The Course Description Page is the landing page advertising your course, it’s the only way the course is visible for Learners. If it isn’t good, Learners won’t find it or be encouraged to enrol. Potential Learners scroll through these pages (often on their phones) and use the information provided to decide whether the course is right for them.
Edit the course description page via the 'edit course run' area of Course Creator.
What are the different sections of the CDP?
Course title and description
The information you provide in the Course Proposal form is crucial. Our copywriters use this information to populate the CDP course title and description (i.e. the overview section).
By analysing keywords we can ensure that your CDP will rank highly i.e. show up at the top of Google results when potential Learners are searching relevant terms.
This requires researching terms that are searched for a lot vs terms that already appear on so many pages that we could never rank highly. This is optimisation.
What we don’t wish to do is misrepresent course content by optimising a page using unrelated or broader keywords. The page may get more visitors, but fewer would enrol, and those who do, will be disappointed by the course. It’s about accuracy and pitch. If your course title is ‘introduction to’ then the content can’t assume prior knowledge. If it’s ‘Why the x did x’ then the content needs to answer this question and not only explain how something happened. Learners are not afraid to tell us in their reviews of they feel misled!
What we know:
- Long overview sections, describing courses, including multiple subheadings and including highly optimised keywords, get higher enrolments.
- Clear, descriptive and relevant titles are key.
- The title, introduction (below the title) and overview subheadings are key to helping the CDP rank well.
We are constantly testing, experimenting and analysing what works best. Trust us to create pages that will bring the most Learners to your rich content. Provide us with as much information as possible - in the course proposal - to allow us to do that.
Sadly, because our copywriters are so busy, they are not available to speak to partners. They are working on 100's of CDPs at a time.
Your project lead will receive an email when your CDP copy is ready to be reviewed.
Please note that the course title and description are locked from any edits at this stage.
Reviewing the CDP
When the CDP is ready (4-week turnaround) we send it to you to review for any glaring issues i.e. accuracy in reflecting your course content.
If you do wish to suggest changes, which are more than a tweak to one word, please request the copy document for your course and we can send it to you to amend with comments (so that we can see the before and after).
Please don’t make changes to the copy in Course Creator.
The course image will represent your course across the platform and will be used to promote the course to new learners. The process for selecting an image is collaborative.
If you have an image you wish to use you will be asked to provide this as early as possible.
If you are providing your own image, please supply FutureLearn with an image at a minimum dimension of 1600 x 1066 px (a ratio of 3:2) and be sure to keep your most important content in the centre. Images should not contain watermarking or include logos, including that of the partner. For more information see: How do I source and add good course images?
If you do not have an image in mind, our design team will help to source one for you from stock image libraries or create something original.
We also encourage you to use the course image as part of your promotional activities.
Course duration and length
Number of weeks gives learners an indication of how much time they may need to set aside to complete the course. The duration shown is pulled directly from the number of weeks you have added to the course in Course Creator in the 'Content' tab.
Please ensure the correct number of weeks is in place before the course is opened for enrolment.
Hours per week indicates how much time is required to study per week.
Remember to allow time for discussion with other learners when estimating the number of hours of study required.
To set the study hours required, click ‘Edit course run’ in Course Creator then scroll down until you see ‘Hours per week’. Here you can select the appropriate number from the drop-down menu.
Prices are set by FutureLearn's pricing team, taking into account factors such as market research, historic data, endorsements and specifics about the course.
Trailers should be short - ideally two minutes or less - and should succinctly explain what the course is about, who it is for, and what makes it distinctive.
Avoid unnecessary jargon/acronyms and be aware of the complexity of language you use as some learners may have English as an additional language.
FutureLearn graphics are required on all trailers. Please see our Video Step Guidance for information and to download the necessary assets.
All trailers require subtitles.
A short list of bullet points outlining the key themes of the course. This will appear on the course description page under 'What topics will you cover?' and on the Certificate of Achievement transcript.
Avoid using verbs and the past tense, and do not mention “learners”. If the list is long, break it up with sub-headings, based on each week’s theme – for example, “Week 1 – Introduction to Cellular Networks and their Planning”.
Course description pages can now feature a more detailed syllabus which is populated using course content. This new feature is referred to as 'Automatic Syllabus'.
When the automatic syllabus feature is switched on, learners will see a week by week breakdown, with a drop down that enables them to see the content activity by activity:
The new syllabus provides learners with more detail about what they can expect to be covered within each week of a course. We think this gives them more confidence that the course will meet their needs and encourage learners to join the course.
The automatic syllabus feature can be enabled on any open course or microcredential description page. It is reliant on the content being present in course creator, and being ready to publish - the Week titles and Activity images, titles and descriptions are pulled from the course content. It will be enabled by our team as standard practice for all new courses and reruns.
Most of our courses are on-demand, allowing more Learners to access your content and freeing up educators to facilitate as and when they are available. Facilitation is not compulsory on short courses, and no facilitation takes place on Expert Tracks.
If your educators decide to actively facilitate your course for a period of time; replying to learners and answering their questions, we refer to this as a facilitation window. Add the dates in course creator in the facilitation tab in the top right, and they will show on the CDP. Learners may then decide to enrol when they know their will be active facilitation.
A short list of bullet points outlining what a learner will be able to do by the end of the course. This will appear on the Certificate of Achievement transcript and the course description page under the heading “What will you achieve?”
Each bullet point must start with one of the verbs listed in the Learning Outcomes section. They should enable learners to reflect on their learning, and explain or demonstrate it to other people, such as employers or academic institutions.
Learning outcomes must be added at a Course Level under the 'Details' tab by Authors or Organisation Admins.
The course educator is the face of the course, the person or persons who will be leading the course online. Setting up a profile is easy and can only be done by the individual by clicking 'register' on the FutureLearn landing page.
Once registered you can add a profile photo and short bio.
Educators are added to the CDP by Organisation Admins in the 'Course Educators' area of Course Creator found in the 'Details' tab.
Once clicked this will take the user through to the educator’s profile.
If your course involves any external organisations they can be listed on the course description page.
To add these organisations to your course page, please provide us with:
- PNG and vector files of the organisation’s logo. The vector file must be in .eps, .ai, or .svg format.
- The URL of the organisation’s web site
- For co-creators only: a short description of the organisation, 200 characters or less including spaces
- For accreditors only: a short description of the accreditation specific to the accrediting body (required) and a general description of the accreditation on the course (optional). A course may have more than one accreditor.
Please note there is a maximum of three co-creator logos in addition to your own logo on the course description page and certificate.
FutureLearn have implemented learner reviews and ratings on short courses. Reviews and ratings are presented on course description pages and course cards. Please see our Ratings and Reviews FAQs for more information.
You can add up to 2 learner testimonials on any course. To see this option, go to the ‘Edit course information’ button. Scroll to the bottom of the ‘Edit course information’ view to see the ‘Testimonials’ section.
Clicking ‘Add testimonial’ will take you to a new view where you can add the detail of your testimonial. You will need to add the source (learner name) and their quote. You also have the option of adding a short descriptive phrase for the source (e.g. L&D Manager). The testimonials will then appear on the course description page for every run of the course.
Character limits and the CDP layout
Can I change the order of the CDP sections? No, the pages are standardised. We are continually researching if the pages could perform better if they were reordered.
The sections also have character limits, which are built into the platform and cannot be changed.
Short Course CDP character limits including spaces:
- Course title: 200
- Introductory sentence: 130
- First subheading of Overview: 80
- Overview: 1800
- Who is this course for? 255
Expert Track CDP character limits including spaces:
- Title: 130
- Introduction: 130
- About title (first heading in the about section): 80
- About (description): 2500 characters
- Experience (are you eligible for this Expert Track): 600
- Getting started (is this ET right for you?): 600