I like Udacity but I am dropping out.

So I’m 2 weeks into my first “Udacity”:www.udacity.com and I’m impressed with the quality of the courseware. The instructor is engaging, the videos are good, the pacing of video and interactive content keeps you engaged, the instruction is derived in bite size pieces which really works.

All that said, I am abandoning the course. It is targeted at too junior a level and the pacing is too slow. This is going to be a general problem for online instruction — the students are going to have varied backgrounds, it will be hard to target materials. And grading a course puts a huge constraint on overall course pacing which is what is driving me out. I’d like to fly ahead on the material but that is not the way the course works.

Still a great and valuable first effort.

Finished my first week of Udacity coursework

Taking “CS373, Programming a robotic car”:http://www.udacity.com/view#Course/cs373/CourseRev/feb2012/Unit/2/Nugget/1002. Don’t really love the topic, but good material to practice some Python and some statistical inference. So far, the course website seems to work very well, nice intermixing of video with interaction, nice breaking of instruction into short easily consumable pieces. And seems to scale well — in the forum, the most popular posts are approaching 4K views, so a pretty large class size, but pretty effective so far.

The material is early/middle undergraduate level at this point, but purportedly will ramp up.