When building out a DataCamp course, it's important to know what all the different parts of an exercise entail and how a student sees them when they take your course on datacamp.com or what we call on Campus. There are many parts to an exercise and they are each meant for a different part of the student experience; if you lack clarity in one part, you may start building out the wrong thing and delay the progress of your courses development.

View the diagram below of an exercise on Campus and see how the different parts of the finished exercise map to what you build in Teach.

  • Exercise title. The exercise title will be available just above the exercise's context block and should clearing convey the objective of the exercise.
  • Context. The context of the exercise should thoroughly contextualize the exercise. The ideal context contains a learning objective, the motivation, and the expected outcomes.
  • Instructions. The instructions for the exercise are located underneath the context section. Ensure that you do not have portions of the instructions in the context, as this requires students to go back-and-forth between the two sections. Instructions should be short, but should also require students to think about how to approach the problem.
  • Hint. Students ask for this when they need help with an answer. Students must click "Show Hint"  or use Ctrl + H   to receive this information. Hints should get students ~50% of the way to the answer. Note: Many instructors confuse hints with SCT feedback messages, which are returned following an incorrect student submission. SCT feedback messages are generated when a student submits an incorrect solution.
  • Sample code. The sample code appears in the SCRIPT.PY  or SCRIPT.R   window of an exercise. This is where the student will fill in code and then submit. The solution submitted from the script window is called the "student submission."
  • Solution code. This is the expected solution and is available in the SOLUTION.PY  or SOLUTION.R  window to students when they click "Show Answer"  or use Ctrl + H   (students must use this hotkey twice to get the answer; they will first get the hint). Submitting the solution from solution window will enable a student to complete the exercise, but they won't receive any experience points (XP) for that exercise.
  • Success message. The success message is returned to a student upon successful completion of an exercise. An ideal success message focuses on insights, not praise.
  • Submission Correctness Tests (SCTs). SCTs check whether the student submission is correct. If a student's submission is correct, the success message is returned. If the student submission is incorrect, a feedback message, with the heading "Incorrect Submission" will be returned to the student. This feedback message will include information that directs students to the portion of the exercise that they got wrong and also highlight it in the script window. If there are multiple errors in the code, the SCTs will throw the first error message only.
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