Why such a disconnect between the forums and the exercises?


#1

If I'm on the forums and I see a question I'd like to help someone with these are the steps I go through.

  1. Look at which language/course it is

  2. Look at what exercise it is. It just says a number and an exercise title, for example Javascript 4. Build "Rock, Paper, Scissors"

  3. Click on the house icon at the top of the page to get me to https://www.codecademy.com/learn As far as I know this is the only way I can navigate from the forums to the courses and exercises :joy:

  4. Click on language or course exercise overview

  5. Realize that the number refers to the module number which aren't numbered on the course overview so for Javascript 4 this is actually the 2nd module in Unit 2. If I had Javascript 16 I would either need to count down to 16 from the top or check that each Unit has exactly 2 modules and navigate to the second one in Unit 8.

  6. Realize that you have no idea which exercise it is if they didn't state it in the question. A lot of users don't.

  7. Work out how to best answer the question once you find the exercise.

  8. Click on the Q&A Forum link within the exercise to get back to the forums. As far as I know this is the only way to get from the main codecademy site to the forums. So If i log in, I need to open up a course and exercise and click on that Q&A Forum link just to get to the forums.

  9. Answer the question.

Is there a better way to do this?


#2

Not really, but here is my way.

My path for getting to the exercise:

A typical post:

First, I click on Make a Website: Bootstrap which takes me to the category, then I look for this post:

Second, I click on the "read more" link, which takes me to:

Third, I can click on the particular exercise I'm looking for, if I know which one the question is really about, which takes me to this:

Now I can click on the "View Exercise" link.

Four clicks ... not the end of the world but still.

Another wrinkle, any new courses that were created after the old Q&A Forums closed won't have that path to follow.


#3

Oh thank you for that. It took me the longest time to figure out what the number was referring to since from a course exercise's overview you don't see those numbers.


#4

You're welcome. It isn't a perfect system. People often wander around a bit before they post so they are no longer in the right category. When you help in a limited number of exercises you get to know which ones they are.


#5

@albionsrefuge I do something similar, but after I go to the subcategory, I have a URL like this:

http://discuss.codecademy.com/c/javascript/javascript-beginner-en-NhsaT

Which I'll then modify to be this:

http://codecademy.com/courses/javascript-beginner-en-NhsaT

(remove discuss., and change /c/language to courses). It only works on the older courses so far, but it works OK :)

And I'll mention that I tend to help people on the newer courses less because of this. If I can't get to the exercise easily, I'm probably not going to go to the effort of getting there. But I like your method a lot for the newer courses :)


#6

Maybe you could use your Codecademy Redesigned to do the link converting and stuff an exercise link on to the page somewhere.


#7

@albionsrefuge We've considered it, but it only works on the older courses, so I don't think we can do it :confused:
I think it'd be great if Codecademy were to use a special link from each exercise, or capture the referrer, and use that as the exercise


What would be ideal is if the Codecademy team were to make this open sourced, like the rest of Discourse, and let us community mess with the code and improve it. For example, Canned Responses would be way better if they saved to the user's profile somehow, instead of using localStorage.
@alexcommunitymgr


#8

Alright, how about this suggestion;

A link to the user's Codecademy account so I can check their Codebits and see which courses they have finished and badges they have earned.


#9

@albionsrefuge That doesn't seem like a good solution, but I can see how hard it would be to implement that :)
I think I might wait for @alexcommunitymgr's response to open-sourcing these forums first, though - I don't want to waste work unnecessarily :)