Criticism of the Make a Website tutorial - too easy to fake


#1

Wasn't sure if this should go in the discussion forums but this is an overall critique of the "Make a Website" tutorial so far, I'm on 6/9 in the first section, I think: Make a Website: HTML. Supporting content 1

https://www.codecademy.com/courses/web-beginner-en-ez2n4/0/6?content_from=make-a-website%3Ahtml-elements

I took the Python course and just loved it. However, the Python course was a puzzle, and made me think. Several times in this HTML Make Website course, incl 6/9, you can easily pass the level with a cut-and-paste, without thinking anything about why or how div classes work. I've already had to go back and re-read what a div class was, and had to go to google for more info.

For the purposes of an easy win / feeling of accomplishment, hey I made a website, it's fine, but if you want to get people to learn, allowing cut and paste in the first chapter without thinking a second thought about why... it's not the best, for a beginner tutorial.

Thanks,
pw.

--

Update:
So, now I am halfway through Unit 3.
https://www.codecademy.com/skills/make-a-website/topics/css-properties-box/css-background-image-try

Several of the "Try it out"s in a row asks you to update the 'value' in the code. Basically all I have to do is cut-and-paste the values suggested in the instructions. (The color, the measurement, the image address.) I just realized that I don't remember what the 'selector' or 'property' usually is, or how the syntax goes. The Python course made us type it all out by ourselves, there wasn't this feeding the answers. You had to make your mistakes, and go through the muscle memory of typing the words and punctuation. That made it a lot easier to remember and retain the code, the syntax, and the lesson.

Again, the last paragraph above, before the update.


#2

I do not agree with you.

Yes, codecademy is a learning resource. Let's say that you think seriously about programming career. You know that codecademy courses are very basic, you need something serious. You buy the best possible book to learn JavaScript - JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. Author advises you to test your gathered knowledge by doing a simple exercise. But you just go to the next page. You can read whole book this way and learn nothing.

The same thing is with codecademy. They want you to learn something new, but they can't force you. This is pointless.


#3

They want you to learn something new, but they can't force you.

Of course! However, I think that there are optimal ways for the tutorials to go, and as I explained in my example above, Codecademy's Python course is superior to the Make a Website course in their execution. So far in my three units I haven't had to type hardly any syntax, or any properties, for the html / css. The repetition of the typing of syntax in Python made a big difference in how quickly I retained that language.

I could, of course, type out the syntax rather than cut and paste. But I'd still be copying the words in the sidebar. I'm not really thinking, when I copy. It hasn't been a puzzle to figure out, and the lack of effort is detrimental to memory retention in my experience. That's all.

I'm not saying that I can't learn from this course. I'm not saying that I won't get anything out of this course.

I'm merely suggesting potential ways to improve the course in a way that Codecademy is already capable of doing based on other tutorials I've taken here. I'm just saying that this tutorial isn't perfect, isn't optimal, and could easily be improved with some minimal changes, and this would benefit Codecademy's mission.


#4

I'm just saying that this tutorial isn't perfect, isn't optimal, and could easily be improved with some minimal changes, and this would benefit Codecademy's mission.

You are right, I completely agree with you :smile:

I was trying to convince them to fix few resources that are very misleading and are not consistent with reality (teaching resources are very bad written), so I guess we are on the same side.

I hope that you will have more lucky than I and your post will bring some changes.


#5

I m very new to this site and this was also my introduction-course. -Very good 1 !! (Perhaps a link to html-refereces is missing)

Without copy-pasting ... Well my visit to this site wouldnt have lasted 15 minutes ^^
Sereously: Everyone is responsible for himself and itentions for learning to code differ ... so every (Meta-) Contend has to stay an OFFER in every way !!