Welcome to your FutureLearn Product Update for September. In this update, we will cover:
- Platform Transformation Update
- Learn at your own pace experimentation and testing
- Known issue: audio player not playing mp3 files in Firefox and Safari
Features and updates
1. Platform Transformation Update
We are continuing to make excellent progress with our transformation project. Work kicked off earlier this year on the development of a new, user-centric course builder. We have recently reached an important milestone, the delivery of a simplified end-to-end course build experience in which a user can:
- login and logout of our new course builder
- setup a simple course with a unique id, title and a description of the course
- add rich-text blocks of content to their course
- build, edit and preview their new course within a single screen
Next up, we will be focussing on adding variety to the types of content that course builders are able to add to their course, as well as starting work on an asset library - allowing course builders to upload media assets to a repository, from which they can be added to their course.
If you would like to hear more about the upcoming work the team will be delivering, or take part in user research to inform the development of our new course build experience please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
We will be sending monthly progress updates ahead of our next development milestone, currently scheduled for release at the end of the year.
2. Learn at your own pace experimentation and testing
During October and November, the Growth team will experiment with our freemium limits by making ‘learn at your own pace’ a premium feature for Upgraded Access short courses.
Our data shows that free learners don’t stick to our course timelines, instead they rush through and are 4x less likely to pay. Only 17% of free learners stick to course timelines, 63% are faster and 20% are slower.
Learners will still be able to learn for free, but they will need to follow the timelines set out in the course schedule. Content will unlock week-by-week with timelines and limits clearly stated throughout the learning experience.
If a learner does want to learn faster than the course timelines there will be newly introduced prompts to pay making it easy for them to subscribe or Upgrade.
To match this new user journey, newly built emails will be sent to free learners alerting them when a new week of the course is open.
By making ‘learn at your own pace’ a premium feature we hope to increase conversion and retention of our paid options. This doesn’t take away free learning but it does introduce some friction to the free experience.
3. Known issue: audio player not playing mp3 files in Firefox and Safari
Our provider is currently facing an issue with their audio players that affects learners using Firefox or Safari. For newly created Audio steps, we have mitigated the problem by restricting accepted file formats to mp4 to be uploaded into Course Creator. For existing Audio steps, we have forwarded all detected problematic files, and our provider has fixed them in our courses. We are waiting for further updates about this issue being resolved. If you spot any audio files not working in your courses, please let us know!
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