Once a student has successfully completed an interactive DataCamp exercise, they receive a "success message." Success messages not only allow you the opportunity to congratulate a student on their success but are an excellent opportunity to wrap up an exercise by pointing out how the learning objective was achieved using insights from the exercises. Ideally, the success message should directly relate to what is written in the context. Read on for some tips on how to write informative, effective, and insightful success messages.

How long should the success message be?

The message should consist of a few words of praise followed by one or two sentences of something informative. Do not write an essay here!

Be creative about the praise

"Great!" is not as great as you think! Having a bit of variation is good. Try using rhymes or alliteration, and relating the praise to the contents of the exercise.

Draw attention to the results

For exercises that get the students to calculate results or draw a plot, it's very easy for the student to complete the exercise and not actually look at what they've just done. A success message that highlights interesting results can be used to get the students to go back and look at what they just made.

Motivate the next exercise

By highlighting a problem with something in the exercise, you can motivate the contents of the next exercise (where you solve that problem).

Praise only

It is technically possible to get away with not writing anything useful in the success message, but this is a wasted opportunity. Remember that the success message is the last thing the student sees before they rate your exercise!

Examples

From Working with parquet files in "Introduction to Spark in R using sparklyr." This has a creative piece of praise, followed by a heuristic that is useful to know, but hard to demonstrate directly in the exercise.

  • "Smooth as some parquet flooring! Reading and writing Parquet files is much quicker than reading and writing CSV files, and typically faster than using copy_to()."

From Exploring ggplot2, part 1 in "Data Visualization with ggplot2 (Part 1)." This begins with (almost) alliterative praise, followed by a comment that draws the student's attention to the plot that they just drew. It mentions a problem that motivates the following exercise.

  • "Phenomenal plotting! Notice that ggplot2 treats cyl as a continuous variable. You get a plot, but it's not quite right, because it gives the impression that there is such a thing as a 5 or 7-cylinder car, which there is not."
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