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Introducing the platform

How this all works

You will work independently through the course at your own pace. All of the course content is now available to you, so if you need to, you can work ahead – but as social learning is an important part of the course it would be best if we tried to work through it together! We strongly recommend that you participate in the discussions and share your learning experiences.

Each week will have a theme, and we’ll learn about it through videos, articles and discussion. There will also be other optional tasks and exercises you can try to enhance your learning. You may rely on some of the concepts from previous weeks, so we recommend you work through each week in order. Each week should take you 3 to 4 hours to complete if you do all the tasks, and there is a short quiz at the end of each week to give an indication of what you’ve learned.

Using FutureLearn

If this is the first time you have used FutureLearn, Welcome! You may find it useful to read the FAQ guide. You may also like to read this FutureLearn blog post even if you have used FutureLearn before, which explains about the in-course navigation. We also recommend reading six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn to get the most out of the interactive and social learning features of this course.

We hope you engage in discussions and comment on course materials which is an essential part of the learning experience. When contributing it is important that you follow the FutureLearn code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

You can also use the tools to ‘like’ the posts of others if you agree with what is being said or if you have found something particularly interesting or add your comments to an existing post if you want to develop those ideas further.

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

  • Comments by people you are following
  • The most-liked comments
  • Your own comments

Follow others

To get the most out of the course, we would strongly suggest that you follow Doctor Setareh Chong, who is lead educator on this course. To see her comments in your activity feed or when using the ‘following’ filter in discussions, visit her FutureLearn profile and click “follow”.

Engage on social media

We have a hashtag – #FLBiology – which you are more than welcome to use on social media to talk about the course and to find others who are talking about it too! And follow us on Twitter @bbbyork1.

Upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

  • Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

  • A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Biology of Bugs, Brains, and Beasts

University of York

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: