Distance Ed

Udacity Boosts Projects in Intro to Programming Nanodegree Program

Amid news that coding bootcamp graduates are finding work, Udacity has tweaked the formula for its popular introductory course in programming by adding three new projects. The "Intro to Programming" program launched in March 2015. Since then, according to the company, more than 1,600 students from around the world have completed the program, and 3,400 others are currently enrolled. The company has also announced a new pricing model.

Started by MOOC pioneer Sebastian Thrum, Udacity offers free courses as well as paid courses that lead to "nanodegrees," alternative credentials awarded for online training when an individual proves his or her competency.

The course takes about five months and requires about 10 hours of study each week. It's intended for people without programming experience. The six courses included in the program cover the basics of HTML, making a "stylish" webpage, the fundamentals of Python programming, doing object-oriented programming with Python, career options for developers and follow-up lessons for one of five career tracks.

The newly revised curriculum will have students build a browser-based card matching game (Concentration) using HTML, cascading style sheets and JavaScript. They'll also practice SQL skills by developing a reporting tool that summarizes data from a large database. Finally, they'll also program an iPhone app that records conversations and plays them back with special sound effects. The additions to the program allow the student to continue with "more advanced" nanodegrees, Udacity reported, covering front-end web development, full-stack web development and iOS development.

The new pricing options come in two forms. Before May 31, 2017, students can pay $299 up front for the complete five months of instruction (a price that rises to $399 after May) or pay $99 per month as a subscription.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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