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Code of conduct
We believe that part of what makes learning on FutureLearn special is the chance to talk to other learners from all over the world, and learn from each other.
Being a part of this learning community means behaving with honesty, respect and kindness to fellow learners and educators.
Therefore, as a FutureLearner, you agree that:
Any owner or user of a FutureLearn account must be at least 13.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13 and wish to use a FutureLearn course to help with their education (e.g. homeschooling), you should use your own FutureLearn account to work through the materials with them, and take part in any conversations as yourself.
Read more about child safety on FutureLearn.
This is because communicating with lots of people becomes very difficult if everyone comments in a different language.
Some courses are available in languages other than English. On those courses, only the appropriate language should be used.
On your FutureLearn profile, we encourage you to use the name that you prefer to be known by in your daily life.
However, if you have privacy or safety concerns, you are welcome to use a different profile name or to just use an initial for part of it.
Profile names must not impersonate another person (living or dead), other users, or brands, and must be in line with the rest of this Code of Conduct.
You will not share your personal contact details on the FutureLearn platform, or ask another learner for theirs.
We consider personal contact details to include email address, postal address or telephone number, or direct communication tools such as Skype or Snapchat.
This is for safety and privacy reasons: you don’t know who might be reading your comment and who may contact you other than the person you thought you were sharing your details with.
It is fine to provide links to a social network such as Twitter or Facebook, but please make sure you are happy with your privacy settings before you do.
The comments and assignments you post are your own work, and if you quote anything from another place (including other comments), you credit the author.
Do not copy another learner’s comment and pretend that it is your own. If you agree with a comment, ‘like’ it instead or leave a reply.
If you wish to quote text from another source, remember to show where it came from. If it’s from the web, include the URL.
You are respectful of others, and do not use words or share content that is offensive or inflammatory.
This includes, but is not limited to, language, names or content that is sexist, racist, homophobic, antisemitic, sexually explicit, abusive, contains swearing or is otherwise likely to cause offence.
Remember that you are in an inclusive learning environment shared with people who may be of different ages, nationalities, religions, cultures and backgrounds, with different knowledge, ability and experience to you.
Communicating online through text can lead to misunderstandings, so it is important to give other people the benefit of the doubt, and be kind in your interactions: sometimes it’s difficult to know or fully appreciate the situation of the person you’re talking to.
If you disagree with someone's ideas you will discuss their ideas, rather than criticise or attack them personally.
We consider a personal attack to be any negative comment directed to or about an individual that is about them personally, or uses personal information against them.
This applies to comments directed at educators and course contributors, as well as learners, for example comments about the physical appearance of a contributor in a video.
If a comment is believed to be libellous, it may be hidden for legal reasons.
Do not persistently argue with another learner or an educator. If you aren’t able to resolve your differences, you should stop communicating with them, otherwise you may have to leave the course.
It’s fine to share the answers when the course or educator requests you to do so.
If there’s a story as part of the course, please don’t share ‘spoilers’!
You are supportive and constructive when offering feedback to other learners in activities such as Peer Review and discussions.
Feedback should be offered in order to help the recipient, rather than make them feel bad. Giving constructive feedback is a skill in itself and extremely valuable to the learning process.
You are law-abiding and do not participate in, condone or encourage unlawful or potentially harmful activity.
This includes threatening or encouraging suicide or self-harm, as well as breach of copyright, defamation, or contempt of court.
You must not offer unsolicited health advice to other learners, even if you are qualified or knowledgable in that area.
You are here to learn, not to advertise products or services, and you will not use FutureLearn as a platform for campaigning.
This includes personal and not-for-profit websites.
It is fine to include a link to your personal website in your FutureLearn profile.
It is also fine to link to commercial websites when requested to in activity as part of a course.
However, if you repeatedly post comments to promote or campaign for something, even if it is not commercial, this will be considered spam (see below).
You add to conversations and do not ‘spam’ other learners by posting the same comment multiple times, or by posting comments that are unrelated to the course.
Completely off-topic comments and identical (or near-identical) comments posted repeatedly will be considered spam.
Off-topic comments are not related to the overall subject of a course or to the specific subject of the step. It is natural for conversation to drift, but completely unrelated comments can be disruptive and frustrate other learners.
You will help the FutureLearn community by reporting comments that you believe have broken this Code of Conduct.
You can report a comment by clicking on the flag icon beneath it:
You can also report Peer Review assignments, feedback, and learner profiles.
Find out more about Moderation on FutureLearn.