Each DataCamp course has an associated GitHub repo. The README in each course repo is used as the course blueprint or course spec. During the course design phase, the course spec is used to plan the course, and it will also be referenced throughout course development. The following gives a brief explanation of the Course README and its sections. Each section contains links to longer and more in-depth articles on each step.
Step 1: Brainstorming
The initial step of the course design process is to have the instructor think about all the things their course could be. This step is meant to get ideas written down and all of the ideas written in this step will not necessarily be included in the final course.
Step 2: Who Is This Course for?
During course design, it is crucial to determine the target audience for the course. Is this course for beginners or more advanced learners? Does this course require statistical knowledge? To determine the course difficulty, which helps define the course's scope, instructors choose the roles for whom the course is intended.
Step 3: Course outline
The course outline describes the flow of the course, lesson by lesson. In the course outline, instructors are required to write a learning objective for each lesson along with the functions that will be used in the interactive exercises to achieve that learning objective.
Step 4: Capstone exercises
Capstone exercises are the final exercises of each chapter and should showcase how far learners are likely to get during a chapter. Capstone exercises help determine the scope of a chapter and help identify potential technical issues early on in development, which helps keep the course launch on track.
During this step, instructors will build a full lesson, one video exercise and 2-4 interactive exercises, using DataCamp's course editor, Teach. This step allows both the CM and the CD to review the instructor's work and determine possible pain points early in the process to ensure fluid course development.
Step 6: Revisit course outline
This step is to encourage instructors to revisit the outline they've built as they will have a clearer idea of the possible scope of a DataCamp course. This is the ideal time to revisit the outline and update it if necessary.
Step 7: Write course description and list course prerequisites
This step is for marketing the course and identifying the difficulty level of a course. The instructor is responsible for writing an engaging course description that will live on their course's landing page. Good course descriptions lead to more learners beginning that course. Prerequisites are necessary to set the difficulty level of a course, which can affect the course ratings. For example, if a course is advertised with no prerequisites but is aimed at learners with intermediate coding skills, learners who are just beginning their coding journey are more likely to get frustrated and give the course poor ratings.