Skip to main content


Speaker: Professor Mike Sharples (The Open University) Title: Designing Massive Open Social Learning

The pedagogy-informed design process for FutureLearn

The FutureLearn platform has enabled over 150,000 people to learn online through courses offered by leading universities. Design of the FutureLearn platform has been guided by theories of social learning, alongside evidence of effective methods of teaching, learning and assessment. Each new feature is developed in relation to the design aims of telling powerful stories, enabling productive conversation, and celebrating progress. Consequences of this pedagogy-led design include: building courses around explicit learning steps; making learning visible through profile pages and discussions linked to each learning step; enabling users to follow other learners; designing peer review as a formative and discursive activity; and developing peer assessment based on Adaptive Comparative Judgment. All these elements must be deployed for massive-scale courses of over 10,000 participants and for learners with a wide variety of abilities, interests and types of engagement. I shall describe the pedagogy-informed design process for FutureLearn, the structure and elements of the platform and learning experience, and evidence of patterns of learning and user attitudes.

Event details

Professor_Mike_Sharples.pdfProfessor Mike Sharples' Biography, Title and Abstract (201K)
Professor_Mike_Sharples.pdfProfessor Mike Sharples' PowerPoint presentation (3392K)


North Cloisters 12