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 (125)


  • Popi

    Hello I am from Cyprus. I want to improve English for my job and in order to communicate with english speakers.


    hello, everyone. I am Li Zhuqiang, from china. I now want to learn more about English language and prepare for IELTS.

  • Saif

    I am Saif , I m from Indian. l have done mass media so it is very to me learn English

  • Liduina Maria Alves Macambira

    I am from Brazil and I am moving to Canada in 2019. It is very important for me to learn the English Language. Furthermore I intent to pass IELTS exam and maybe to get back to study.
    I love to study and adquire knowledge.

  • Liduina Maria Alves Macambira

    I am moving to Canada in 2019. It is very important for me to learn the English Language. Furthermore I intent to pass IELTS exam and maybe to get back to study.
    I love to study and adquire knowledge.

  • Lalji Sindhal

    Hi I’m from India I’m here to know something more about latest teaching techniques and to update and upgrade myself

  • Marie-Anne ASSANVO

    Hi Dear,
    I am from Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. English is one of my passion and communicating in English like native speakers is my ultimate goal.
    I am therefore here to improve my skills to proficiency-native speakers level for two main reasons:
    – the first one is to confirm a conditional offer for a Master degree,
    – the second is to experience the IELTS Test on the learner perspective as I intend to provide IELTS preparation classes in my country.

  • charles chinionga

    Hi all,
    It is my first online course, I am here to improve my skill and get my IELTS to get scholarship. I want be as native people that speaks the language English.

  • Muhammad

    I hope to be as the native speakes in this language to help more people to achieve thier goals

  • Roberlt Liwe

    Really great one

  • ana rosa rodriguez montero

    I’m very happy in taking this course and I can to learn more about English Academic, also I would like have a proper English speaking, So let’s go everyone!

  • Gugulethu Mavuso

    I am very excited to take this course. It will inform the position that I am at in a great way. I do child safeguarding in my MA.

  • Dina Mowafi

    i am interested in taking this course because i need to improve my second language also to help my children to learn right and fast.

  • Dennis Maralit

    Hi everyone!
    I am also interested to learn much more of English Language because I want to be prepared by moving to other country like Canada, New Zealand and or Australia. And learning English language is one of the strongest qualifications in applying in English language country. I want to push myself in studying to improve my English language. I motivate myself because i want to pass IELTS exam.


    Hi everyone!
    I am interested in improving my English for Academic and also I want to learn more about English Common Law. I am a professor at a University in Brazil. I am very happy to stay with this group. I hope that all of us can learn a lot.

    • Md.Kabir Ahamed

      Hi ! Camila Barreto Pinto Silva,
      I’m a retired banker, runing 62 years from Banladeh in South Asia. I ‘ve visited India, Indonesia,Malaysia,Thailand,Singapore,Saudia Arabia,UAE & UK. My mother language is Bangla. But when I talked they do’nt understand my laguage.That is why I would like to develop my english laguage proficiency.

  • Donnavan Staddon

    Hi all iam interested in taking this course because i have a passion to learn almost anything to do with how computers work, i have been interested in getting a job in IT this is why iam taking this course.

  • Michael Ray

    My name is Mike I am from Kansas in the USA have been interested in emergency magagement for some time. Thaking this course to keep me updated on current theory.