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How to Scale Your Coding Class

9 Feb, 2022





In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the workforce due to rapid technological changes, which means that businesses and institutions are having to adapt to ensure their survival. These changes can also be observed in school curricula, which are being evaluated and reformed across the globe to ensure that students acquire new core competencies to be ready to meet the needs of emerging sectors. Furthermore, they can be seen in applications for higher education programs, where there is a steady increase in undergraduate degrees in computer science, as one survey from the Computing Research Association points out in an article from The New York Times. 

It is no surprise to learn in 2022 that the jobs of data analysts, data scientists, software engineers, cloud managers, IT professionals, etc. are among the most in-demand. These jobs require a list of general and specialized skills, a common one which is that of the universal computing language, coding. 

Coding schools and computer science courses have understood the need and offer a variety of programs aimed at helping teach these in-demand skills but they might be failing in expanding their reach and responding to the increasing demand to provide technology training and support the current and future generations of IT experts. 

This article outlines ways your coding school or programming course can scale fast while maintaining a high-quality and personalized teaching approach.

  1. It’s Time to Shift to Online to Grow
  2. Content Adapting to the Changing Times
  3. Scaling Without Losing the Quality
  4. Conclusion

It’s Time to Shift to Online to Grow

The move to online education has long been a topic of discussion and debate, but this shift was accelerated due to the global pandemic. The shift to online is not only a response to the consequences of the pandemic but also contributes to improving the overall quality of learning by making it accessible.

Why does accessibility matter?

Access to education is a necessary objective across the globe and the shift to digital is helping to bridge that gap. Accessibility can be described as how easy something can be obtained, used, or understood. Let’s look at some examples of accessible characteristics.

1. An easy installation and login process

The online platform you choose should be easily accessible for all to install and use. Further to a seamless installation, the platform should have an easy login process such as a single secure sign-on feature, allowing the user to sign in once, and navigate the platform at their ease.

2. A user-friendly interface navigation 

A user-friendly interface is an interface that is clear with intuitive user navigation. A highly qualitative user interface should consist only of the key elements and have a good structure. This is especially important as many learners have a fear of coding. An intuitive coding platform will motivate and encourage the learner to continue pursuing the learning journey.  



Did you know?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which help explain in detail how to make web content more accessible to people, including people with disabilities. The WCAG has been recognized as an international standard and is a legal compliance standard for organizations and institutions in some countries.

In summary, an accessible platform should make the user journey as easy as possible, from the installation to the navigation. It should also include a universally understood language through its icons, navigation tools and features. An accessible platform can help widen demographics and thus reach more people, enhancing their learning journey and allowing them to focus on the content right away.



Content Adapting to the Changing Times

Content creation and delivery are essential components of a course. Whether the teaching method is completely remote or hybrid, the content for the online course must be developed specifically for online learning and so, varies from an in-person lesson. 

There are many available resources that can support instructors in building highly engaging and interactive content quickly and efficiently.   

1. Authoring capabilities 

The online platform used must be equipped with authoring tools and course templates that assist in the creation of content and integration of various multimedia components. To create custom content for a programming course, some features, such as authoring in markdown format, can help speed up the process, as it is a lightweight, easy-to-use markup language. Access to a content library containing course templates is also an excellent resource to get you started.

2. Live environments

Practice is proven to boost knowledge retention. Using live environments puts students into realistic situations where they can safely practice how to code. This will contribute to offering students a sense of realism, deepening their understanding and allowing them to develop decision-making aptitudes. 

Overall, content created for online delivery must include a blend of theoretical and practical exercises. Using the tools and capabilities of a third-party platform can help speed up the process of content creation and immerse students in real-life environments where the overall learning experience becomes more active, practical and multi-sensory. 



Scaling Without Losing the Quality

So far, we have seen that moving your course online will make it more accessible, which can help you reach more people globally. We looked at how technology can facilitate and accelerate the transition. But, expanding your reach should not mean a loss of quality. Let’s look at how a transition to online can maintain or even improve the quality of teaching. 

1. Hands-on experience

Identify a good coding platform where your learners can code in real-time. The hands-on experience will help learners put knowledge into context1.Collaborative environment

Allowing both instructors and learners to code in a single workspace can greatly impact the learning journey as it fosters knowledge sharing and provides instant communication. Communication tools such as chat or video conferencing help maintain a personalized approach. Skills can be taught and mastered through artificial intelligence (AI), but empathy remains human, so direct lines of communication between the instructor and students remain important in providing quality teaching.

2. Meaningful feedback

Features that facilitate collaboration combined with communication tools will enable the instructor to provide meaningful feedback to learners. Some features such as auto-grading and manual assessment can help gain a deeper understanding of the learners’ progress. Furthermore, interactive dashboards or analytical features can ensure the instructor captures student progress right away so they can provide faster and more personalized support.



Conclusion

Scaling your coding class requires a move to online. By adopting the right online solution to deliver your programming courses, some key features, as described in this article, can be implemented instantly, allowing your course to be accessible and adaptable. Accessibility and adaptability make it easy for both instructors and learners to use, allowing more time to focus on learning and teaching. A good platform allows you to deliver quality content and maintain a personalized approach with learners, even as you scale. 

Are you ready to scale your coding class quickly and efficiently?

Alemira Coding Lab is an interactive lab environment for all coding courses. The practical approach and hands-on assessments put your student’s skills to the test and help them learn.


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