I understand that when one is put under pressure to stretch from what they are taught then they are better able to retain what they have learned. I totally get that and agree. But teaching some elementary HTML/CSS/jQuery then telling someone to build a tribute page with an unfamiliar CodePen which splits up the code we learned into three different editors, uses some different code, and then asks the student to follow uncertain rules to the satisfaction of an unknown authority is not teaching.
I can teach someone to hammer a nail and saw a board. But to then ask them to build an extension on to their house? That’s not teaching. Of course if the person builds on to the house they will have “learned” something. But the purpose of guidance is to accelerate that process. If they aren’t keeping students guided then it is quite clear that freeCodeCamp needs to learn how to do their job more effectively before someone else does.
My suggestions are:
- Provide students an opportunity to build on a foundation.
- Forget the cat app and teach a student to build a tribute page right off the bat.
- Have students build multiple tribute pages each with increasing complexity.
- Give students clear objectives for each assignment.
- Give students other functions with which to experiment and to try.
In short, this course has too little guidance, too much obscurity in assignment objectives, and too little practice. However, I do love being able to sequentially complete assignments. It does make me feel like I am accomplishing something…until I get to a poorly defined and designed project.