The course criteria best practice statements outlined below are taken from our Course Outline/QA document used during our Quality Assurance review. On top of the standard criteria, there are specific QA criteria for Microcredentials.
|Course criteria: best-practice statements
|1 - The level of content and number of learning hours matches what is advertised on the course description page. Any prerequisites/essential tools are reflected on the course description page.
We want learners to be able to plan their studies around their lifestyles. Learners are likely to leave a course if:
Each week of a course should have a relatively consistent number of steps (week 1 is ideally slightly shorter). Minimum number of steps in a week is 6. Maximum is between 20-25. Significant fluctuations each week leads to an inconsistent experience. Explore more learning design guidance.
When you are calculating the study time per week, consider learners who might need more time than others to complete the material.
Communicate with learners. Provide clear guidance on where, and on what, learners should be spending their time for learning. Explain how much time you would expect a learner to be spending on off-platform tasks.
To calculate learning hours use this rule of thumb: an 800-word article step would be roughly 10 minutes, plus the length of any video plus additional time for discussion, 15 minutes for exercises.
Insert details about required software or tools in the course run details tab in Course Creator. This will be promoted on the Course Description Page (CDP).
|2 - Effective use of narrative: the course flows well, from one step/activity/week to the next, with clear signposting to aid learners.
There should be a logical sequence through weeks and activities. Each activity should build on the last, with a clear journey towards the overall learning outcome(s) of the course.
|3 - The Learning Outcomes use the recommended verbs, are explicit and are referenced throughout the course.
Insert your learning outcomes in Course Creator in the details tab before QA. These will appear on the CDP and certificate transcript. They must start with active verbs.
Check that the step content matches the learning outcomes. Every step, marked as complete, should take the learner further towards achieving the learning outcome(s) of the course.
4. The course contains an appropriate minimum number of open steps and (if appropriate) highlight steps. Open Steps are the recommended length and include appropriate title, short description and keywords.
Choose steps that showcase the rich, compelling content within your course and which can stand alone. Their titles should stand on their own and have enough material to make them searchable.
Our Editorial Specialists can recommend suitable open and highlight steps during QA review.
Prioritise steps to be open if they:
5 - Activities are used appropriately to group steps and have appropriate images and descriptions.
Each week must have at least two activities. Each activity should be made up of a combination of step types which build towards a clear learning outcome.
Follow our guidance about creating a compelling first activity in week 1.
|6 - The step, activity and week titles are appropriate, consistent and add to the narrative of the course. All titles are written in sentence case (where only the first word and proper names are initially capitalised).
Make sure that step titles are:
|7 - Learners have an idea of the potential next steps they could take after completing the course.
Learners who reach the end of your course are very likely to be motivated to want to learn more. It can be disappointing to reach the end of the course with no next steps.
8. Weekly emails have been submitted and email content meets our requirements for accuracy and conforms with current data regulations.
Weekly emails must be submitted by 4pm the Thursday before the course start date. If an email contains any marketing or links to surveys the email will not be approved and our generic weekly email will be sent to learners enrolled on the course.
Great emails are written in the voice of the educator and act as a continuation of learning including top tips, links for further reading, teasers for the upcoming week, and personal insights. This will encourage learners to continue.
Learn more in step Three journeys, narrative, learning, assessment in 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.