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FutureLearn Launches Subscription-Based ExpertTracks

ExpertTrack, FutureLearn’s new microcredential, costs $39/month.

While major course providers continue to release new stand-alone online courses, microcredentials are being launched at a faster rate. Class Central research shows that in 2020, 360 new microcredentials were introduced, a 43% increase over 2019 numbers. The 2800 courses released in 2020 represent an increase of around 20% from 2019.

FutureLearn is starting 2021 with the launch of a new type of microcredential – ExpertTrack. This new credential is skill focused and costs $39/month.

Currently, there are 35 ExpertTracks listed on FutureLearn (complete list can be found below) but only eight out of the 35 are from universities including Goldsmiths, University of London, Monash, and Coventry.

FutureLearn itself is listed as a creator on 10 ExpertTracks. Each of these also has a collaborator which is a tech company including the likes of SalesForce, Github, and Tableau. Class Central discovered that some older courses have been repackaged into ExpertTracks.

Instead of primarily session-based courses, these are self-paced. They are also FutureLearn’s first foray into a subscription-based model for individual courses/programs. This is very similar to Coursera’s Specializations. Your subscription automatically cancels after you finish all the courses, or you can cancel at any time if you decide not to complete the ExpertTrack. If you are a faster learner, you will pay less.

As long as you do not take months longer than the recommended time, these courses are less expensive than FutureLearn’s Microcredentials, Academic Certificates and Degrees. Most ExpertTracks have recommended learning times between 8 and 12 weeks, with some up to 25 weeks. They consist of between 3 and 6 courses each. The most common format is a 12-week ExpertTrack made up of 3 short courses.

Like Microcredentials and courses for academic credit, ExpertTracks are not included in FutureLearn Unlimited.

Being self-paced, it is possible that the discussions may not be monitored by course mentors, but any learner can flag inappropriate comments.

I signed up for Customer Experience Design for Customer Success and completed the first course. It is a similar format to other FutureLearn courses I have taken, with reading, audio and video components, plus helpful links to relevant websites and several practical activities. Opportunities for discussion are on almost every course page, with some pages dedicated to specific discussion topics. The end-of-course test consisted of 10 multiple-choice questions. The information mentioned that if you do not pass, you can retake the test, but I scored above the 70% pass mark on my first attempt.

FutureLearn ExpertTracks

ExpertTrack Name Institution Courses/Length
Data Science on Microsoft Azure Using Python Programming CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.
Accredited by Microsoft
5 courses, 14 weeks
Deep Learning and Python Programming for AI with Microsoft Azure CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.
Accredited by Microsoft
5 courses, 21 weeks
AI Design and Engineering with Microsoft Azure CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.
Accredited by Microsoft
5 courses, 17 weeks
Assessment for Learning: Formative Assessment in Science and Maths Teaching National STEM Learning Centre 3 courses, 11 weeks
Believe, Build, Become: How to Supercharge your Career AllBright 3 courses, 12 weeks
Blended Learning Essentials for Vocational Education and Training University of Leeds & UCL Institute of Education 3 courses, 10 weeks
CRM Fundamentals and Practice FutureLearn & Salesforce 3 courses, 12 weeks
Customer Experience Design for Customer Success FutureLearn & Salesforce 3 courses, 12 weeks
Cyber Security Foundations: Start Building Your Career in Cyber Defense EC-Council 4 courses, 15 weeks
Data Analysis with Excel for Complete Beginners CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.
Accredited by Microsoft
4 courses, 10 weeks
Data Analytics for Business FutureLearn & Tableau 3 courses, 12 weeks
Data Analytics Using Python FutureLearn & GitHub 3 courses, 12 weeks
Data Science Fundamentals on Microsoft Azure CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.
Accredited by Microsoft
6 courses, 18 weeks
Data Visualisation FutureLearn & Tableau 3 courses, 12 weeks
Educational Neuroscience: Research-Led Teaching Approaches Central Queensland University 4 courses, 8 weeks
Exploring English: Language and Culture British Council 3 courses, 13 weeks
Finance Data Analysis: Better Business Through Financial Management Coventry University 5 courses, 10 weeks
Financial Analysis for Business Decisions FutureLearn & Tableau 3 courses, 12 weeks
Financial Analysis for Business Performance FutureLearn & Xero 3 courses, 12 weeks
How to Become an Entrepreneur: From Design Thinking to SWOT Analysis Coventry University 5 courses, 10 weeks
How to Create a Social Media Strategy Institute of Data & Marketing 3 courses, 10 weeks
How to Plan and Teach Great English Lessons British Council 3 courses, 12 weeks
How to Start Your Own SEO Agency: From SEO Basics to Turning a Profit ClickSlice 3 courses, 11 weeks
Information Security Design and Development Coventry University 5 courses, 10 weeks
Innovations in Fintech University of Michigan 4 courses, 16 weeks
International Culture and Tourism Management Nankai University 4 courses, 22 weeks
Introduction to Psychology Monash University 6 courses, 12 weeks
Learn to Play Jazz Piano Goldsmiths, University of London 4 courses, 25 weeks
Project Management and its Role in Effective Business Coventry University 5 courses, 10 weeks
Software Development Fundamentals FutureLearn & MuleSoft 3 courses, 12 weeks
Software Development with Python and Java FutureLearn & GitHub 3 courses, 12 weeks
Teaching Practical Science: Progress Student Learning Through Hands-On Science National STEM Learning Centre 3 courses, 9 weeks
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Training: SEO, Google Ads and Cold Email ClickSlice 3 courses, 12 weeks
UX Design Fundamentals FutureLearn & Canva 3 courses, 12 weeks
Volunteering in the Classroom: Bringing STEM Industry into Schools National STEM Learning Centre 4 courses, 8 weeks
Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 100+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

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