Students’ perspectives on their Udacity experiences

Recently, I’ve been stumbling into numerous blog posts written by students who’ve taken classes at Udacity about their experiences with the web site. Here, I point you to some of the ones I found interesting.

While the numerous Udacity course reviews I’ve stumbled upon are on average vocal and positive, this sample I’ve drawn points to a basic truth: The offerings on Udacity (and elsewhere) can only be as good as the instructors teaching it.

First we have Chad. Chad found Prof. Dave Evans a great teacher for CS 101 and concludes:

“So my overall Udacity experience was a positive one. I refreshed/enhanced my basic programming knowledge and got that snazzy certificate. I’m happy enough that I’ll be signing up for more courses in the next session. I’m going to attempt both CS253 (Web Application Engineering) and their new Intro to Statistics offering at the same time. I might drop down to just one, but I’m optimistic that I can handle both.”

Next, we have Gerard, who who didn’t find Peter Norvig’s programming style elucidatory enough, and thus found his CS212 class extremely demanding:

“Many people talked about how tough the course was, but the problem was not the material; it was the teacher. There is no doubt in my mind that if someone with better teaching—and software development—skills covered the same material, it would have been much more accessible to everyone.”

And finally, we have Dan. Dan has enjoyed his experience thus far with Udacity so much that he’s unenrolled from community college to learn full-time on the web site!

“I’m going to be one of the guniea pigs, one of the first to get a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from a browser university. Or if not a Bachelor’s, whatever the profession settles on as the functional equivalent.”