- How have reviews and ratings been implemented?
- How are reviews moderated?
- Can partners reply to reviews?
- Can partners challenge a review if they think it’s inaccurate or unfair?
- What courses will have reviews? Will learners be able to leave reviews of microcredentials or degrees?
- Will first runs have reviews?
- Will re-runs show reviews from previous runs?
- What about reviews of FutureLearn as a site?
- For how long will reviews be displayed on the course description page?
- Can partners use reviews for their own promotional purposes?
- Why we’re using a third-party
FutureLearn have implemented learner reviews and ratings on short courses. Reviews and ratings are presented on course description pages and course cards. Learners expect to see reviews when looking for courses and they are a signal of credibility, demonstrating that other people have trusted FutureLearn and taken the course and have enjoyed it
Yotpo is the the third-party reviews platform we’re using to send email requests for reviews and to present the reviews on platform via widgets
See this blog post for more information on why we’ve implemented learner reviews and ratings
How have reviews and ratings been implemented?
- Learners receive an automatic email asking for a rating and a review when they have marked 90% of steps complete on a short course
- Any submitted reviews will be moderated to ensure that they align with our code of conduct
- Acceptable reviews will be published on the course description page once a course has five or more reviews
Requests are not retrospective so will only apply as learners complete courses, they won’t receive requests for previous courses.
The five review threshold is not related to the rating of the review, it’s simply a count of how many published reviews a course has. This is to protect the rating from potentially being unfairly skewed when it only has a few reviews.
How are reviews moderated?
- Yotpo’s in-house moderation team will check all reviews using guidelines based on the Code of Conduct for Reviews that reviewers will be directed to at the time of writing their review
- Moderators will then do one of the following:
- Approve and publish the review
- Escalate the review to the FutureLearn Community Team for a private or public response
- Reject the review
Can partners reply to reviews?
- Our community team will respond to reviews (in public or in private) where we decide that a response is necessary or helpful
- If the team need support with a response they will get in touch with you via your Partnership Manager
- If partners see a review that they want to respond to they can contact their FL Partnership Manager, who will contact the community team.
- It’s worth noting that we can choose to hold reviews back from publishing until we have a response, if we think it’s important to provide context. These decisions are taken by the community team as they review the escalated reviews.
Can partners challenge a review if they think it’s inaccurate or unfair?
- Partners should contact their Partnership Manager if they think a review is in breach of our Code of Conduct for Reviews, and the Partnership Manager will liaise with the Community Team.
- FutureLearn will use our Code of Conduct for Reviews to decide if it’s inaccurate or unfair and if we agree we can remove the review, or choose to not publish the review in the first place. However if it does not breach our Reviews Code of Conduct and we believe it is fair we will post the review and leave it live.
What courses will have reviews? Will learners be able to leave reviews of microcredentials or degrees?
- All of our discoverable short courses will be included. This will include taster courses for a degree but not short courses that are locked behind the paywall of a microcredential or degree.
- The reviews and ratings will be about the course and not specific to a run.
- In the future we might look to expand reviews out to other course types but because they get much smaller cohorts it might not be the most impactful way to add social proof to these courses.
Will first runs have reviews?
- When a first run opens it will not have any reviews or a rating, but it will have a ‘New’ label to indicate that this is a new course. A course is considered ‘new’ for 10 weeks from the start date.
- Re-runs might not have any reviews if the previous run was prior to the reviews implementation.
- Once learners start reaching 90% on the first or next run of a course and the threshold of five published reviews is met, the ratings and reviews will display on the Course Description Page.
Will re-runs show reviews from previous runs?
- Reviews will be displayed for courses instead of runs so that it’s only the first run of a course that doesn't have reviews and every re-run will benefit from the reviews of previous runs
- Reviews will have dates on them and so it will be clear when a review was made.
For how long will reviews be displayed on the course description pages?
- There is no cut off for reviews so reviews will continue to be displayed no matter how many there are or how old the reviews are
- The reviews will always be displayed with a date so it’s clear to learners when a review was given
- The presentation of the reviews is in a widget which has pagination, so high volumes of reviews will not negatively affect the time it takes for the course pages to load
What about reviews of FutureLearn as a site?
- Reviews of FutureLearn as a site will start to be collected in early June.
- The way this will work is that a small % of learners who would have received a course review email will instead receive a site review request.
- Our intention is that these reviews will be displayed by Google as a Google Seller Rating to improve click through rate on paid search activity.
Can partners use reviews for their own promotional purposes?
- Yes, provided you do so in the following way:
- Exercise discretion when choosing reviews to avoid reviews that contain sensitive or personal data or sensitive comments about a person’s physical or mental health, disability, or religious beliefs.
- Always anonymise the Learner Review, removing their name and other personal data in all cases
- If you’re going to use the reviews for promotional purposes please let your Partnership Manager know.
Why we’re using a third-party
- Third party review platforms provide an all-round reviews service so integrating with a third party has enabled us to gather and present reviews at scale.
- The service needed to include the following features:
- Email - to enable us to send and manage email review requests at scale
- Moderation services - to reduce the additional burden on our support and community teams
- SEO optimisation - to maximise impact of this new feature
- Front-end widgets - to enable speed to market and ongoing optimisation for presenting the reviews
- Integrating with Yotpo enabled us to gather and present reviews much more quickly than if we had attempted to build-out all of this functionality ourselves.