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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsI have designed the course around the pedagogical methodology known as "The Five Es"-- Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. I'm going to attempt to engage you on a topic, explore some of the aspects of the topic in more detail before explaining the underlying principles and then elaborating the principles in an example or an application. The final step is for you to evaluate your learning and review the first four Es as necessary.

Tips to help you learn

Pedagogy

On the title slide of each video you will see one, or more of the symbols introduced in the video above. This will illustrate what kind of activity you will be engaging with.

Some of the nomenclature used over the next five weeks is specific to this course. In order to familiarise yourself with this, at the bottom of the page is a PDF of all symbols and explanations used on the course. If you are new to some of the terminology on this course, this thermodynamics glossary from the University of Alberta may prove useful. This may be the first course that you have undertaken on FutureLearn, or perhaps it is the first course you have taken online. Don’t worry: the platform is designed to be easy to navigate.

You can learn whenever and wherever you like, on any desktop, mobile or tablet device. You will be learning by watching videos with leading academics as well as reading teaching material, attempting quizzes or tests, and taking part in discussions.

Finding your way around

There are four icons at the top of each step to help you make the most from your learning experience.

To Do

The first icon takes you to your to do list for the course you’re in. This shows all the steps for that week. You can take a look ahead to see what’s coming up in the following weeks and if you don’t manage to complete all the steps in a week, you are always able to go back to previous weeks and catch up.

You are free to learn at your own pace, but we encourage the conversation to happen around the current week’s activities. If you still haven’t completed the course at the end of the final week, don’t worry! The course materials will remain open to you on the site indefinitely.

Activity

The second icon takes you to the activity feed, which shows the most recent comments posted by learners on this course.

Replies

Click the third icon to see any replies made to the comments you’ve posted on this course. FutureLearn will also send you an email notification about any recent replies (once per day).

Progress

The fourth icon takes you to your progress page, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete. Your scores for any tests you have taken in the course are also reflected on your progress page.

Comments and discussions

Learning from conversations is an important part of the FutureLearn approach. You will learn from discussions with other people taking part in the course, by reading their comments and responding with your own thoughts, which you can do on nearly all steps. On some steps there will be a more structured discussion. Although they will not be able to respond to every question, you may see comments and replies from the lead educator and course facilitators throughout the course.

Anyone enrolled on the course can comment and discuss the course material. To see all the comments on a particular step, click the pink speech bubble icon and the comments will be revealed. The number next to this icon tells you how many comments there are for this step. Found a comment which was really useful or interesting? Click the Like button!

Don’t forget, whilst robust debate is encouraged, it’s important that you follow the FutureLearn code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

Follow others

If you want to keep track of another learner’s comments easily, click the Follow button next to their name (or on their profile page. We recommend that you follow the educators on this course.

Filtering comments

You can click to filter the comments on a step to only see:

  • comments by people you are following
  • the most-liked comments
  • your own comments

You might like to read these tips and tools for social learning, to you help you get the most from FutureLearn’s features.

Mark as Complete

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, click the pink Mark as Complete button at the bottom. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your To Do list.

Prove what you’ve learned with a certificate

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement to prove what you’ve learned on this course.

This personalised certificate and transcript details the syllabus and learning outcomes, plus your average test score, making it ideal evidence of your interest in and understanding of this subject. The Certificate comes in both printed and digital formats, so you can easily add it to your portfolio, CV or LinkedIn profile.

To be eligible, you must mark at least 90% of the steps in this course as complete and achieve an average of 70% or above across any tests.

Alternatively, you can buy a Statement of Participation as a memento of taking part.

Need more help?

If you still have a question about how the site works, have a look at the FutureLearn help pages. If your query hasn’t been answered, please don’t hesitate to click the grey Support button right of each step to ask for help.

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This video is from the free online course:

Energy: Thermodynamics in Everyday Life

University of Liverpool

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