The course criteria best practice statements outlined below are taken from our Course Outline/QA document used during our Quality Assurance review.
|Course criteria: best-practice statements
|1 - The level of educator support is appropriate to the course type and is communicated to learners clearly.
Most courses are now on demand and are available to learners continually. It is common for courses to have little or no facilitation.
Setting learners’ expectations about facilitation is crucial. Pin a note to an early step in the course to encourage peer-to-peer learning and word social prompts carefully - do not say "we look forward to hearing from you" as this can be misleading. See our example text.
If you decide to facilitate for short periods insert the dates into Course Creator to be promoted on the CDP i.e facilitation windows. We also have guidance for heavily facilitated courses (with sensitive or highly technical content).
|2 - Appropriate discussion prompts that encourage conversation are used throughout the course.
Article, exercise, audio, and video steps allow learner comments. Include social prompts throughout.
Include open-ended questions designed to elicit a range of answers. Provide sufficient context for a worthwhile discussion.
Questions require learners to demonstrate understanding of the immediate previous steps, preferably also drawing on their prior experience.
It should be possible to comfortably answer the question in around 1,200 characters.
Learn more about why we encourage provoking conversation.
3. There are many opportunities within the course for learners to actively engage with each other and the course content.
Minimum one discussion step is required per week.
Learners can see the step type in the to-do list of the course. A common issue faced at QA is that a course has been built with back-to-back article steps, all focused on knowledge acquisition. Learners benefit from being able to see an upcoming discussion step in the to-do list, and the opportunity to synthesise, apply, evaluate, reflect on and share their learning. Explore our design discussion steps guidance.
4. Learners are introduced to the course team who have appropriate labels and complete profiles.
In an early step of the course introduce the educators and course team. This step should not be solely administrative. Preferably this is a discussion step inviting learners to introduce themselves. Avoid academic bios. Model how to share, share personal experiences and motivations. Introductions can be centred around a big question.
Great courses have a strong educator presence/voice.
Learn more in step Social Learning on FutureLearn within Week 1 of How to Create a Great FutureLearn Course. Ask your Partnership Manager for access.
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary.