A small criticism of the javascript curriculum

A small criticism of the javascript curriculum
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#1

I feel like the answers are practically given away in the lessons leading up to the first real test (The Record Collection) and that while I’m being taught, the knowledge I’m gaining isn’t being challenged. Quizzes in school are a pain but they’re given out between tests to help people understand what they may have done incorrectly up to that point, or that they’ve overlooked something in the material elsewhere.

I equate it to attempting to learn a new language (because that’s essentially what we’re doing here already).
Most of the time, you spend time on basics, do a quiz or two, keep learning some basics, then do a test on the basics at the end of it. Then you move on to more intermediate stuff. But with this curriculum, it seems more like:
pen in Spanish is “boligrafo”. Write pen in Spanish.
paper in Spanish is “papel”. Write paper in Spanish.
bowl in Spanish is “cuenco”. Write bowl in Spanish.

No quizzes, just 40 or 50 of the terms, then:
Write a 3 paragraph essay in Spanish.

One other thing, it seems like the lessons are more fragmented than they should be. This one may just be me, I have severe ADHD and it adversely affects retention for me, and I’ll happily accept that I’m wrong if I am. The lessons don’t seem to incorporate much from, say, 5 or 10 lessons prior. Like, you learn A, then you move to B, then C, so on and so forth. I would think it should be more like I’m learning D because I know A, B, and C, and that I’m not just learning it on its own. They should overlap a little and incorporate one another. Like I said, I may be wrong and could have just been moving too slowly to notice.

I know it’s my fault for not practicing more of the stuff I was learning as I was learning it, I just assumed that I’d be challenged more and I guess I shouldn’t have.

With all this said, I’m not bashing the site. It’s an excellent service that I just have a hard time understanding is all. I know it works well for others and I’ve already resolved to donate as soon as I get paid, so I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m just here complaining about something that’s free, useful, and has probably made more lives better than I ever could. Just wanted to provide some feedback. Maybe toss some challenging quizzes in between every 10 or 15 lessons so it’s not so jarring to have a real test thrown at you after doing 30 or 40 exercises where the answers are already staring you in the face.

I experienced a little of the same thing on the CSS portion, and honestly ended up just skipping the tests so I can come back when I know more about what I’m doing, but that I can live with. I understand CSS on a fundamental level and if I don’t work with it for months, I’ll still know how to structure it and how to write/modify some relatively intermediate stuff with it when I come back to it, whereas with javascript, if I don’t touch it for a week and a half I’ll forget most of what I know about it.

Sorry if I come off solely as a complainer, I’m well aware that most of this may just be a result of my own capabilities and understanding versus how the curriculum is structured. They’re just some things I think have been different compared to other things I’ve studied in the past. It isn’t to demean the long hours and ridiculous effort put in by everyone that’s volunteered to create this course. I understand the amount of work that was put in and I couldn’t be more apologetic if I come off as being unappreciative of these courses. I think that about wraps it. I’ll check this thread again tomorrow for sure if I’m not back tonight. I’d really like to have a discussion about this.


#3

Thanks for the feedback it’s always welcome here, that’s how things can be made better - I like the idea of putting some quizzes in there, perhaps at the end of each subsection - As you pointed out, there’s hundreds of people who have contributed to creating and maintaining the lessons so they aren’t perfectly structured or sequential, it’s a constant work in progress, but overall I think they’re pretty good - They’re designed to teach a single concept and be approachable to beginners, so the fragmentation is deliberate and the answers aren’t as easy to get for everyone - I think some of the later areas of the curriculum have more of the ‘use info from previous lessons’ feel you are looking for - In my opinion, no matter how good the lessons are it’s tough to just remember what was taught or the exact syntax, working on the projects and struggling with trying to get things how you want them is where you really retain that information - I hope this helps you out a little, feel free to continue the discussion


#4

I understand the complaint, and I have experienced this same frustration before. This hit me hard after fCC revamped everything and added ES6 et al. The quizzes for ES6 required methods we hadn’t yet learned and had no idea even existed, which I found extremely frustrating. That being said, I started just keeping w3schools’ Array reference page on a separate tab (still do, actually) and just scoured the reference pages for every question trying to figure out which ones would fit.

I definitely wasted some time trying things that didn’t work, but I also learned a lot about the methods. Would it have been easier/better organized to have the ES6 material come after learning new methods, so I would’ve had at least some idea of which ones to use? I think so. But, did it REALLY hamper my learning? No, not in my opinion.