Description and Purpose
An article is a written content item that can contain instructional text, embedded images and videos, and embedded assessments (of all types).
Common use cases of articles include to:
- Introduce new material that doesn’t fit well into a lesson format, usually either because it’s short or conceptual
- Define terms or expand on a topic that’s also covered by an exercise
- Surface videos, particularly when you want to show a video and an assessment simultaneously
- Provide learners with instructions on how to set up software on their personal computers
Article vs. Informational vs. Tutorial vs. Blog Post vs. Lesson
- Article vs. Informational: While informationals focus on either introducing or reviewing the concepts covered by a course, articles cover a range of topics, like knowing what JSON is or conceptually explaining quick sort.
- Article vs. Tutorial: Articles are distinct from tutorials in that tutorials expect learners to work off-platform and walk through each step of building a project, whereas articles may only cover a concept or explain one step of going off-platform.
- Article vs. Blog Post: Articles differ from blog posts in that articles are primarily intended to reside within a course, although we also sometimes share articles on
codecademy.com/articlesas well. Blog posts are more focused on cool and interesting things or helpful tips for learners rather than teaching essential skills. Here's an example of a Curriculum produced blog post: Using Machine Learning to Analyze Taylor Swift's Lyrics.
- Article vs. Lesson: Concepts that require little or no coding, give context on how to get set up off-platform, or that are fairly short (e.g. would only have 2-3 exercises if formatted into a lesson) are generally better fits for an article. An article is different from a lesson in that all of an article is presented on a single screen, unlike a lesson which is broken up into smaller chunks (exercises). An article is also typically shorter than a lesson, teaching fewer learning standards and having fewer checks for understanding.
An article is a very flexible content item and can be included in a number of places throughout a course or path, based on the article’s purpose. An article typically contains text, but may include images, assessments, applets, or videos.
- All content is written in Markdown and adheres to Codecademy’s Markdown Style Guide.
- All content adheres to Codecademy's Editorial and Pedagogy standards
- Content adheres to Codecademy’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility standards.
- All work is original. Sources are cited via links or, for datasets, by following the Dataset Guidelines.
Fields in Author
The description provides a brief (1-2 sentence) description of the contents of the article.
- The description will be surfaced on the
/articlespage, so should help learners understand why they would want to read the article.
- The description will also be surfaced at the top of the article when presented to learners.
- The description should include key terms when appropriate (for SEO purposes).
- The description should be written in sentence case.
The main content of the article.
- Articles should teach one focused concept. If an article is getting too long, try to find a good breaking point and split it into multiple smaller articles or a different content item.
- Articles, when appropriate, should contain an introductory paragraph bulleting what the user can expect to learn.
- The article should identify any major pre-requisites to its content.
- Articles should include subheadings describing its content.
- Text should be broken up with bullet points and images or code snippets.
- The article uses examples, where possible, to demonstrate abstract concepts.
Videos and art assets in articles
- An article should contain a maximum of 1 embedded video (with exceptions for "alternate" videos included for different operating systems)
- All videos and ART assets in the article are aligned with Codecademy brand style guidelines.
- For video standards, see the Video Standards.
Assessments in articles
- An article can contain a maximum of 5 assessments (this is a limit of the LE)
- Each embedded assessment in an article should be associated with a learning standard.
- Assessments in an article should only assess standards that are either taught in the article, or somewhere else in the module the article is in.
- For writing assessments, see the Assessment Standards:
The title is displayed to learners at the top of the article in the LE and in the course menu.
- Titles should include key terms when appropriate (for SEO purposes.)
The slug is used to create a URI for the content item.
- The slug is auto-generated based on the Title field though it can be edited.
Minutes to Complete
This field should be how long you think the article and any embedded elements will take to complete.
- This field is not surfaced to learners.
- Most individuals read at around 250 words per minute, so this can be used as a proxy while you estimate time to complete. When in doubt, air on the side of being conservative — so make a longer estimate rather than a shorter one.
This field allows you to add an associated author(s) to the item. For now, this field is not publicly visible, but is helpful as a reference.
Curriculum developers use this field to determine whether a Free or Pro audience has access to this item.
This field is automatically generated. Its contents are generated from any assessments that are embedded in the article.
Free Response Assessments List
This field is automatically generated. Its contents are generated from any free response assessments that are embedded in the article.
The list of learning standards the article teaches (if introducing new material).
- Any article introducing new material should have learning standards associated with it.
- Any new conceptual content that is taught in an article should be associated with a learning standard.
- Learning standards are not surfaced to the learners.
Categories are used to group and surface articles at https://www.codecademy.com/articles
- Applying categories to articles will make them appear for free in the
Containers That Use This Article
This field is auto-generated and will populate any containers that contain this article.
There are many different types of articles. Here are some examples:
- Python User Input - introduction to new material article
- Python With Databases - introduction to new material article, relying heavily on images, code blocks, and Code Challenge assessments
- XML in Android - video article
- Starting a Project - mixed video & assessment article
- What is Programming? - "applet" article aka interactive iframes used to make conceptual content interactive
- Python Code Challenge: Lists - code challenge article
- Java Code Challenge: Using Loops With Strings - another code challenge article
- Installing Phaser Locally - off-platform setup article