Mar 14, 2017

Learn to Program for Free, Online and In-Person

The Duke community can learn to program for free through a special class that combines a Duke open online course with in-person sessions on campus.

The four-week course, “Foundations in HTML, CSS and Javascript,” starts March 28. Participants will learn foundational programming concepts, web development fundamentals and how to solve problems like a programmer. The course is being offered through Duke’s Innovation Co-Lab and is based on a open online course on Coursera created by four Duke faculty. All Duke students, faculty and staff can enroll for free through the Co-Lab.

Flipped Format: The Best of Both Worlds

The course will be taught in a “flipped” format: learners will watch video lectures on their own time, and then attend weekly meetups for in-person help from teaching assistants.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to go at their own pace and not be committed to an in-person session, but to still have the option to get in-person help if they need it,” said Sally Hall, a developer and educator at the Co-Lab who is one of the course TAs.

Hall emphasized that participants can come to the weekly meetups even if they are behind in the online part of the course. “The in-person session can help you get caught up. The purpose of it is to help people.”

“Foundations in HTML, CSS and Javascript” is part of the Co-Lab’s Roots Program, which offers short courses on technology skills like web development, 3D printing and programming. “Foundations” is unique in that it uses an open online course to deliver most of the content.

Hall says similar courses can cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere, so the Duke Roots course gives participants a lot of educational value. “Even if you have no interest in writing code as a career, everyone should try a little bit so they know how it works,” she said.

To learn more and register, click here.


Above: Participants in the Co-Lab’s flipped programming class at an in-person meetup last fall.