This article gives you some advice on how to use FutureLearn. If you are new to learning with us, it might be helpful to read this first. If you have learned with us before, there might be some additional ideas here on how to get more out of your courses.
Let's begin with the 'To do' list. That’s exactly what it sounds like: a list of the course steps that make up your learning experience.
You can find the To do list option in the tabs at the top of any step:
[Image descriptor: A tab is selected on the left, with the words 'To do' in blue with a tick box above the words. Next to it on the right is the word 'Activity' with a ring above it in black. Next to that, to the right, is the word 'Progress' with a partially-coloured in ring above it.']
To start, click on the title of the first course step in the list. We make it clear which step you should do next by outlining it with a pink block:
[Image descriptor: A list of titles for the first 3 course steps of the example course is shown. Next to each step title is the step number in a small box, in descending order, with the first step box coloured in pink and the two step boxes below not coloured in.]
If you find yourself on a different week of the course, don’t panic! To start from week 1, click on Week 1 at the top of the To do list and you’ll be able to take the course from the beginning.
[Image descriptor: A series of blue boxes, each with a number week going up from week 1 in the far left box to week 6 on the far right. The week 1 box is circles in red. Week 2 has a small pink triangle floating above it.]
What might I find in a course step?
The light grey text next to the step title tells you what’s involved:
- A video step involves watching a video and discussing what you’ve seen.
- An audio step involves listening to a recording and discussing what you’ve heard.
- An article involves reading a piece of writing and discussing what you’ve read.
- A discussion shows you a prompt - usually a statement or question - and invites you to discuss it with your peers and the educators.
- An exercise takes you through a short exercise - often on another website - that’s designed to help you build your skills.
- A poll invites you to vote on something using the radio dial buttons and discuss the options and results.
- An assignment shows you an assignment brief and contains a plain-text box for you to copy and paste your work into.
- An assignment review is an opportunity to read work by other learners and give them your feedback.
- A quiz allows you to test your knowledge by selecting from a multiple-choice questionnaire, or entering words or short phrases into a text box.
- A test looks very similar to a quiz, but you get three tries at each question and you’re graded on the results. If your course has test steps, you’ll need to score an average of 70% or above to qualify for a certificate.
Moving forward through the course
Once you’ve finished with a course step, make sure you click on the Mark as complete button at the bottom.
Before you click on it, it will look like this:
[Image descriptor: A pink box containing a large pink tick symbol and the words 'Mark as complete']
or (mobile and tablet devices)
[Image descriptor: a pink circle containing a pink tick symbol]
And once clicked, it will look like this:
[Image descriptor: A blue box containing a large white tick symbol and the words 'Step completed']
or (mobile and tablet devices)
[Image descriptor: a blue circle containing a white tick symbol]
Clicking on Mark as complete is how the system knows how much overall progress you’ve made and which steps you haven’t looked at yet. You’ll need to mark at least 90% of the steps as complete to qualify for a certificate.
[Image descriptor: A grey bar containing three buttons. The left-hand button states 'Previous' in pink and has a < symbol next to it. The middle button is a blue box containing a large white tick symbol and the words 'Step completed'. The right-hand button states 'Next' in pink and has a > symbol next to it]
On either side of the Mark as Complete button, there are buttons to let you navigate forwards and backwards in the course. Click on Next, and you'll be taken straight to the next course step.
If it’s the last step in a week, clicking on the next button will take you back to your To-do list. To carry on to the next week, click on the week number you want to go to at the top of the list.
Using the left-hand menu
To open the left-hand menu:
Click the top-left arrow (widescreen devices)
[Image descriptor: A small pink > symbol]
Or the menu icon in the navigation bar (mobile and tablet devices)
[Image descriptor: a menu icon made up of three lines with a small circle next to each line]
Use the left-hand menu to get a quick overview of the course and navigate to another step by clicking on it. Close the menu by clicking the arrow again (as below for widescreen devices) or the X button on mobile.
[Image descriptor: the pink < symbol to close the left-hand navigation menu is highlighted with a red circle. Next to it is a list of steps from the first week of the course.]
How can I find where I left off?
There are a couple of ways to find the next step you need to do:
- Look at the coloured blocks around the step in the To do list. Steps you’ve done will be highlighted in blue; steps you haven’t done will be surrounded by a white block; and the next step you need to do will be highlighted in pink. Here’s an example:
[Image descriptor: Image descriptor: A list of titles for the first eight course steps of the example course is shown. Next to each step title is the step number in a small box, in descending order, with the first three step boxes coloured in blue. The fourth step box is coloured in pink, and the final step boxes are not coloured in]
- At the top of your To do list, you’ll see a box with the header “Hi (your name), here’s the last step you visited”.
[Image descriptor: The three tabs of To do, Activity and Progress are shown on top. The To do tab has been selected. Below these three tabs are boxes for each week of the course, going from week 1-6 from left to right. Below the boxes with the week numbers on them we have a grey box advising 'Hi Example, here's the last step you visited'. Below that (in the same grey box) we have a link to the last step visited and a continue button on the top right]
- Clicking on Continue in that box will take you to the last step you visited!
If that step was the last step in a week, hop back to your To do list and click on the following week number to carry on.
What’s all that other stuff at the top of the page?
At the top of every course step you will see three tabs:
- The left tab is To do which is explained above, and gives you a preview week-by-week of how the learning will be organised, as well as showing your progress through the steps and activities using colour coding.
- The centre tab is Activity, where you can see the most recent comments posted in the course. You can filter this activity by; All comments, Comments you have bookmarked, Your comments, and Comments by people you are following.
- The tab to the right – Progress – shows you what percentage of the course you have marked as complete, and the scores of any in-course assessments.
For more information on how to use comments on FutureLearn, have a look at this this article: Getting started with comments and replies
You can learn about tracking your progress through the course here: Knowing how much of the course you've completed
Happy learning! If you'd like more help getting started, see Getting Started and FAQs