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Course Container Standards

Description/Purpose

Courses are a general container for content, covering a single topic. Courses are perfect for individuals who know a specific topic that they would like to learn, such as a certain language, framework, library, or task. Courses offer everything you need to learn such content in about 1-2 months. Each course contains an assorted list of content items designed to help you learn and practice real-world skills.

Place in Content

Courses exist at the Track level of our Curriculum content and are our shortest Curriculum product, smaller than Skill Paths and Career Paths. Courses are made up of a single Track, which in turn is made up of Modules containing assorted content items (including, but not limited to Informationals, Articles, Interactive Articles, Lessons, Quizzes, Videos, Practice Projects). Content that replicates Courses may feature as Units in Skill Paths and Career Paths (Courses and Units are learner facing terms for Tracks). Not all content in Skill Paths and Career Paths exist in our separate course catalog.

Quality Standards

The following sections are the standards. They should be presented in a checklist format. There are four primary categories.

Meta Data

  • Course titles are consistent with the type of course
    • For language and framework courses: 'Learn X…'
      • X should always be a language or framework
    • For concepts: 'Learn the Basics of X...'
    • For specific tasks: 'How to X…'
    • All current titles follow one of the following patterns:
      • Learn X [language]
      • Learn X [skill] with Y [language/library/software]
      • How to X [task]
      • How to do X [task] with Y [language/library]
      • Learn the Basics of X [concept]
      • Learn the Basics of X [concept] with Y [language]
      • X [concept]
    • Titling standards and rationale can be found in this document.
    • And changes in 2020 can be found in this spreadsheet
  • Include an appropriate category:
  • Time to complete is roughly .5-2 months
  • Track slug is unique and is easily identifiable

Content/Structure

  • Average amount of content:
    • 1 Track, with anywhere between 1 to ~8 Modules, but Curriculum Developers should aim for between 3-5 when scoping new projects
    • Courses typically should have more than one module, but due to production constraints and timelines may be released with only one module at first. If a course is not complete it is a "stub course" and is not eligible for certification until the course is considered complete
    • Course scoping depends on the Pedagogy/Learner Experience (below)
  • For Learn X language courses (scripting languages), modules cover the following topics:
    • Variables, data types, functions, conditional statements, loops, collection data structures (lists, arrays, etc.), objects
    • For lower level languages, it may necessitate additional topics. For example, teaching references and pointers in C++

Editorial

  • Consistent tone throughout the Path Informationals (specifically, within the Introductory Track, Final Track, and Intro and Review Modules)
  • No typos or grammatical errors

Pedagogy/Learner Experience

  • Teach essential concepts: this content teaches a person the necessary concepts of certain topics.
    • Example: Learn Python teaches the basic programming concepts and syntax of the Python language.
    • Example: Data Structures in Python teaches fundamental data structures
    • Determining what is necessary is the important aspect of scoping a course appropriately
  • Focus on specific languages and concepts: Unlike Skill Paths and Career Paths which aggregate and curate material together into a specific roadmap, courses focus on specific topics, like a language or concept. If a course begins to extend beyond that scope, it's a good sign that it needs to be broken up into multiple courses and/or be combined into a Skill Path with additional off-platform projects.
  • Standards for specific course sub-products:
    • Learn X language courses: these courses teach the fundamentals of specific languages. Someone who finishes this course should have a grasp of basic concepts and their syntactical implementation. See suggested structure above for scripting languages.
    • Learn X library or framework courses: these courses teach the fundamentals of specific frameworks and libraries.
  • Content Types: Courses may include single-topic Challenge Projects, but not cumulative (more than one topic) Challenge Projects. They do not include Portfolio Projects.
  • Award Certifications: Learners who complete required content in paths receive a certificate.
  • Quality Standards: all content meets the quality standards of their respective content type.

Examples

Here are several (but not all) of our Courses: