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Getting ready to learn online

You have seen a video overview of what you’ll be learning about over the next two weeks. Here's how to make the most of an online learning environment
Woman using laptop

Learning online can be a rich and rewarding experience. You are a member of a global self-selecting community, finding out more about a topic area of your choice with like-minded individuals. The opportunities for sharing ideas, reflecting on your current understanding and engaging in social learning are waiting for you. Here are our top tips for learning online with the UAL’s Creative Computing Institute and FutureLearn.

Be considerate FutureLearn courses attract learners from all over the world, from diverse backgrounds, and learning for a variety of reasons. It’s important to remember that your fellow learners might have different life experiences or ideas about course content. Keeping an open mind and being considerate in discussions with others is a great way to deepen your understanding by exploring other perspectives.

Be communicative We learn best when we learn together, and FutureLearn is built on the concept of social learning. Throughout the course you’ll see discussion prompts giving you ideas to think about or questions to consider based on course content. These can help you frame your response to a step, but feel free to get the conversation going in any way you wish. You can also reply to others’ comments, as well as showing your appreciation by liking or following other learners.

Be in control FutureLearn courses are designed to be worked through in a particular order, but sometimes you might wish to revisit step content and discussions. You are in control of when you are finished with a step, and you can indicate as such by clicking ‘mark as complete’. Don’t worry if you didn’t get everything done in one week – you can catch up later.

Find a schedule that works for you If you’re busy juggling work, life and study, see if you can put aside time each week to focus on online study. It might be first thing in the morning while you’re fresh, it might be before a meal or after the rest of the family have gone to bed.

Take time to reflect Apart from the time spent on the course steps, and doing supplementary study, it’s good to spend time thinking about what you have achieved, reflecting on how you might apply your learning, and setting goals for the future. You can keep a learning journal either in a notebook or on a device, to record achievements and motivate yourself to learn more.

Who will I be learning with?

Mick Grierson
Mick is Research Leader at the UCL Creative Coding Institute, and will be your lead educator on this course. As well as his academic role, Mick is also an audiovisual artist and creative coder.

This course features a host of experts from the world of conversational interface design, who will give you insight into their own experiences and knowledge. They include:

  • Nicky Birch
    Nicky is Commissioning Executive for Voice and AI at the BBC. She has been involved in creating voice experiences as head of her own voice design company, Rosina Sound.

  • Kane Simms
    Kane is the co-founder of VUX World, a voice design consultancy that helps companies create and design voice products and experiences. He is also co-host of the podcast VUX World which speaks to industry experts each week and explores the very latest in voice technology.

  • Georgina Bourke
    Georgina is a designer for Projects by IF, who specialise in ethical design and practical uses of data.

  • Fiona Morgan
    Fiona is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at, one of the leading voice game studios worldwide. She has a background in creating voice experiences as a producer at the BBC.

Have your say

Before we start our exploration of Conversational Interfaces, why not take some time to introduce yourself to one another?
If you’d like, use the comments section to tell us more about yourself, where you are from, and why you have chosen to join this course. You can also like comments, and choose to follow other learners.
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Introduction to Conversational Interfaces

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