Online courses and the approach they take to teaching

Over the past 6 months, I have glazed over numerous online courses and programs that have been showing up all over the internet in recent years. While online courses used to be in the domain of the university, in recent times there has been an explosion in the amount of online schools that offer classes that are either cheap, free, or affordable, what varies between them however is the style in which they choose to teach.

I have recently been comparing Freecodecamp to Udemy’s 15$ courses, Freecodecamp offers their students the chance to work through numerous assignments, hashing out each method of accomplishing the goals they are setting out to teach, however there is very little room to maneuver, as there is only a simple instruction on each page, and if you need help, you must wait for others to come along on the message board as each assignment doesn’t have any kind of explanation as to how it should be completed. Whereas some Udemy courses dont offer the student nearly as much “coding” time, instead, they offer video, they show the student how to accomplish what the teacher is accomplish, potentially holding the students hand too close, not forcing them to learn deeply enough.

When it comes to learning, I believe that a merged approach to these two websites would do well, a system where video supports the student through assignments and projects, while also offering an on screen area where you can code, and see results, as opposed to having a detached screen where you watch a teacher work, and then do something in your own text editor, and assume you got it right if you followed along with the teacher. Sites like Freecodecamp offer a decent framework when it comes to the requirements it sets before you can move on to the next assignment, you need to have correct code based on the assignment before you can move on. This system seems to work much better as a student then what I have seen in some Udemy courses where it sort of feels inconsequential because you have to watch the teacher do everything.


If there are any online schools that offer this approach please let me know! I’ll be searching!

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