You have decided to create an Unguided variant of your existing Guided Project on DataCamp. Fantastic! So what are the next steps? In this article, we will run through what an Unguided Project is and how it differs from a standard (now titled ‘Guided’) project.

What is an Unguided Project?

The goal of Unguided Projects is to provide an alternate experience for our intermediate and advanced learners, and for those who prefer an additional level of challenge.

Unguided Projects take the form as variants of our existing projects library (now titled “Guided Projects”). In an Unguided Project, we encourage learners to arrive at a final solution or answer a particular question on their own without having the intermediate steps provided to them. Therefore, a key difference is that while in a Guided Project there are a series of tasks and tests, in an Unguided Project learners are provided one or two questions that they need to answer, and are free to use as many cells in the notebook as they would like. They are then subsequently evaluated on their answer, and not the intermediate steps.

A great example of this is the comparison between the two variants of our NIST Password Project. In both projects, the aim is to flag users who don’t meet particular password standards (such as password length, using their name, etc). However, whereas in the guided variant learners are taken through each step (e.g. first, calculating string length), in the unguided variant learners are only told that they need to calculate the percentage of users who don’t meet the provided criteria (and provide a list of those who fail). How learners identify these users is up to them, provided their final answers are correct.

One other difference is that for Unguided Projects, a live code-along is scheduled for learners to follow the instructor of the project. The recording is then uploaded to the project as an additional means of support for later reference (and those who don’t participate in the live event).

For an additional comparison between Guided and Unguided Projects, you can refer to the table below:

How should I formulate my Unguided Project question(s)?

If possible, the question/questions you create for your Unguided Project should closely resemble that of your Guided Project. For example, in our Word Frequency in Classic Novels project set, in the guided variant learners examine word frequency in Moby Dick, whereas in the unguided variant they examine word frequency in Peter Pan. The steps leading up to these answers are largely the same: importing, cleaning, and processing the text.

An additional consideration is whether your question provides enough of a challenge to a) require learners to use multiple skills they have gained in the prerequisite courses and b) are not able to complete it too quickly.

How do I go about creating my Unguided Project?

Your Content Developer will guide you through the process of creating your project and will provide you with a step-by-step process through Asana. This will include introducing you to the relevant documentation and instructions along the way.

If at any point you need additional support, you can also refer to our existing documentation on Instructor Support. Many of the steps necessary to create an Unguided Project are identical to creating a Guided Project, and thus many of the articles contained here: will be of use.

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