So just some small suggestions that I think could improve CodeAcademy and something I think is already working well. Respond if you agree or post other things you think could be improved on (not sure if my thoughts are universal across all lessons). I am stating this in reflecting on my struggles in the “BeFORe We Begin” lesson (the second one on looping in Python). For a more detailed explanation see the bottom of this post.
Strength - Solution helps for getting over hurdles… it is a great feature.
Weakness - Hint button often gives completely useless information… solution: put in more review definitions in response to clicking the hint button, or have it respond with different examples or something more useful than just saying “have you tried multiplying?”
Weakness - Lesson often gives examples of code, but not enough examples of what the console would show with said code… solution: give more examples of console outputs so I do not have to erase all my code, copy, paste, run, then get my code back… just give more console examples.
Hope that helps
So I have an easy time with loops when they have an easy statement after… example you loop through a dictionary, and then you remove they key to get the value and print that. It is simple because it is for ___ in ___: and then you follow it with an if ___ statement… or you follow it with print ___.
Where I am struggling, is I do not know how to multiply one set of values by another and then add them, and it tries to get you to do all of that in one bit. I do not know all of the things that can come after loop statements… like can I use an add(), str(), do I have to start with if? What are my options? So I am just throwing stuff at a wall and failing hard… and the issue, the HINTS were completely useless.
Like on the page before, “Keeping Track of the Produce”, it offered no hint (a problem), but the lesson/explanation was clear enough, after enough time pondering, going back through the lesson I figured out on my own how to get the output to be exactly the name, the string of characters followed by the price (using % to remove the key from the beginning) etc. I felt really rewarded and it was great.
BAM next page and I have hit one of the biggest walls I have hit so far. What prompted me to make this post was the “HINT.” After being stuck, I clicked on it and literally, literally got the response…
"The value of any given product is its number of items in stock multiplied by its price. For instance, the total cost for bananas would be 24 (a price of 4 multiplied by 6 bananas in stock).
You should print the number all by itself—no need for any additional text!"
Literally, the hint told me have you tried multiplying? It did not help me restructure my for/in statement. Did not tell me how to code multiplying things after a for/in. Did not give an example. I just have a vague hint of only printing the number. This made me realize that the HINTS really need to be reworked (especially for a new to coding person such as myself).
So that is the tldr spot, but I hope that gives you some insight and I think it highlights an easy place to improve the HINT function. Well if you all want to respond with other solutions to hiccups in CodeAcademy I think it could help. Have a great day!