5 more tips and tools for social learning

Following on from his first blog post, 6 tips and tools for social learning, our social lead David Thair shares more advice on getting the most out of social learning.  

Following on from his first blog post, 6 tips and tools for social learning, our social lead David Thair shares more advice on getting the most out of social learning.  

At FutureLearn, the idea of social learning or learning through conversation is important to us. That’s why we built commenting into almost every step of a course.

If you are new to FutureLearn or to social learning, we know it can feel quite overwhelming, so here are a few tips to help you feel at home.

1. Complete your FutureLearn profile

Your FutureLearn profile is what other learners can see about you when you interact with them in a course.

If you haven’t already, you should add some information to your FutureLearn profile: you might include the country or area you live in, your hobbies or interests, or why you’re taking courses on FutureLearn.

If you don’t upload a profile picture, a coloured logo is created from your initials (so Example Learner would be represented by ‘EL’). However we recommend uploading a picture so that your profile feels more friendly.

Read more about getting started with your FutureLearn profile.

2. Join the conversation

You can post a comment on almost every step on FutureLearn.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have to. You are not expected to write a comment on every step, or even read every comment on every step in a course! That would take a very long time.

But we do recommend writing a comment when you have something to say: maybe the step has prompted you to share your own experience or reflect on an idea, or perhaps you can help answer a question by another learner.

If you don’t feel confident in writing, don’t copy another person’s comments. It’s better to try and write your own.

If you just want to encourage someone, why not ‘like’ their comment instead?

Read more about getting started with comments and replies.

3. Follow interesting people

If you think someone writes interesting comments, you might wish to ‘follow’ them: press the follow button on someone’s profile or next to their comment.

Following someone makes it easy to find their comments when you use the following filter (see point 5 below).

Following works across FutureLearn, so if you and a person you are following join another course, you’ll already be following them there too.

Important: if someone follows you, they don’t ever get notifications about your activity (such as when you comment or when you join a new course). Following is only used when filtering comments.

Read more about following, followers, and finding people

4. Bookmark some comments

Read a comment that you’d like to come back to later?

Just press the bookmark button on the comment, and use the bookmarking filter (see point 5 below) when you want to find it.

Press the bookmark button again to remove it from your bookmarks.

5. Sort and filter comments

Here’s the clever part!

At the top of every comment section there are two buttons you can press to filter and sort the comments on the step:

The show button lets you choose which comments you see on the step. The default is ‘all comments’.

The sort by button lets you choose the order you want to see the comments in. The default is ‘newest’ comments first.

If you choose sort by: most liked you can quickly see the comments and conversations that other learners found useful or interesting on that step.

To find comments by people you are following, use the filter show: following. This will show you comments on that step by people you are following, as well as the rest of the conversation if their comment is part of one.

To find comments that you have bookmarked on that step, use the filter show: bookmarked.

To find your own comments on the step, use the filter show: your comments.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Have you picked up any other social learning tips? If so, please share them in the comments below.

Want to suggest new social features for FutureLearn? Visit our suggestions and feedback forum to make suggestions and vote on them.

Ready to start learning? Browse all our courses.

Category Learning

Comments (60)


  • Ernesto Salazar

    The course is very interesting for me

  • Abdi

    I like online course because this is avery important opportunity for those who are willing to

  • ciliane carla

    I like online courses. This one is a real opportunity for us to study and improve our knowledge in English.

  • heba

    this is my first time to join an online course and i hope to improve my conversation skills and i’m happy to communicate with people from all over the world

    • MohamedHakem

      Welcome to the world of online courses.
      I believe this course will be useful for improving your English language skills
      It is a good start to your journey around online learning

  • Irina

    Hi everyone,
    I just joined for this course as I will go for a Top Up Business Course and I am willing to learn useful tips from the course itself and also to exchange ideas with other people that study in this field, which will help me to succes on this new path. Looking forward for this new experience

  • Nozuko

    Hello everyone,
    I have decided to take up this course on this online platform to improve my writing skills. Of course, this is the first course that I am taking through FutureLearn. I look forward to a dynamic with everyone.


    Good evening I am a teacher and this is a good way to practice and commnicate con people from other countries.

  • Wakwe Florence

    I was very excited when I heard of online courses on Futurelearn I was so carried away that I jump into the course without going through these useful tips Anyway I am learning and I will continue to learn

  • olabode

    Its amazing and excited to meet you people online I want to know about internet of a thing I speak in with my able knowledge

  • Inna

    Its great that we have one more opportunity to increase or study English! I look forward and waiting for the start of a course!

  • Rima Akther Fatema

    I can’t speak English. I want to learn English proper for talking

  • Ko Thiha

    Hello. I’m Thiha from Myanmar. Nice meeting you all.

    • Renee

      I am from China. Nice meeting you all.

  • Nahawand

    My name is Nahawand , I’m from Jordan.
    I joined this course to improve my English skills in order to start learning of master degree in Civil Engineering.

    • Arya Wang

      Good afternoon! I am Arya, who comes from China. Do you like the English pronunciation? Well, I do. More than that, I fancy about all beautiful voices. How about you? If you do, hey, let us be friends. HAHAHA .o.O

  • Zoya

    When I was doing my first course here, I did try to read all the comments, and it consumed a lot of time, I fell behind the schedule. I wish I had come across these useful tips that time! Now I will take all these tips into consideration!