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How to use FutureLearn

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 games and activities, 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 of your learning experience.

Illustration of the Icons at the Top of the Page

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 can always 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 by the end of the final week, don’t worry! The course materials will remain open to you on this 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 will see what percentage of the course steps you have marked as complete. The 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. Within some steps, there will be a more structured discussion. Although you 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 in 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. If you find a comment which is 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 remain respectful of your fellow learners.

Follow Others

If you want to keep track of another learner’s comments, 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.

Mark as complete

Prove what you’ve learned with a Certificate

If you want a record of your course, you can buy a Certificate of Achievement from FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

The Certificate of Achievement is a great way to prove what you have learned on the course. This is a personalised certificate and transcript, detailing the syllabus and learning outcomes from the course. It comes as a printed certificate as well as a digital version which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. To qualify, you must have marked at least 90% of the steps in the course complete.

There is also the option to purchase a personalised Statement of Participation, to celebrate taking part. To be eligible for the Statement of Participation, you must mark at least 50% of the steps on the course as complete. This also comes in a printed and digital format and you can add it to your LinkedIn profile.

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 Feedback speech bubble on the bottom right of each step to ask for help.

When you are finished reading this article, click on the ‘Mark as Complete’ pink circle on the right-hand side below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Strategies for Successful Ageing

Trinity College Dublin

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: