Who’s involved in the making of a FutureLearn course?
In the second of a mini-series about making FutureLearn courses, Matt Jenner, our Learning Developer, writes about the many different people involved in making a FutureLearn course.
When we talk about FutureLearn courses, we tend to focus on educators and learners but in truth there are a whole set of people involved in course creation — both on the partner’s side and within FutureLearn. I’m going to run through our behind the scenes team who work to make every FutureLearn as good as possible. It might seem like a lot of people, and sometimes it is! But it’s worth noting that the role, i.e. editor, might be fulfilled by more than one person, and one person often has more than one role, i.e. a project lead might also be a teacher and editor.
From the partner (a university or educational organisation)
Sets and guides the course topic, create most of the content and learning activities and are often well known in their field.
reads and replies to learner comments, keeps the course on track
Often the first point of contact between FutureLearn and the Partner, keeps us all in line and makes sure courses run on time
Transforms ideas into videos for steps or the course trailer.
Helps convert what works well in the classroom to engaging online learning experiences
Helps take educator’s ideas and turn them into steps on the course
reviews course content and ensures it’s coherent, free of mistakes or errors.
Checks the ideas built into the course work as intended.
And from FutureLearn…
Provides support to partners on everything from using FutureLearn to how to make the course compelling. Also responsible for ensuring courses start on time.
Guides and advises partners on the social learning tools and opportunities
Always looking to improve the processes which guide course teams for example the learning design or end of course evaluation
responds to learner queries and keeps our UserVoice a free-flowing space for ideas and constructive discussion.
Developer, designer, copywriters, user experience (UX) specialist
some of the people who ensure our site is functional, beautiful and takes learners on a journey of exploration.
Promotes new courses and helps learners find the courses they want to join.
Hmm…who else? Learners!
Learners bring life to each and every course. Great courses are full of rich learner interaction and we know that a staggering 51% of learners are socially active in courses, this means over half of all people in a course are commenting, liking, replying and following each other. The remainder are also learning from these social interactions, no-one is left out. It’s amazing to think of each and every learner joining one another on a course.
So — what do all these people do?
Courses go on a journey; from idea, to design to going live. All the people mentioned above are part of helping the course along that journey. Every person has their ideas, creativity, must-haves and won’t-dos that when collated and organised help propel the course in the right direction.
The experience of each person involved in making a course matters a great deal to us. Each person is investing time and energy into the making or running of a course, so it needs to be as rewarding as possible.
This is blog post two of three on the topic of a mini-series on what it takes to build FutureLearn courses. We’ve written recently on what goes into making a FutureLearn course, in the next post we’ll cover course quality and how we keep it high.