Designing the React Js University

Intro

Here’s a thread where we can plan and discuss the building our online university for those using our platform to learn React Js while also creating positive change in the world. This post will be updated to become a wiki of the overall plan as we discuss it in other threads

Students

The members of our university are expected to come from three main avenues:

  1. People already seeking or who have begun learning a new skill seeking a new career path.
  2. People who are homeless and have seen this course suggested as a way to improve their circumstances on our Brightertomorrowmap.com platform
  3. Professional devs looking to add a new skill to their bow while benefitting good causes.

Differences in each group which should be considered:

  1. Members are likely to be in stable conditions and looking for creating change and working alongside professionals
  2. Members are likely to have more urgency towards finding a job so the course should be geared to the quickest path to give them skills they can advertise online and begin earning with, and then round out later. (This may be sensible to direct a foundational skill to a level where it can be used to earn, to be decided through discussion).
  3. Members could easily learn on their own and will be joining us because they want to learn while coding on good causes. They will want to go right into coding on the live projects.

Different Setups to accommodate each group

  1. A full course on this platform to work through, switching their main focus from the Uni Department to the React Js group when ready to begin working on live projects
  2. We predict less stability in their environment leading to disruptions more often and having more difficulty following the course. Also more encouragement, and tokens earned is desirable to keep them engaged as many in this demographic will be struggling with low self-esteem. For this reason the 1st part of the course should be on Brightertomorrowmap.com.
  3. Members coming this route should go directly into the main React Js category and use the University to find learning materials and references. Its likely they will be able to solve simple tasks immediately and only need to @ tag the @ReactjsMentors to approve and guide their completed tasks.

Foundational Skills required before learning React Js

Purpose: Skills needed to give a foundation to members learning React Js

Getting started with React Js Course

Purpose: Free online lessons and activities which take members to the level where they can begin problem solving and building on the more simple tasks in our real world projects, with their tasks chosen and reviewed by our mentors.

Ready to Build React Js Course

Purpose: Free online lessons and handpicked tasks at their level from our real world projects, with tasks chosen, supported and reviewed by our mentors.

Learning Tools

This platform operates on a Kanban/Agile methodology which is well suited to learning. You can see an example of how our tasks are set up in the same place you’d look for tasks suitable for trainee devs who request help in finding a good task to tackle, here: React Js and Meteor - Public Happiness

Normally users would navigate using the options above the forum threads. Tasks, Calendar, Agenda. Here on a desktop:

and on a drop down in the same place on a mobile (we have a dev working on a floating footer to make these important tools more visible).

The course material itself is a little more tricky. My suggestion would be to have a single discussion thread with all the course material in the correct order, and ask students to copy and paste it into the kanban boards in the University. This way there is a working kanban board where they can track their work, requesting reviews where needed and feedback by tagging the @ReactjsMentors team.

I also suggest encouraging students to assign themselves tasks and use the calendar to self-set set due dates, teaching them self-directed time management skills that are often needed in web development. Also, judging accurately how much work a task is and setting realistic goals.