Over the last few months, I’ve been digging through our stats and doing surveys to understand more about our Intro to JS learners, trying to answer questions like “Why do they want to learn JS?”, “What school level are they at?”, and most importantly, “At what point in the course do they give up and stop learning?”. To help me with that question, I surveyed several thousand learners that dropped out of one of the earlier challenges – asking why they dropped out – and their overwhelming response was “I wanted to keep learning, but I didn’t have time in my schedule.”
That makes sense. For school-age kids, programming isn’t a requirement for the vast majority of them, but tons of academic fields are, so thats where they have to spend their time. For our lifelong learner crowd, well, life often gets in the way. It’s hard to stick to an online course, especially when you’re doing it alone.
So I want to give people an excuse to make time in their schedule — not too much time, but enough time to learn. That’s why I’m running Summer of Scripting over the next 2 months. Once people sign up, I’ll email them every week with their weekly goals, plus fun contests. If they can put in ~3 hours a week, they should be able to complete the course over the 2 months period, and still be able to attend to the rest of their busy lives.
At the end of the summer, I’ll look through the stats and surveys again to see if it helped. If it did, maybe we can run cohorts more regularly on Khan Academy, to give people the excuse to carve time out of their schedule for a little extracurricular learning! 🙂