We designed our learning platform and product to realize a vision. Content plays a central role in user experience. The main objective of these guidelines is to ensure that all the content we develop is in sync with this vision and provides our users with the best possible user experience. All of these guidelines are driven by research into the factors that maximized student engagement in our 180+ desktop courses.

Courses

Shorter courses are more digestible and have higher completion rates. We aim for courses to be completable within 4 hours. The following guidelines are in place to ensure that courses enable learners to apply their learning as quickly as possible.

  • A course should consist of 4 chapters.
  • A chapter should consist of 3-4 lessons.
  • Chapter 1 should have 3 lessons.
  • A course should consist of 44 - 60 exercises.

Chapters

The first chapter should be short and concise, as it sets the tone for the course, and is at the top of the funnel. 

  • Chapter 1 should consist of 3 lessons with a total of 8 - 12 exercises (recommended is 10).
  • Chapters 2 - 4 should consist of either 3 or 4 lessons with a total of 10 - 16 exercises (recommended is 15).

Lessons

As a reminder, a DataCamp lesson is comprised of a video followed by 2-4 exercises.

  • A lesson should have no more than 1 Multiple Choice or Multiple Choice with Console exercise.
  • You are not required to have any Multiple Choice or Multiple Choice with Console exercises.

Exercises

The title of an exercise needs to be concise and fit within a line in the interface.

  • All Exercises should have a title of length 5 - 50 characters (recommended is 30)

General

Instructions

  • Instructions must be written in the form of bullets. Each instruction generally corresponds to one line of code. There may be multiple ways to solve an exercise, but because we only have one solution script, allowing the student too much flexibility should be avoided. This makes it easier for us to provide useful feedback when students make mistakes.
  • No more than four instructions in any given exercise.

Assignment

  • Assignment text should be between 30 - 780 characters (recommended is 540)

Instructions

Our data shows that the length of instructions is a significant driver of completion rates. Longer instructions often mean that the exercise is trying to do too much. This results in lower ratings, a higher percentage of users asking for hints and solutions, leading to a sub-optimal learning experience. The following guidelines are in place to ensure that instructions are concise.

  • Instructions should be between 30 - 480 characters (recommended is 360).
  • There should be 1-4 bulleted instructions (recommended is 3).

Limiting the number of instructions will limit the number of things a user is required to do to complete the exercise. The character limits are in place to ensure that instructions fit well within a page and allow users to complete them without much scrolling.

Hints

Hints help learners complete an exercise when they are stuck. It is important that hints are concise and don't distract the user. The following guidelines are in place to ensure that hints are concise.

  • Hints should be between 30 - 360 characters (recommended is 270).
  • There should be between 1-4 bulleted hints (recommended is 3).

Multiple Choice exercise

Assignment

  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have assignment text between 30 - 600 characters (recommended is 540).

Possible answers

  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have possible answers between 10 - 300 characters (recommended is 240; Note: this is the aggregate length across all options in the exercise).
  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have between 3 - 5 possible answers (recommended is 4).

Multiple Choice with Console exercise

Assignment

  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have assignment text between 30 - 600 characters (recommended is 540).

Possible answers

  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have possible answers between 10 - 300 characters (recommended is 240; Note: this is the aggregate length across all options in the exercise).
  • A Multiple Choice exercise should have between 3 - 5 possible answers (recommended is 4).

Please note that we prefer to limit the number of multiple choice questions in a course to no more than 3 per chapter, and no more than 5 per course. We also do not allow back-to-back multiple choice questions. This ensures learners do most of their learning by doing in our coding exercises. Multiple choice questions in which students have to do some coding in the console to identify the solution are preferred to purely conceptual multiple choice questions. Note that you can also include a multiple choice question as one of the steps in a sequential exercise.

Content Guideline Violations


If you violate the assignment, instruction, or hint guidelines in your meta sheet, the corresponding fields will be highlighted in red. Your chapter will still build, but you will need to fix this exercise.

Did this answer your question?