There are a lot of online learning providers available. Some are free, most are paid. But all of them offer great value in terms of education.
After scouring the internet for a platform that would get me the best in terms of education, scope, usability, and interactivity, I came upon FutureLearn. After trying it out, it’s now personally the best online course provider out there.
What makes FutureLearn great?
A Solid and Inclusive Base
Unlike most online learning providers, FutureLearn offers not just subjects about technology and business; they’re also offering courses about art, healthcare, the sciences, politics, and humanities. Furthermore, they’ve partnered with some of the top international universities in the world like the University of Adelaide, the University of Manchester, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, PennState University, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Waikato, and more. These partnerships critically substantiates them as a solid source of education.
You’re Part of the Class
The courses that FutureLearn offers, puts you in the middle of each class. Everyone is encouraged to become part of each lesson, letting you interact not just with the lesson being tackled, but also with other learners. The level of involvement and social interactivity makes the learning process a fun and motivating experience.
The Best User Experience IMHO
Not only does FutureLearn’s design look awesome, it’s also very easy to navigate and use. Once you’ve enrolled to a course, your learning dashboard is divded into 3 simple tabs: “To do” – which is the course proper, “Conversations” – which lets you interact with other learners, and “Progress” – which provides you with a percentage of how much of the course or subject you’ve finished. Once you click on the “To do” tab, you’ll see the syllabus on the left side of your screen. It’s broken down into weeks, while each week is broken down into topics. Very neat and very easy to understand and navigate.
Clear, Concise, and Welcoming
I enrolled with the British Film Institute’s “How to Make a Short Film” course. It was initially intimidating because of the high standards that the BFI stands for. To my surprise, the tutors were very warm and welcoming. Furthermore, the introduction settles you in without any underlying assumptions. They even state that for this film making course – you can simply use your smart phone. They’re also very transparent as to the extent of the free access you have; you may then choose to upgrade your access if you find the course to your liking. For the course I enrolled in – I was given an entire week to enjoy the course and decide whether to proceed with a paid access. I think that was more than enough for me to decide that I want to continue.
Learning Anywhere I Can
I think the most important feature for me is being able to access FutureLearn anywhere. As long as I have an internet connection, I can watch or read a lesson and interact with tutors and co-learners. I’ve tried accessing via my PC, my laptop, and my mobile phone. The dashboard adapts well enough even on small devices.
Since FutureLearn’s classes are mostly free to try, there’s no reason for you not to try and learn new things now. You’ll see a preview at the bottom of each course and for busy bodies like you – each preview indicates how long the course is and how many hours each week you’ll need to learn substantially about each course.