This post is part of a series that expands on Dave Cormier’s Youtube video “Success in a MOOC” and applies his advice to the upcoming Mechanical MOOC about the Python programming language. Cormier breaks down online learning success into five steps: Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster and Focus. This post offers a quick orientation to CodeAcademy.
A product of Y Combinator 2011, CodeAcademy is just over a year old, but it has already built a user-base of hundreds of thousands of people who are learning to code or teaching others. The tool has garnered widespread media coverage and healthy start-up investments.
On the profile page, the learner can track how much of the course she has completed and the course milestones she has yet to accomplish. Codeacademy awards badges for perseverance in a course, including completing a lesson or working on exercises for a certain number of days in a row.
You’ll need a CodeAcademy account to participate, but it’s easy to set up the account using your Google, Facebook or Twitter credentials. You can set your account profile to be public or private and share your Twitter and GitHub profiles there if you like.
The Codeacademy Terms of Service includes a generic termination clause, but doesn’t describe any behaviors that would get someone’s account shut down. It also mentions that they plan to offer premium accounts in the future, which raises the question of continued access to your lessons, coding projects and record of accomplishment.
Instructors interested in producing courses on CodeAcademy should be aware that the site’s owner Ryzac, Inc. will retain intellectual property rights over your contributions, per the Terms of Service:
“You hereby grant us the right to own all right, title and interest (including patent rights, copyright rights, trade secret rights, mask work rights, trademark rights, sui generis database rights and all other rights of any sort throughout the world) to any and all Curriculum Contributions you make to the Website, and you hereby make all assignments necessary to accomplish the foregoing ownership.”