Nowadays, online learning is the talk of the town, especially in the academic world. A quick search on Google will reveal numerous sites offering such services and one of them that tops my search results is Future Learn. Is this site worth your subscription? Let’s dig into the review to find out.
What Is Future Learn
Founded in December 2012, Future Learn is a digital education platform, jointly owned by The Open University and SEEK Ltd. It partners with some top-notch learning institutions such as Edinburgh University, Monash University and, King’s College London to deliver online courses on the following subjects;
- Business & Management
- Creative Arts & Media
- Healthcare & Medicine
- IT & Computer Science
- Nature & Environment
- Politics & Society
- Psychology & Mental Health
- Science, Engineering & Maths
- Study Skills
Each is further divided into three components to choose from; short courses, micro-credentials/programs, and online degrees. Most of the short courses are on-demand and free to join but you can always upgrade for a fee (< than $100) to access tests and certificates of completion.
On the other hand, micro-credentials are all paid programs (between $200 to $500+), designed to commence on a certain date and runs over a longer time duration. It focuses on a more specialized field so there will be some requirements before signing up. At the end of these programs, you’ll earn a professional or academic credential.
The online degree works pretty much like attending a physical university, and they cost several thousands of dollars. These undergraduate to postgraduate programs are more elaborated and will take a couple of years to complete. You need to pass online assignments or take in-person exams to earn yourself an accredited degree from a particular higher institution.
It’s worth noting that most of the short courses serve as introductory to the bigger subject matter they belong to. For example, online marketing courses are preludes for taking an MBA Degree later on. At the moment, there are more than 700 bite-size courses on Future Learn and for $259.99 per year, you’re able to access all of them with the flexibility to complete each course at your convenience.
The overview of a course will reflect what you’ll be learning, who’s teaching, and some reviews from the previous students. Every module utilizes a combination of videos, audio, articles, discussions, quizzes, and assignments to conduct the teaching. The same methods are also implemented in micro-credentials and online degree programs.
So, what’s there to like about Future Learn? Here is some good stuff one can take away from the platform.
(1) Unlike other eLearning sites like Udemy and Skillshare, the courses and programs are professionally structured to achieve the best academic results. Since they are supported by recognized institutions and conducted by field experts, it’s reassuring to know that you’re learning from trusted and qualified sources. And there are many positive reviews to support these.
(2) Instead of convening to the traditional way of teaching, it uses a lot of media to make lessons more engaging and also provides video transcripts for the hearing impaired. The site is user-friendly and works perfectly well on mobile even without an app. That means you can learn anytime while on the go.
(3) The courses are suitable for almost anyone who has the desire to enhance their knowledge through eLearning. If you simply want to learn a new subject without too much commitment, just pick one of the short courses. If you’re currently a college student and want to add more credits to your field of expertise, you can start with the micro-credential programs. And if you’re planning to advance to a higher level in your career, then going with the online degrees will help you achieve this goal.
(4) As mentioned before, all the basic courses are free to register without requiring any credit card information, and for the kind of quality you’re getting, the yearly fee seems pretty reasonable. If you’re signing up for micro-credentials, it’s worth mentioning the programs also come with a 14 days refund policy.
(5) Here’s another benefit you may like. If you’re an active learner on the platform and enjoy what they have to offer, consider writing an online review to show other readers what they can gain. You can do this via a blog and make comparisons to the many eLearning platforms out there.
Future Learn runs an affiliate program (sign up with Rakuten Marketing) that offers 10% commissions for every new learner you introduced to the platform. This only applies to the short course subscription ($259.99 per year); not online degree programs. That means you can make about $26 for every referral.
If you’re interested in other subscription services, visit these membership sites with affiliate programs and get to know their offers.
It’s not easy to find any criticism with an established platform like Future Learn, but if I must point out any, it would be the following;
(1) Not all courses are created equal and while there are many courses in the area of Science, Engineering, and Math, there’s only a handful in Digital Marketing. For example, you can’t find anything that teaches about affiliate marketing, local business marketing, or traffic generation which is a bit disappointing because I believe many people would benefit from that. Academic-oriented or not, having the skills to market your expertise online is crucial for more exposure, brand awareness, and scale in any type of business. Hopefully, this is something they will expand on in the future.
(2) Peer-to-peer and student-to-instructor interaction seem to be lacking, especially in the short course’s area. A quick view at the comment section shows there’s hardly any feedback for opinions/thoughts given by students who are encouraged to express them at the end of every lesson. This type of learning process can be somewhat dull and boring for some people. So if you’re looking for some constructive guidance and discussions, you may be better off doing the micro-credentials or degree programs instead.
So, Is Future Learn a Good Education Platform?
There’s a huge trend for eLearning moving forward and Future Learn appears to fulfil most of the criteria as an ideal education platform. It’s convenient, affordable, and links to some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The user interface is great and should agree with most tech savvy-oriented learners who want to reskill or upskill their academic or job performance. I think it serves as a great outlet for many to learn new stuff from home especially during the downtimes caused by the current pandemic crisis.
While there’s nothing wrong with polishing your background with a few academic credits, as someone who spent years getting a professional degree, I must say paper qualification is a pretty long-winding and somewhat costly process that doesn’t guarantee anything.
If you’re looking for an education to fast-track your success, utilizing the knowledge you already possess, then I highly recommend checking this training platform instead. It won’t offer you any certificates, but it will give you the vital skills to build an online presence geared towards your passion, your work as well as a new business idea.
Sign up for free to find out what this education is all about and I’ll be more than happy to walk you through the process. Talk soon! If you’ve any comments about my Future Learn review, remember to leave them in the space down below.