Invite only (non-degree) courses enable you to run courses for specific, closed cohorts of learners. These courses often include a high level of educator facilitation.
Invite-only courses do not appear in public FutureLearn course listings, and will not appear in Google search results. Microcredentials (which are comprised of private invite-only courses) are publicly visible, but the courses they contain are not.
Learners access invite-only courses by invitations, which you can generate, send and monitor via Learning Manager. Please speak to your Partnership Manager about the individual terms and costs involved in using Learning Manager to manage invitations.
Non-English Language courses (except Spanish and French) can be set as ‘unlisted’ and shared via the Course Description Page URL or they can be unlisted invite-only (or private invite-only - see image below).
A course proposal is not required for an invite-only short course. Invite-only courses do not undergo our Quality Assurance review. Microcredentials are the exception to this, as they are comprised of invite-only courses. To develop a microcredential you must submit a proposal, and later submit it for Quality Assurance review. The FutureLearn team will help setup your microcredential and its constituent courses.
Create a new invite-only short course
Organisation Admin permission is required to create a new course.
Create a brand new course shell that will be an invite-only course, or create an invite-only version of an open upgrade course. In this case, a new course shell is required following the instructions below, then import the course content from the upgrade course into the shell.
- Select the 'Courses' tab in course creator.
- Select ‘Create New Course’ button on the right
- Insert the ‘slug’ for the course i.e. the wording you wish to appear at the end of the URL this must not include spaces, be all lower case and include ‘-’ between each word.
- Be sure to set the correct ‘course type’ - Private invite-only
- Insert Course title (‘short title’ field)
- Insert the Introduction (the sentence that goes below the title on the Course Description Page
- Insert the course description (1800 characters including spaces)
- Insert who is the course for, a start date, a shortlist of the content covered (syllabus), learning outcomes starting with active verbs, and the number of weeks and hours.
- Click to ‘Create’ your course shell
- You can return to ‘course run details’ in the details tab to review the information inserted and to insert your course image.
- Much of the information will populate the Course Description Page, which learners will see on acceptance of their invitation to join the course.
If you wish for any third-party organisation logos to appear on the Course Description Page, please send all the required information to email@example.com.
Build your course
- Follow our guidance for course design and course build.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to include any non-standard features in your course (for example, groups, peer review, or portfolio assessment)
- Invite-only courses do not feature the standard FutureLearn in-course surveys. If you would like to survey your learners, you will need to set up your own surveys
- All invite-only courses must meet the same QA standards expected of public courses. Use our QA criteria to complete your own review internally.
- Weekly emails you can populate, leave with our standard text or disable.
- Certificate information must be populated before the course starts. Or notify us if you wish to de-activate certificates.
Publish the course
Email email@example.com and copy in your Partnership Manager to request your course be published. Please allow some notice, and notify us if you wish to de-activate certificates.
Asking us to publish the course will ensure the course appears in learning manager.
Send learner invites
- Once the course has been ‘published’, you will be able to send invites to learners via Learning Manager.
- Follow our guidance on how do I use learning manager page. All invitations sent through Learning Manager will expire after 6 months, or on the course run's end date - whichever occurs sooner.
- Your course will only appear in ‘courses’ in learning manager after you have sent at least one invitation to join.
- If your course isn’t appearing in the dropdown list to send out invites it most likely hasn’t been published yet.
- If learners voice that they haven't received their invites ask them to check their spam folder. If necessary, you can resend invitations from within Learning Manager.
- “My learners can’t see the course in My Learning / can’t access the course” ask learners to confirm the have are signed in with the correct account (i.e. the account with the email address that the course invite was sent to). It is likely they may be signed in with a second account.
Learners on an invite-only course need a FutureLearn account to enrol on an invite-only course. This includes accepting the FutureLearn Terms and Conditions.
Once invited via Learning Manager, learners will automatically have all the benefits of upgraded access. They will have access to all course materials (including any tests) for as long as it’s hosted on FutureLearn, and will be entitled to a Certificate of Achievement on completion.
View stats about your invite-only course in the stats dashboard - this data is anonymous and top-level.
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary