Free coding curriculum

Check out Replit’s free coding curriculum and lesson plans here!

Just started looking at the HTML and CSS lessons on the Curriculum Hub, thanks for making them available!

Is there a way to contribute back to them? There’s a lot of things that seem very slightly off (using gcloud static images in the instructions markdown instead of the image that’s in the same replit, duplicating the instructions between the lesson materials and the student-side materials, little typos, the slightly-awkward “Learner - Bronze” prefix on a bunch of the projects…)

I assume these get rusty because no one is updating them or checking if they are correct / effective, and they were copied to the Log In - Replit curriculum hub without a lot of editing, but there’s a lot of things that haven’t aged all that well with the new features!

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Definitely open to feedback! I’ll reach out to the curriculum writer to see what she thinks, too!

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Differences from how I tend to write exercises and challenges:

  • The learning objectives / intro materials are very cut-and-paste. If the students haven’t figured out that they’re learning HTML and CSS by the 2nd or 3rd assignment, I don’t think including “This lesson is about HTML and CSS” at the top again is going to help matters.
  • There’s a “who is this actually for” question in my book, given the language / style tendencies. The LOs are nominally written for the student, but I don’t honestly believe that any student is motivated by sentences like:

By completing this exercise you will have experienced the following:

  • Change text decoration; underline, overline and line-through.
  • Change margins.
  • Change border; size, style and colour.
  • The project names are similarly weird, from the student perspective. Are they supposed to be changed by the teacher before use? “Learners: Bronze - Debug” is not a title of an exercise that I would give to a student.

  • In the same vein - the contents of the exercises implicitly tell a fun story (a robot on a wanted poster?!? fun!). The instructions miss a big opportunity to connect to and expand on that fun, and create a micro-narrative. Seems like a missed opportunity!

  • The challenges are tied explicitly to their order in the rest of the learning materials. I tend to try to
    make each replit challenge modular, in the sense that it doesn’t reference what comes before or after explicitly (implicitly of course, the content depends on the knowledge built in the other lessons, but in theory this lets me swap the order of particular exercises from my LMS or whatever without having to rewrite the instructions page for every exercise)

  • The instructions are weirdly duplicated between the Lesson Materials section and the learners section. There are some weird spare unused files scattered around. It looks like this was copy/pasted from google docs into Replit without being built ‘natively’ in the tool (and, maybe this is historically true - the curriculum might predate some of the replit features it ought to use). Using weird gcloud versions of images instead of adding the image to the repl is an example of this.

  • The “here’s an image to deliver content knowledge” strategy abounds, and imo, kinda sucks. Image to illustrate the end goal of the project? Awesome. Image to teach students about the syntax for a <p> tag? Not awesome.

  • The most difficult feedback is that the end product websites should look better. See e.g. the “Glasgow Music Festival” site (Learners: Silver - Debug). The end result is pretty meh, design-wise! If we’re going to force students to follow instructions to achieve a particular design, the design has to actually look good. The robot stuff mostly gets away with it, since the sites are smaller / cuter. The Debug Silver and Gold sites are pretty bad.