If you are looking to take online courses at FutureLearn its important to do a little research beforehand. Luckily for you I just did a little “investigating” into this place to see if they are legit. So if you are wondering is FutureLearn a scam then you are in the right place.
In this short review I put together I’ll be going over what this place is, what the courses are like, what you get out of taking courses here, as well as some other important things that you should be aware of.
- Website: futurelearn.com
- Type: Online education platform
- Cost: Free & paid courses (price varies)
- Legit?: Yes
FutureLearn is an online learning platform that brings courses on a broad range of topics ranging from Ocean Exploration, to Robotics, to Nutrition and everything in between. They also offer in-depth programs that include a bundle of courses in which you can potentially receive academic and/or professional credit for.
These courses and programs are created by universities all over as well as specialist organizations.
Anyone can sign up for these courses. Its not like you have to be enrolled in college or anything of that sort.
That makes FutureLearn different than many other open source online learning platforms is their teaching style. As you can imagine from the name “Future”Learn, they claim that the way in which their courses are taught is the way of the future and is better than traditional ways.
What The Courses Are Like
As mentioned, FutureLearn does not use traditional teaching methods. You aren’t going to sign up for a course and site through a 2 hour long lecture video of a guy talking in front of a chalk board.
FutureLearn teaches in the form of what they call “storytelling”. The courses that are provided here make use of videos and articles to teach key points rather than rattling off some slides of a powerpoint.
And one good thing they do is help you stay on track and know where you are at when you are learning. They make it very clear where you are in the course, what you have already learned, and what you are going learn. This is nice because I know online courses like this can be somewhat confusing since you are taking them on your own.
What also makes FutureLearn different from many other similar online learning platforms is the social aspect that they have. You have the ability to interact with other students in many ways. You can comment on different lessons between other students and you can even follow their discussions and stay connected with them if you like them, similar to the way you can follow people on social media.
This social aspect is very important when it comes to getting help. With online courses like this lack of support is rather common. The people teaching these courses have hundreds of students many of the times and just can’t keep up with answering questions, helping people out, and all the support that comes with it. With FutureLearn you can get much of your questions answered and the help you need form other students that just took the course, or just completed that step you are stuck on.
What You Get Out Of This
Besides the obvious, which is that you will learn a lot from the courses that you take, you can also get certificates and even degrees at FutureLearn.
How To Get a Certificate
FutureLearn awards people what they call a Certificate of Achievement when they complete a course. This is not a degree and is not nearly as substantial as one. However, it is documented proof that you took a course and passed it.
In order to receive one of these certificates you must score over a 70% on all tests and you must score above a 90% in the class for your final grade.
The catch here is that you must “upgrade” and pay for the course. There are free versions of courses offered at FutureLearn but these won’t earn you any award. They are just nice for learning the information.
The cost per course if you upgrade depends but you can generally expect them to cost anywhere from $50 – $80. And if you are taking an entire program then that number is going to be a lot higher depending on the amount of courses offered in the particular program.
How To Get a Degree
The fact that you can actually earn a college accredited degree on FutureLearn is something else that separates this place from other similar ones. They offer Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, and even Master’s Degrees.
There aren’t all that many areas that you can earn these degrees in at this point but I expect there to be more and more added in the future.
The difference between the Graduate Certificates, Diplomas, and the Master’s Degrees programs is the amount of courses that are included in them. The Graduate Certificate programs are the shortest, followed by the Diploma programs, followed by the Master’s programs.
Getting college accreditation for taking courses here at FutureLearn is great but it does come with a price. The price depends largely on the institution that the course is provided by along with the coursework. But just to give you an idea… you can expect the Master’s programs to cost $3,000+ generally. This is a steep price but the good thing is that you can pay as you go.
Final Thoughts & What I Recommend
Overall FutureLearn is a great place to learn and I like what they are doing. I do believe that their modern teaching style is going to be the future. It works, its less boring, more easy to follow and is just all around better.
So I would recommend FutureLearn but I don’t think its necessarily right for everyone. People that excel with online courses are often self-motivated, have good problem solving skills, and are independent. If you are the type of person that needs a lot of guidance and help then this might not be your best choice, although I would consider it one of the better choices online.
Anyway… that is it for my review. I hope you enjoyed it and found it worthy of your time. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please leave them below in the comment section and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂