Author briefing – for online courses

While producing Open University online courses for the FutureLearn platform, I briefed the consultant authors who would draft the new online materials from existing OU print-based language materials.

My briefing sessions included demonstrations of exemplar materials on the platform and explanation of how the print materials would need to be transformed.

In this handout, I focused on things which were different from standard OU practice and which experience showed they were likely to get wrong:

  • character limits (for titles and headings) and indicative lengths (for pages, week-units, courses)
  • limitations on media use (videos could only appear at the top of a page and not be combined with interactive quiz questions)
  • OU interactive forms which could not be replicated on FutureLearn (click-to-reveal, free-entry text boxes, interactivity within a table)
  • terminology differences (“learner” not “student”, “educator” not “tutor”, “discussion” not “forum”).