Using FutureLearn and getting help

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 website is designed to be easy to use.

You can learn whenever and wherever you like, on any desktop, mobile or tablet device. You will be learning by watching videos 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 for two further weeks, and indefinitely if you upgrade.

Activity

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

Progress

The third icon takes you to your progress page, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

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 tutors 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.

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 tutors 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

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’ tab (on the bottom right on desktop PCs. The location may vary on other devices).

Now mark this step as complete and start on week 1!

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

University of Southampton