The Classroom gone Digital: Online Learning expands the Educational Landscape
Online learning has gone from being an often-overlooked option in the education community to the norm for students worldwide. With millions of adults starting or continuing their education online, the industry has seen massive growth in the last decade.
While eLearning has been long viewed as an alternative pathway to earning a college degree, the sudden outburst of COVID-19 has also fast-tracked its implementation.
Today, many academic institutions have switched to online learning to deliver more interactive learning experiences while also reaching a wider audience. Technology advancements have also accelerated eLearning, making it easy for people to learn remotely at their own pace. Gone are the days when learning was restricted to the walls of a classroom. From cafes to bedrooms and trains, students can now have unlimited access to educational resources in any location that suits them.
This new normal has transformed the face of adult education, with eLearning platforms such as FutureLearn leading this revolution.
What Is FutureLearn
FutureLearn is an eLearning platform that offers learners a front-row seat to some of the brightest minds at top-ranked universities and companies like Amnesty International and Samsung.
From online certificate programs to short courses and graduate degrees, FutureLearn makes it easy for students to learn and develop new skills for a career switch or personal improvement. What sets FutureLearn apart is its partnership with world-class universities.
As a UK-based platform, most of FutureLearn’s offerings are in partnership with top U.K. universities like the University College London (UCL), University of Michigan, John Hopkins, the University of Cape Town, the University of Oslo Hanyang University, among others. By opening the classroom through eLearning, FutureLearn also empowers international students who want to study in the U.S to get acquainted with their preferred schools before applying.
How much do FutureLearn programs cost?
The majority of FutureLearn’s programs are technically free, but you’ll need to pay to receive a certificate of completion. Prices can range between $0 and a little over $1,000 – depending on your program of study. This pricing model does not apply to official master’s or graduate certificate programs as they do not have prices listed.
Are any FutureLearn courses free?
FutureLearn’s courses span the breadth of the humanities, tech, and sciences, and almost all can be audited for free. Auditing a FutureLearn course typically gives you access to a course for five weeks. However, learners who want a full course experience which includes access to graded tests and a chance to earn a course certificate, will have to pay between $39 to $89 – depending on the course.
Like Coursera, FutureLearn also offers a seven-day free trial period for ExpertTrack courses. Once the seven-day trial period expires, learners will have to subscribe monthly at $39 per month. Other than individual courses under Exploring Culture and Heritage and UX Design and Research, students cannot audit other extended FutureLearn programs for free.
How Do FutureLearn Courses and Programs Work?
FutureLearn boasts a catalogue of numerous online courses and degree programs from world-class universities and companies. These courses are grouped into Short Courses, ExpertTrack, MicroCredentials and Online Degrees. Here is a brief summary of each one:
Studying an online short course on FutureLearn provides you with unlimited access to one-off course content that lasts between 2-4weeks. Students can earn verified certificates and access to graded assignments if they choose to pay. One benefit of FutureLearn short courses is that students can try them out for free before making a certificate payment.
ExpertTracks consist of inter-connected short courses that offer a well-rounded understanding of subject matters like Python or Fintech. They come with a 7-day free trial but typically take between 8-22 weeks to complete at $39 per month. When you successfully complete an ExpertTrack, you can earn a digital certificate to share on LinkedIn or with potential employers.
Microcredentials are designed for future learners to build a defined set of in-demand career skills. Unlike ExpertTracks, they do not come with a free trial. A single Microcredentials enrollment on FutureLearn can range between $639 to $1,134, with the majority being under $1,000.
FutureLearn online degree programs provide learners with an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from top-ranked universities. Participants do not need to quit their job or move to new cities to earn a degree from their ideal university.
Academic Programs like Digital Media Analytics at Purdue University are also available on FutureLearn. These programs grant actual credit hours towards a master’s degree through paid certifications. (all academic programs have their own specifications).
What is FutureLearn Unlimited?
The best part about FutureLearn is that students can get full access to nearly all of its certified short courses through its annual subscription FutureLearn unlimited. Priced at $260, FutureLearn unlimited is also a considerable investment for learners who want to learn at their own pace.
Feel free to explore FutureLearn’s course offerings at www.futurelearn.com.