the course will take, what topics will be covered, and who the target audience is. It should be submitted to FutureLearn through Course Creator 6 to 9 months before your course start date. Find out more.
An inbox monitored by FutureLearn’s Course Delivery Coordinators. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance with course notices/emails, Course Creator functionality, account permissions, Partners Site access, or any technical issues you are experiencing with the platform.
The FutureLearn platform hosts a number of fully-online pathways leading to a degree-level qualification awarded by a university (for example a BA, MA, or MSc). They are made up of a number of closed programs equivalent to a university unit or module, and can be made up of a mixture of open and closed courses. Find out more.
A type of step where an educator actively encourages learners to respond to a specific question or questions. Find out more.
A ‘teacher’ on a FutureLearn course who has specialist knowledge of the subject. Educators don’t have to be personally involved in every course run, but they do appear as characters in course materials — for example, their names and profile pictures will be attached to quiz hints and feedback. Find out more about educator presence in FutureLearn courses.
See also Lead Educator, Primary Educator, Roles and Permissions
Course emails are sent out on a run by run basis, and include automatic welcome, weekly, and end-of-course emails, as well as additional and marketing emails which the course team can write. Find out more.
A step type used to embed third-party tools into the FutureLearn platform. All exercise steps are quality assured by FutureLearn and can be submitted via this form on this page.
A period of time (6 weeks by default) after a course has ended, but where it is still available for new learners to enrol and work through the course at their own pace. Find out more.
Interacting with and supporting learners on a course. The Facilitation Dashboard is a snapshot of learner activity to help with your facilitation. There is also a “Facilitator” permission, which allows a team member to view the facilitation dashboard in course creator without having access to edit the course materials. Find out more.
The dates when educators and mentors will be actively facilitating a course. These can be displayed on the Course Description Page so that Learners know whether to expect to see educator comments and replies. Find out more.
FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN)
An independent group created to connect academics and research students based at FutureLearn partner institutions, share research and explore shared research opportunities. Find out more.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of legislation which came into effect on 25 May 2018. It impacts how data is stored, processed and handled, and has implications for FutureLearn and its partners. Find out more.
A role given to a member of the course team who has an understanding of the FutureLearn platform and acts as a guide to learners. Find out more about roles.
Highlight steps are specific steps chosen from a course which appear on the course description page, and designed to be a curated taster of the course. Find out more.
Image displayed alongside text managed by uploading an asset within Course Creator. Automatically scales to the full width of the page. Find out more.
The leading teacher on a FutureLearn course who has specialist knowledge of the subject. Typically, they are also set up as the Primary Educator, meaning their signature is the default for course emails and course feedback (e.g. quiz and poll feedback messages). See also Educator.
A tool to convert learners on your courses into fee-paying students easily and cost-effectively. Find out more.
The equivalent of a student on FutureLearn.
A tool that allows you to invite learners to your courses giving them the upgraded experience and track their progress. Find out more.
A course which is visible to learners when they browse or search the FutureLearn website. Most courses on FutureLearn are listed and are visible on the site. Some courses such as invite-only or non-English language courses are unlisted and are not visible.
A simplified markup language which is supported in steps. It lets you format text, embed images, create tables, and more! Find out more.
A permission level which allows the marker to view the facilitation dashboard, comment in study groups, and manage tutor marked assignments for the run.
A mentor is a role assigned to a team member who has a good understanding of the course subject and helps guide course discussions.
Microcredentials are accredited qualifications designed to help learners build specialised, in-demand skills in professional areas and industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Find out more.
Checking and, where necessary, removing comments which violate FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct. FutureLearn employs a moderation agency that works on a shift basis, around the clock, every day of the year, to review comments that have been reported using the flag button.
Non-English Language Courses
Courses in which the main language of instruction is not English. FutureLearn currently offers limited support for this type of course. Find out more.
Is a course run model, whereby a course will run continuously and Learners will be able to begin learning as soon as they enrol, never waiting for a new run to begin.
Opening for enrolments
A run of an open course is opened for enrolments when the run is published. This means it’s available for learners to find and join, and learners who have added the course to their Wishlist will receive an email notification.
Steps which can be viewed by anyone, whether or not they are enrolled in a course. They can also be indexed by search engines such as Google. Steps are open by default. Compare Highlight steps or find out more.
A website of resources for FutureLearn partners. It contains everything you need to know to build a course on FutureLearn including how to use Course Creator, our learning design guidelines and our latest product updates and events.
The method and practice of teaching. FutureLearn’s learning design is based around telling stories, provoking conversation, developing skills and celebrating progress. Find out more.
A type of step you can add into your course, which actually consists of three steps: an Assignment, an Assignment Review + Assignment Reflection. Contact your Course Development Manager to add Peer Review steps to your course, or find out more here.
Permissions are assigned to users of Course Creator involved in the production/delivery of FutureLearn courses, and determine the level of access an individual has, e.g. whether they can edit all courses from a partner, a single course, or view course dashboards without editing. Read more.
The thumbnail for your video. This can be edited in Course Creator.
The Primary Educator is the team member designated as the main face seen by learners. Their name and photo will appear beside quiz and test feedback, and their name appears in the signature block of course emails. This will usually be the Lead Educator, but may be any member of the team.
A program is a series of courses by a single partner (or a small consortium working together) that has a defined set of learning outcomes and provides learners with a deeper and more valuable learning experience than a single course.
The FutureLearn page which tells other users who a user is and what they do. Public facing educators on your course should fill out their FutureLearn profile with an image and a biography. Those listed as course educators will be displayed on the course description page.
Publish a run
To open a run for enrolments by publishing the course description page, in the case of a new course, or making a new course start date available, in the case of reruns.
A type of step where learners submit their response to a multiple-choice question and can see the number of other learners who have chosen each response. Find out more.
Different to a test! A formative step. Learners have unlimited attempts, there is no scoring involved, it is open to all and can include Multiple choice and/or Cloze (embedded answer) questions. Find out more.
QA (Quality Assurance)
The process all open courses on FutureLearn go through to make sure they comply with the Course Criteria. We look at aspects of the course including structure, social learning, accessibility, and technical accuracy, and give feedback to help make every course the best it can be.
A type of permission which allows a user to view course content before the course run starts.
One “edition” of a course, which starts and ends on specific dates. Learners can enrol from the time it is published until the end of the extended enrolment window, but course content is only available to them after the start date.
A user’s label on a course that signals to learners who they are, e.g. Lead Educator, Educator, Mentor or Host. Not the same as Permissions! Find out more.
A practice course where you can experiment with course design and explore Course Creator. It cannot be published.
You can view a schedule of all your courses within Course Creator including start date, end date and extended enrolment window. You can also see a schedule of all upcoming FutureLearn courses.
An important element of FutureLearn’s pedagogical approach is the idea of social learning: that people learn better together. See also Pedagogy.
A dashboard (found in the ‘Stats’ tab of the run area of Course Creator) where you can access data about learners’ participation in a run. The Stats dashboard updates automatically overnight.
The smallest building block of a FutureLearn course. There are several types of step that you can use – find out more.
FutureLearn’s internal creative ‘agency’ that can provide a tailored package of course production or and/or consultancy services. Find out more.
There are some surveys to gather data about learners built into the FutureLearn platform, including the post course survey and weekly sentiment survey. Partners can also use their own surveys if they meet our research guidelines. Read more about surveys.
The process of bidding for large projects supported by Government funding. FutureLearn is increasingly working with partners to jointly bid for these projects.
Different to a quiz! A summative step. Learners have 3 (maximum) attempts, there are 3 points per question, with 1 point lost for each incorrect response, only upgraded learners can access them and they can include Multiple choice and/or Cloze (embedded answer) questions. Keep in mind that learners need to complete all tests in a course (and achieve an overall course score of 70% or more) to earn a certificate — for formative assessment it may be best to use quiz steps instead!
Tracking links are hyperlinks which have a special code added to the end of them, which allows anybody analysing traffic or user journeys to tell how many learners came to a page via a certain channel. We have a tracking link tool in our Marketing tab in Course Creator. Find out more.
Partners may create a trailer video for their course description page if they wish. All trailers require the FutureLearn logo animation at the beginning.
Tutor marked assignments
A step within a run that enables a learner to submit a written piece in response to a question set by the course provider. Tutor Marked Assignments are integrated with Turnitin Feedback Studio. Find out more.
A business model introduced in March 2019 that allows learners to take as many courses as they like from the FutureLearn catalog for a one-off annual fee. Excludes paid-for courses, degrees and invite-only courses. Find out more about FutureLearn Unlimited.
Most open courses are on our upgrade business model, meaning for a single price we offer learners unlimited access to the course, a Certificate of Achievement and access to any tests.
A type of step. Consists of an audiovisual presentation uploaded in .MOV or .MP4 format with a title, description and a transcript. Find out more about creating great video content for FutureLearn courses.
Live video events held on the Partners site, discussing best practice, insights and new product updates. Webinars are recorded and uploaded after the event.
A week is made up of activities. A single week typically contains 20-25 steps.
An area where learners can comment, access related links and talk to other learners after enrolling on a course but before the course begins. Find out more.
X Y Z
An area where learners can keep track of courses, programs and degrees they have enrolled on, check their progress, view their Wishlist, and more.