The following article outlines the most recent product updates including the launch of microcredentials and various improvements to Course Creator.
Showcasing our priority portfolio
- We have updated the main navigation on FutureLearn to highlight our priority portfolio areas (Business & Management, IT & Computer Science, Teaching, Healthcare & Medicine)
- The highlighted areas link directly to each subject page.
Changing categories to subjects and renaming some subject areas
- As part of a bigger piece of work we have made some changes to our subject areas.
- Categories have now been changed to subjects because this is better understood by learners.
- To better reflect our portfolio and make it easier for learners to find courses, we have introduced a new subject called “Psychology and Mental Health” as well as “Healthcare & Medicine”.
- We have also changed our URL structures so that they are better recognised by Google and will hopefully improve our search ranking in the long term.
Microcredentials have gone live on FutureLearn
- Microcredentials are accredited, online qualifications designed to help learners build specialised skills relevant to their careers. They offer valuable learning without the time and cost commitment of a full degree.
- This first suite of microcredentials on the platform are from some of the most innovative universities in the world including The Open University, Deakin University, The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE), Monash University, Dublin City University, and Queensland University of Technology.
- If you’re interested in running a Microcredential with FutureLearn speak to your partnership manager.
Global ranking and other key facts about your organisation
As mentioned in the last product update, FutureLearn can now add key facts about an organisation on Course Creator. This is presented in an improved partner module on Course and Microcredential description pages.
Speak to your partnership manager to have the following data added to your organisation:
- Date founded
- Global ranking (Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, Shanghai Ranking's Academic Ranking of World Universities)
Importing steps and activities between runs
There are several ways of importing step content from one run to another and previously partners could import the entire run. Now we’ve made it possible for you to import a specific activity, or step.
These actions will not delete any existing content.
Links in the content will automatically update to point to the new run.
Importing a step
- In Course Creator, navigate to the activity of the run you wish to import a step into.
- You will see an Import step button on the right of the Steps header.
- Clicking the button will reveal a form: select the run and the step you wish to import.
- There are some steps that cannot be imported as they rely on other steps and need to be created in a particular order, these are; Group steps, Peer review steps and Tutor marked assignment steps
- In Course Creator, navigate to the week of the run you wish to import an activity into.
- You will see an Import activity button on the right of the Activities header.
- Clicking the button will reveal a form: select the run and the activity you wish to import.
When you submit the form, the activity will be copied and added at the bottom of the Activities list.
Simplifying adding steps
- There is now a drop-down list where you can select a step to add to your activity. There are many types of step that can be added to an activity and previously a series of buttons listing all step types were displayed on the page to select or deselect, making the page busy and overwhelming.
- Now, when you go to ‘Add step’ a drop-down list will appear where you can choose which type of step to add.
Link checking and updating tools
We have shipped two tools which update and check links within a course run.
- Course content often contains links to other pages within a course run. When you import content from one run into another run of the same course, the link updater tool analyses the content of each step and attempts to update the link to point to the same content in the new run.
- The link updater runs automatically in the background when you import content from one run into another. It will detect links to steps, weeks and the run progress page, but not links to other pages within the course run, such as the activity feed. It will also not update links in emails.
- You do not have to do anything special to activate this feature.
- When creating and duplicating content, it can be hard to avoid introducing broken links, or links that point to a different course run.
- The link checker tool collates all links for a course run and displays them in one place. It can also be used to detect broken links and links that point to a different run of the same course. The link checker does not work on course emails or certificates. It only works on links within the content of a run.
- To use the link checker, navigate to the course run page, click on the Content tab and Course links summary.
Organisation Admins can now assign multiple permissions at once
- It’s now quicker to allocate combinations of permissions to team members by removing radio buttons and replacing them with checkboxes, allowing more than one permission to be assigned at a time.
- Admins can select multiple permissions for multiple recipients at once when the form has been completed all of the selected permissions are added to the specified team members.
- If any of the specified team members already have some or all of the selected permissions, only the permissions that they are missing are created.
Adding step count to weeks and activities
There is now a step count within the content area of Course Creator which shows you how many steps you’ve added to weeks and activities so that it is easier to navigate to pages which require content.
Adding thumbnails to course trailers
You can now select a thumbnail for course trailers.
You can edit the poster frame either with an uploaded image or a specific moment within the video via the Trailer page.
Surfacing the date and time for video uploads
We’ve made it possible to surface the time and date of when videos are uploaded so that you can quickly identify this making it easier to tell which version of the video has been uploaded and whether the video might need updating.
Add week button
We have replaced the ‘New week’ page with a drop down form on the content page meaning you’re no longer taken to a new page when adding weeks.
Programs are now ordered newest to oldest
We have updated the ordering of your programs and program runs so that they are now listed newest to oldest making it easier to access current runs.