FutureLearn: Take Free Online Courses Created By Top Universities

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FutureLearn is a free service that lets you learn through online courses in different fields, like; Technology, Medicines, Chemistry, Mathematics, Literature and many more. Courses are conducted by Educators from the world famous universities. You can also check the profiles of educators on FutureLearn.

Every online course follows a weekly schedule and they offer videos, articles, quiz and exercises. It offers a discussion option for every topic in the course.

To take any course, you are required to join a course within two weeks of course starting. After that, you can come to the course and see all the course material. If you don’t join the course within two weeks, you won’t be able to join the course after that.

Future LEarn Homepage

You can even invite your friends through social networks to join the online courses.

Some of the courses allow you to have the statement of participation and attainment. For such statements you’ll have to make payment but you can participate in every course for free.

Features of FutureLearn:

  • The course materials are well arranged under a weekly timeline.
  • You get an option to discuss your problems and doubts about every topic.
  • You can view the profile of Educators and those who are posting in discussion. You can also manage your own profile.
  • Courses are conducted by some of the globally appreciated Universities, so their content can be considered reliable.

Limitation of FutureLearn:

There are a couple of limitations with this online service:

  • Being new to the scene, FutureLearn has got a limited number of the courses. That will improve with the time.
  • You can’t study a courses from the past, if you didn’t register for that earlier. Registration for courses ends after 2 weeks since it started.
  • There is no categorization of the courses. Listing them under the categories like, Math, Physics, Literature, etc. can make the courses easier to choose.

You may like to try: Alison, Edx, and Saylor.org.

Starting with FutureLearn:

Follow the link available at the end of this review to open homepage of FutureLearn. You can browse the course list and check their details from the courses options. But to register for any courses, you’ll have to signup and create your profile on FutureLearn. Signup requires you to provide some of your details and Email Address.

Register for Course

Click on the “Courses” Link to open the list of all the available courses. The list will mention a brief intro of the courses, along with their Starting date, Course Duration (in weeks), time expected per week, and “More” option.

“More” option will take you to the Course page, that contains:

  • Course video trailer and description.
  • Link to course educator’s profile, and the University organizing the course.
  • Link to register (Join the Free Course) for the course.
  • Options to share the course to invite your friends from different social networks.

FutureLearn Course page

You can register for any course mentioned in “New & Upcoming”  tab and “In Progress” Tab on the Courses page. As their name suggest, “New & Upcoming” Tab contains the list of the courses that have not started yet. “In Progress” tab contains the list of the courses that are running currently.

Third tab on the list is “Past”. You can’t register for the these courses now. Now, we know enough about the FutureLearn, so lets move to studying a course.

Study a Course With FutureLearn:

Click on “My Account” button on the Top-right corner of page and then choose “My courses” option to view the courses you have registered for.

Future LEarn Profile

“My courses” lists the courses with their weekly timeline. Click on “Go to course” from here to open the course. Course page will open the current week.

It will contain the weekly timeline of the course on the top. Click on the week that you want to study.

FutureLearn Course

Now, you’ll get different topics. Just click on them to view or read them. These topics can contain:

  • Videos: Video is pretty simple with a discussion box at the bottom. Just play it and learn.
    FutureLearn Video
  • Articles: Articles are text content that you can read. Some of the articles may carry images for better explanations.FutureLearn Article
  • Quiz: To check out how much you have learnt so far, you can use quiz. It will contain multiple choice questions. There is no scoring in this and you get chance to re-try for wrong answer. Its just for a self analysis.
    FutureLearn Quiz
  • Discussion: Discussions lets you post your queries regarding any content.
    FutureLearn discussion

Below every topic, you get “Mark as Complete”option, which highlights the topic on the list. It makes it easier for you identify the content you should study next. Content is updates every week as per schedule and you also get notified by emails about updates on registered courses.

I also read on the website that there are some Exercises also in the courses, which are used for Evaluation. In my course, I was not able to get to any exercise, so I am not sure how that works.

My Opinion About FutureLearn:

The way content is managed on the course deserves appreciation. The discuss option with every topic makes learning better and a bit interactive.

But the number of courses are very limited. And you can’t take old courses as well. FutureLearn need to improve on these little things to be a better option for learning.

Did you try FutureLearn? Do let me know in the comments below.

Go to FutureLearn.

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