Welcome to your FutureLearn Product Update for February.
- Social prompts enabled on new courses by default
- Improved comment visibility for learners
- Introducing Rich Text Editor in Course Creator
Social prompts enabled on new courses by default
The social prompts feature was introduced earlier this year to make it easier to add courses to the platform. To recap, social prompts are discussion points chosen from a provided list and spread throughout the course, just before the comments section of a step. They aim to ask learners for reflection, promote engagement and encourage sharing tips between each other.
Following up on our successful pilot, the last stage of our rollout process is to enable this feature on newly created courses by default. The planned release is on 17 February. This means that courses created after the release will have prompts automatically assigned to eligible steps (Article, Video, Audio step types, and not more frequently than once every four steps).
It’s important to note that if you prefer to keep using your own prompts, you can disable this feature at any point. Also, if you need to change any of the prompts, you can edit them on the step itself.
To find out more about this feature, please visit this page.
Improved comment visibility for learners
The Learner Experience product team is currently working on improving the ‘Activity’ page within courses. The aim of these improvements is to make it easier for learners to engage, interact and re-engage in discussions throughout the course. They will be able to navigate between discussions on different weeks and steps by filtering, and also for example reply to and like comments in this aggregated course-level view. We hope to increase social interactions and engagement by driving learners to this page.
We are planning to launch towards the end of February and will conduct an analysis on potential traffic changes to the page. Upon release, the ‘Activity’ tab will be renamed to ‘Conversations’.
Introducing Rich Text Editor in Course Creator
We’re also excited to share that Markdown on Article steps will soon be replaced by a new Rich Text Editor.
Why are we making these updates?
- We know from your feedback that the current editing tools are too basic, with a steep initial learning curve.
- For many users, adding and editing content using Markdown is time-consuming and it also takes time switching between edit and preview modes.
- With the new Rich Text Editor, you will be able to add content more quickly and intuitively. You will also be able to copy and paste from Google Docs, and even emojis 😄 directly.
We conducted user testing with a number of partners and the feedback was very positive. Overall, partners found that the Rich Text Editor was easy to use and intuitive; it made building courses faster and more efficient.
When will the Rich Text Editor be released?
We are launching the Rich Text Editor across all Article steps in the next few weeks. You will also see the Rich Text Editor on more step types in the coming months.