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Happy holidays and thanks for reading

The blog will be taking a break over Christmas, so we wanted to wish you a happy holiday season now and say a big thank you for reading this year. And just in case you miss us, we thought we’d leave you with our 10 most popular posts of 2014. There’s something for everyone, so dive in.

Letters on a table spell out "Thank you"

1. Six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn

In this, the first post in our new “Tips & Tricks” category, David Thair, our Social Lead, offers his advice on getting the most out of FutureLearn’s social learning features.

2. Refactoring our Rails app out of single-table inheritance

We’ve been offering insights into the way we work through our “Making FutureLearn” posts all year. This one – from Developer, James Coglan – proved popular among Ruby developers.

3. How we write readable feature tests with RSpec

Another post that was popular in the Ruby community. Here, Developer, Chris Zetter, talks about how we test on the FutureLearn platform.

4. Exploring English with the British Council

The British Council’s “Exploring English: Language and Culture” course has been our most popular yet, with over 100,000 learners. So it’s no surprise that this post, from lead educator, Chris Cavey, was a hit.

5. The future is playful

The media regularly reports that “play is dead.” Here, Professor Jackie Marsh of The University of Sheffield argues that play is more important today than ever before – not just for children, but for all of us.

6. Quiz: is your pet a person?

Inspired by our “How to Read a Mind” course, this quiz asks what makes a person a person – and whether an animal or even an inanimate object can be considered to be a person too.

7. Why is there a shortage of good programmers?

We often hear about a shortage of programmers in the tech sector. In this post, Professor Shirley Williams of the University of Reading explains why and discusses what we can do to solve it.

8. Muddy Waters: a guest post from a FutureLearner in Genoa

This article was written by FutureLearner, Sharon Walker, as an assignment for “Introduction to Journalism.” It shines a light on the severe flooding that hit Italy this year, and one of the rescue workers involved.

9. Three ways we’ve made it easier to join FutureLearn courses

Many of you had asked for a way to register your interest in past courses that you’d like to see run again. So when we announced this new feature, it proved rather popular.

10. What does “independence” mean for Scotland?

The Scottish independence referendum was big news over the summer here in the UK. This post from The University of Edinburgh’s Alan Convery highlighted some of the key issues.

Thanks for reading.

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