We believe that part of what makes learning on FutureLearn special is the chance to talk to other learners from all over the world, and learn from each other.
Being a part of this learning community means behaving with honesty, respect and kindness to fellow learners and educators.
FutureLearn's moderators help to keep FutureLearn a positive learning environment.
In this article we'll cover:
- how moderation works on FutureLearn
- how our moderators work
- how we deal with:
How does moderation work?
FutureLearn comments are reactively moderated: moderators do not read every individual comment made in a course.
Instead, learners or educators can notify our moderators of any comments that worry them, by pressing the flag button that’s at the bottom of every comment:
When a comment is hidden, it is replaced with the message “This comment has been removed by a FutureLearn moderator”, and the author is sent an automated email to tell them it was hidden. They are not told who flagged the comment. They can reply to this email to find out more about the decision.
Learner profiles, study groups, peer assignments and peer review feedback are moderated in the same way.
How our moderators work
FutureLearn’s moderators review content that is reported to them by users.
Our moderators are independent and work across all courses. They are not employed by, or associated with, any partner institution (the people who create and run courses on FutureLearn) and they are never the same people as the Educators, Mentors or Hosts you may meet in a course.
Their actions are overseen by FutureLearn Moderation Support, who investigate and respond to queries about moderation decisions.
Persistently negative behaviour
In extreme circumstances we may suspend the account of a learner who has broken our Code of Conduct several times. If they keep posting very offensive or disruptive comments (such as spam) they may be suspended immediately without warning to prevent them from causing further harm.
Sometimes negative behaviour may not be extreme, but may have a negative effect over time. In these cases the learner may receive a notice from FutureLearn asking them to improve their behaviour. See the Persistent Negative Behaviour Policy for more information.
Extreme behaviour (like trolling or spamming)
If a user joins a course only to cause trouble or to promote something, repeatedly posting comments that break our Code of Conduct, we will immediately suspend their account to prevent further disruption. Offending comments will be hidden.
If an issue is being debated and people have different points of view then disagreements are a natural consequence as part of the conversation. Respectful disagreement, or even criticism, about an idea, is not the same as a personal attack.
A personal attack might criticise or put down someone due to their appearance, voice, or demeanour, their nationality or location, gender, age, sexuality, race, religion, profession or employer, social status, perceived intelligence, and anything else about them as a person.
As an environment for learning, we expect criticism to be constructive – that is, to help the other person, rather than to put them down. A personal attack is often an emotional response rather than a reasoned response.