Once you designed your course, written up your course content, and built your weeks and activities it’s time to add steps. Refer to the 5 Stages of Course Development List of Links for all the additional tasks required during your course build.
Add a step
The initial action to add a step is the same for nearly all step types.
- Click on the activity you have created, select ‘add a step'. Select the activity type from the dropdown.
- To format the text within the body of the step i.e. bold, italics, blockquotes, add a table, use markdown. It is also possible to switch on markdown in the comments of the course, for learners to use - this is appropriate for technical courses.
- Course Creator has an inbuilt readability checker. To find out more about the readability score and how it works download the PDF at the bottom of this page.
- If you would like to add Peer Review Assessment Steps contact email@example.com.
- You can import a step from another course belonging to your organisation by selecting import a step on the activity page in Course Creator.
- To delete a step, activity or week select the 'X' symbol next to the title.
- Use the left-hand navigation pane to flick between steps, but be sure to select update at the bottom of the step you are leaving - if you have made changes.
- Add a title, step image, alt text for the step image, and body of text.
- The first paragraph of the text will automatically appear in bold. Keep this opening paragraph to two sentences.
- Select preview at the top of the article content box to see how it will look.
- When editing article steps, you can check the ease of reading by using our readability tool at the top of the content box. Find out more about how it works by downloading the PDF at bottom of this page.
- Upload your audio file (.MP4) and add a title, any copyright information, and text.
- All audio steps require an accessible PDF transcript for learners who are hearing impaired or wish to follow the content while listening. Upload the PDF within the related links on the step and give it a descriptive title.
- We use a service called Vzaar for the hosting of audio and video. Vzaar does not encode audio files but plays them to the standard at which they were recorded. Audio should be 44.1KHz or 48KHz, 16-bit stereo.
- Ensure that audio levels are consistent to save learners having to constantly reach for the volume control.
- We suggest working with the R128 standard supported by the European Broadcasting Union, where audio levels are normalised to 23 LUFS. Read more production advice.
- Provide a title, question, and at least two answers - there can only be one correct answer.
- Always include feedback for learners and any guidance for the resulting discussion. Was there a correct answer? Consider how a learner may feel if they got the answer incorrect. Offer reassurance and explain how the topic will be discussed further in the next or following steps.
Quizzes and tests
- Add single answer questions, multiple answer questions, or cloze questions.
- Try to include an optional Introduction about what the quiz or test will cover, or how the questions will work.
- Include ‘general feedback’ and ‘individual feedback’ to all questions and answers where possible. Read more about feedback on the design assessment page. Individual feedback can come from anyone with the educator role.
- Trial your quiz or test with a few team members before the first run of a course. If a live test contains an error, the question can be ‘voided’ to ensure that learner scores are not affected. But the voided question will still be visible to all learners on the run.
- You do not need to write whether the answer that the learner chose is correct or incorrect in the feedback; the platform does this for you.
- Every field of a question accepts markdown. You can insert images, inline audio, links, or format text to question text and feedback. In the edit question screen.
- Cannot be edited once they have been created, even if the course has not started yet. To make changes to a cloze question, it must be deleted and then re-created.
- Answers are case sensitive by default but partners have the option of ignoring case sensitivity in answers and/or ignoring commas when creating a new question
- The answering space is intentionally the same size for all blanks in the quiz.
- The platform strips out all whitespace (spaces) at the start and end of blank answers, so it doesn’t matter if a learner accidentally adds another space before or after their answer.
- You can add multiple correct answers for each blank space. This can be helpful when there is a common misspelling you want to accept as correct, if there is varying capitalisation, or if there is more than one correct answer.
Exercise steps / External tools
- An additional field is available on the edit step page.
- Where available, use the embeddable versions of the external tool. This gives the best user experience by maximising the space given to the content and removing distractions like site navigation and adverts.
- With Trinket, you can do this by manually editing the URL by adding /embed to the start of the path part. So: https://trinket.io/python/3d8d7ce66b becomes https://trinket.io/embed/python/3d8d7ce66b
Alternatively, you can:
- Click on the share dropdown
- Select “Embed”
- Copy and paste the HTML code into any word processor or editor, and then copy just the URL and enter that into the “External Tool URL”. For example, in the case below, only use the bit after https:, rather than copying everything in the section entitled ‘Embed this code’.
Final step of the course
End the course by:
- congratulating learners on their accomplishments in an article or discussion step (don't end on a test or quiz).
- providing 'potential next steps' (Learner journey course criteria 7). Having reached the end of the course, learners are very likely to be motivated to learn more. This includes providing links to other related FutureLearn courses (with tracking links if possible), further reading, and links to find out more about the topics covered within the course.
View your course overview
- View your course structure in a periodic table, once you have some steps inserted.
- Select 'course overview' on the content tab, below your weeks. Select 'step types'.
- The colourful table allows you to see if you have an uneven spread of steps across activities or weeks and whether you have a variety of step types. Do you have at least one discussion step a week?
- Click on a box to navigate to the step. Hover over the box to see the step title.
Typeform embedded as an external tool:
Download the PDF below, to find out how the readability tool works.