A third-party supplier recommended by FutureLearn. Services include transcription of video and audio content, generating closed captions, and providing translated subtitles. Find out more about 3Play.
A course building block which is made of two or more steps. Multiple activities build up into a week.
Digital accessibility aims to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skills or abilities or disabilities, can access information, technology, products, and services. We adhere as closely as possible to WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0.
A course is accredited if it is recognised or endorsed by a relevant organisation, such as a professional group or regulatory body. Gaining accreditation adds value for learners on your course.
A short description of an image on a web page, which is used by assistive technologies such as screen readers enabling visually-impaired users to access the web. It is a requirement for all visual elements on a course including illustrations, graphs and diagrams. Ideally, in order to be useful, alt text should convey the same information as the image it is describing. See also Accessibility.
A type of step which can include rich text and inline images. Typically, article steps are 500-800 words and can take a variety of forms such as case studies, literary extracts or short essays.
Courses can include two types of assessment: formative assessment (to help the learner check and develop understanding) and summative assessment (to test the learner’s knowledge). Quizzes and tests are examples of assessment steps.
A type of step consisting of an audio file which the learner listens to.
Can edit the course run and access stats and demographics dashboards. Find out more about permissions.
Certificate of Achievement
A robust way for learners to prove their knowledge upon completion of a course, Certificates of Achievement are available in physical and digital formats.
This can refer to either a type of permission allowing a user to edit a course run, or an organisation which collaborates with a partner in the production of course content.
The proportion of all learners who have who have completed (completed 90%+ of the course and achieved an overall score of 70%+ if the course is scored).
The platform we all use to create and edit FutureLearn courses.
Course Description Page (CDP)
A landing page for your course where visitors to FutureLearn can enrol on your course and learn more. Find out more about CDPs.
The course proposal is a high-level outline of a course you’re planning to create, including a description of how long the course will take, what topics will be covered, and who the target audience is. Find out more about course proposals.
A course shell is a pre-made template or framework for building the courses for the FutureLearn platform. It gives the creators the standardised space to add everything related to the course like the syllabus, content, assignments, quizzes, discussions, audio or video files, presentations, resources, external links etc. It enables the creators to add their own individuality to each course while still ensuring that it is well-organised and has a consistent look and feel.
Course Start Date
The date that learners will be able to access the content of your course and begin learning. In some cases courses open for enrolment (no more than 4 weeks before the course start date) to market the course and develop a cohort of learners. Most courses are now on demand and do not require an enrolment period.
An inbox monitored by FutureLearn’s Learning Technologists. Email email@example.com if you need assistance with course notices/emails, Course Creator functionality, account permissions, Partners Site access, or any technical issues you are experiencing with the platform.
The FutureLearn platform hosts a number of fully-online pathways leading to a degree-level qualification awarded by a university (for example a BA, MA, or MSc). They are made up of a number of closed programs equivalent to a university unit or module, and can be made up of a mixture of open and closed courses. Find out more about Degree programs.
A type of step where an educator actively encourages learners to respond to a specific question or questions.
A ‘teacher’ on a FutureLearn course who has specialist knowledge of the subject. Educators don’t have to be personally involved in every course run, but they do appear as characters in course materials — for example, their names and profile pictures will be attached to quiz hints and feedback. Find out more about educator presence in FutureLearn courses.
See also Lead Educator, Primary Educator, Roles and Permissions
Course emails are sent out on a run-by-run basis, and include automatic welcome, weekly, and end-of-course emails, as well as additional and marketing emails which the course team can write. Find out more about emails.
A step type used to embed third-party tools into the FutureLearn platform. All exercise steps are quality assured by FutureLearn and can be submitted via our QA submission process.
ExpertTracks are a longer and more in-depth learning experience than a standard short course and are accessible via a flexible subscription model. Each ExpertTrack may be made of one long course, or more commonly, a collection of short courses. Find out more about ExpertTracks.
A period of time (6 weeks by default) after a course has ended, but where it is still available for new learners to enrol and work through the course at their own pace.
Interacting with and supporting learners on a course. Find out more about facilitation. There is also a “Facilitator” permission, which allows a team member to view the facilitation dashboard in Course Creator without having access to edit the course materials.
The Facilitation Dashboard is a snapshot of learner activity to help with your facilitation. It can be found via the facilitation tab in Course Creator provided you have correct permission.
The dates when educators and mentors will be actively facilitating a course. These can be displayed on the Course Description Page so that Learners know whether to expect to see educator comments and replies.
FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN)
An independent group created to connect academics and research students based at FutureLearn partner institutions, share research and explore shared research opportunities. Find out more.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of legislation which came into effect on 25 May 2018. It impacts how data is stored, processed and handled, and has implications for FutureLearn and its partners.
A role given to a member of the course team who has an understanding of the FutureLearn platform and acts as a guide to learners. Find out more about roles.
Highlight steps are specific steps chosen from a course which appear on the Course Description Page, and designed to be a curated taster of the course. Find out more.
Image displayed alongside text within a step. Images can be uploaded as an asset within Course Creator. They automatically scale to the full width of the page. Find out more about inline images.
The leading teacher on a FutureLearn course who has specialist knowledge of the subject. Typically, they are also set up as the Primary Educator, meaning their signature is the default for course emails and course feedback (e.g. quiz and poll feedback messages). See also Educator.
A tool to convert learners on your courses into fee-paying students easily and cost-effectively. Find out more about lead generation
Learn at your own pace (LAYOP)
Introduced in January 2023. Learners who have joined an Upgrade model course for free can only access content week by week. In order to view all content at once, they will need to pay to upgrade or buy an Unlimited subscription.
The equivalent of a student on FutureLearn.
A tool that allows you to invite learners to your courses giving them the upgraded experience and track their progress. Find out more about Learning Manager.
A run of a course that is only open for learning for a short period of time. After the start date there is no or little extended enrolment. Limited run courses are rare and used for technical courses or courses containing sensitive content. They usually require high facilitation, a welcome area (see below) and a maximum 4 week period of enrolment before the start date, to attempt to gain a cohort of learners. Most short courses are not limited run but on demand - available continuously for learners to enrol.
A course which is visible to learners when they browse or search the FutureLearn website. Most courses on FutureLearn are listed and are visible on the site. Some courses such as invite-only or non-English language courses are unlisted and are not visible.
Allows a learner to retain access to a course for as long as the course remains live on the FutureLearn platform, i.e. unless it is deleted or returned to draft.
A simplified markup language which is supported in steps. It lets you format text, embed images, create tables, and more! Find out more about markdown.
A permission level which allows the marker to view the facilitation dashboard, comment in study groups, and manage tutor marked assignments for the run.
A mentor is a role assigned to a team member who has a good understanding of the course subject and helps guide course discussions.
Microcredentials are accredited qualifications designed to help learners build specialised, in-demand skills in professional areas and industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Find out more about Microcredentials.
Checking and, where necessary, removing comments which violate FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct. FutureLearn employs a moderation agency that works on a shift basis, around the clock, every day of the year, to review comments that have been reported using the flag button.
Non-English Language Courses
Courses in which the main language of instruction is not English. FutureLearn currently offers limited support for this type of course. Find out more about non-English language courses.
Is a course run model, whereby a course will run continuously and learners are able to begin learning as soon as they enrol, never waiting for a new run to begin. Find out more about on demand.
Opening for enrolment
A run of an open course is opened for enrolments when the Course Description Page is published. This means it’s available for learners to find and join, and learners who have added the course to their wishlist will receive an email notification.
Steps which can be viewed by anyone, whether or not they are enrolled in a course. They can also be indexed by search engines such as Google. Steps are open by default. Find out more about open steps.
A website of resources for FutureLearn partners. It contains everything you need to know to build a course on FutureLearn including how to use Course Creator, our learning design guidelines and our latest product updates and events.
The method and practice of teaching. FutureLearn’s learning design is based around telling stories, provoking conversation, developing skills and celebrating progress.
A type of assessment you can add to your course, which consists of three steps: an Assignment, an Assignment Review + Assignment Reflection. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add Peer Review steps to your course. Find out more about Peer Review Assessments.
Permissions are assigned to users of Course Creator involved in the production/delivery of FutureLearn courses, and determine the level of access an individual has, e.g. whether they can edit all courses from a partner, a single course, or view course dashboards without editing. Find out more about permissions.
The thumbnail for your video. This can be edited in Course Creator.
The Primary Educator is the team member designated as the main face seen by learners. Their name and photo will appear beside quiz and test feedback, and their name appears in the signature block of course emails. This will usually be the Lead Educator, but may be any member of the team.
Public facing educators on your course should fill out their FutureLearn profile with an image and a biography. Those listed as course educators can be displayed on the Course Description Page. Find out more about profiles
Publish a run
To open a new run for enrolments the Course Description Page is published with a course start date.
A type of step where learners submit their response to a multiple-choice question and can see the number of other learners who have chosen each response. Find out more about poll steps.
Different to a test! A formative step. Learners have unlimited attempts, there is no scoring involved, it is open to all and can include Multiple choice and/or Cloze (embedded answer) questions. Find out more about quiz steps.
Quality Assurance (QA)
Our partners review their own courses as part of this process to ensure and certify that they comply with our QA criteria. Courses must be built-in Course Creator and ready for QA 30 days before the course start date. Find out more about Quality Assurance.
A type of permission which allows a user to view course content before the course run starts.
One “edition” of a course, which starts and ends on specific dates. Learners can enrol from the time it is published until the end of the extended enrolment window, but course content is only available to them after the start date.
A label can be assigned to educators, mentors, or hosts on a course. This label - a role - signals to learners who it is that has provided a comment on a step, or provided quiz or test feedback and their relationship to the course. Roles are not the same as permissions! Find out more about roles.
A practice course where you can experiment with course design and explore Course Creator. It cannot be published.
You can view a schedule of all your organisations courses within Course Creator in the schedule tab. This includes course start date, end date and extended enrolment window.
An important element of FutureLearn’s pedagogical approach is the idea of social learning: that people learn better together. Find out more about our four pillars of social learning.
A dashboard where you can access data about learners’ participation in a run. Find the dashboard in the stats tab of the course run within Course Creator). The Stats dashboard updates automatically overnight.
The smallest building block of a FutureLearn course. There are several types of step that you can use – find out more about step types.
There are some surveys built into the Futurelearn platform that gather data about learners. This includes a post course survey and weekly sentiment survey. Partners can also use their own surveys if they meet our research guidelines. Read more about surveys.
Different to a quiz! A summative step. They comprise of up to ten multiple-choice or close questions. Only upgraded learners can access them. Learners have 3 (maximum) attempts, there are 3 points per question, with 1 point lost for each incorrect response. Learners need to complete all tests in a course (and achieve an overall course score of 70% or more) to earn a certificate.
Tracking links are hyperlinks which have a special code added to the end of them, which allows anybody analysing traffic or user journeys to tell how many learners came to a page via a certain channel. We have a tracking link tool in our Marketing tab in Course Creator. Find out more about tracking links.
Partners may create a trailer video for their Course Description Page if they wish. All trailers require the FutureLearn logo animation at the beginning and subtitles. Find out more about trailers.
Tutor marked assignments
A step within a run that enables a learner to submit a written piece in response to a question set by the course provider. Tutor Marked Assignments are integrated with Turnitin Feedback Studio.
A business model introduced in March 2019 that allows learners to take as many courses as they like from the FutureLearn catalog for a one-off annual fee or monthly subscription. Unlimited excludes paid-for courses, ExpertTracks, degrees and invite-only courses. Find out more about FutureLearn Unlimited.
Most open courses are on our upgrade business model, meaning for a single price we offer learners unlimited access to the course, a Certificate of Achievement and access to any tests. Most courses on this business model are also included in Unlimited.
A type of step. Consists of an audiovisual presentation uploaded in .MOV or .MP4 format with a title, description and a transcript. Find out more about video steps.
A week is made up of activities. Activities are made up of steps. A single week typically contains 20-25 steps. Dividing courses into weeks supports learners to pace their learning. Weeks also indicate how long the course will be available to learners if they do not upgrade.
An area where learners can comment, access related links and talk to other learners after enrolling on a course but before the course start date. It is rarely used because most courses are on demand, with little period of enrolment before the course start date. Use the welcome area to explain details about the course and start interesting conversations based on the content they are about to explore. To edit the welcome area, contact email@example.com with the name and run of your course, a title – maximum 50 characters (including spaces), a description – maximum 100 characters (including spaces), and any hyperlinks.
X Y Z
An area where learners can keep track of courses, programs and degrees they have enrolled on, check their progress, view their Wishlist, and more.