Welcome to your FutureLearn Product Update for October.
This month we’re excited to tell you about:
- Left hand navigation and Header in Course Creator
- Upcoming changes to Course Creator with the introduction of Rich Text Editor
- Markdown in comments
- External tools enabling content to be embedded in steps
- Facilitation windows to let learners know when a course is facilitated
- Upcoming changes to the Facilitation Dashboard
- Category Changes in Looker
Course Creator: Left Hand Navigation and Header
To improve the content creator experience by simplifying the navigation within Course Creator, we have introduced the left hand navigation and header. It will allow users to easily navigate through weeks, activities and steps, in one consistent location. The breadcrumb now links users to where expected while navigating and are not confident in how to get back.
The goal is to reduce the number of clicks while navigating between content, leading to a reduced time to create courses and less frustration for users.
Upon releasing this feature, we also added a method of gathering feedback, which will allow us to better monitor the impact of adding the side navigation to Course Creator.
Coming Soon! Rich Text Editor in Course Creator
The Content Creation team will be introducing the rich text editor to Course Creator. This will be embedded into steps currently requiring markdown. Introducing the rich text editor will make it more user-friendly to add content, reducing frustration and speeding up the process.
Learner Experience: Markdown in comments
We have released a feature to enable markdown in comments which allows learners to add code, scientific notation and basic formatting to their posts. This can be enabled at a run level, an example can be seen below. This article provides more information about how to set this up, and use cases for the feature.
External tools: enabling content to be embedded in steps
It is now possible to add iframes of external content and tools directly into step content, rather than having to use an Exercise step. This enables the use of external content alongside videos, for example for a code-along exercise, or with article content. Details on how to use this feature can be found here.
This is particularly useful for technical subjects, for example with tools like Trinket that provide browser based coding environments. See this deck for more information about FutureLearn Tech and Coding features.
Facilitation windows: letting learners know when a course is facilitated
Facilitation windows allow educators to communicate periods of time that an On Demand course is being actively facilitated. This means that learners can choose to join a course while the Educator is available, or according to a timeline that works better for them. An example of how this appears on Course Description Pages can be seen below. More details can be found in this article.
Coming soon: changes to the Facilitation Dashboard
The LX product team is about to launch some changes to the Facilitation Dashboard, to make it much easier to monitor and respond to learner comments. The aim is to provide the necessary features for facilitators away from the activity tab, which may be changed later.
Changes to the dashboard include:
- enabling all comments to be viewed in the dashboard
- allowing replies and likes to be made directly
- enabling more filtering to support facilitator teams
This page can be found at: futurelearn.com/admin/courses/”course-slug”/”run-number”/facilitation
Category Changes in Looker
The course categories in the Looker short course dashboards now reflect the categories that are surfaced on the FutureLearn website.
Changes made below:
- The ‘Health and Psychology’ is no longer available in the data. This category was split into ‘Psychology and Mental Health’ and ‘Healthcare and Medicine’ in 2020. All 3 categories were originally kept in the data, as not to disrupt legacy reporting
- ‘Politics and the Modern World’ is now ‘Politics and Society’
- ‘Tech and Coding’ is now ‘IT and Computer Science’
- ‘Languages and Cultures’ is now ‘Language’