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Course Development: Behind the Scenes

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Published on Sep 24, 2014

Students First - that's our motto at Udacity.

It's the first thing you'll see, painted over an entire wall, as you enter the office. It's the first you'll hear when we debate what we should teach and how we should teach it. It's what drives our passion for crafting your learning experience, and it's what makes our team so special.

It is a great experience being on a team that truly values the student learning experience and is always trying to learn and expand our pedagogy expertise. This passion we all share shines through in our course development process.

So you may ask, “What goes into a Udacity course?” Here are the four main chapters:

PLANNING
Starting with our first brainstorm for course topics, we keep students first by considering what skills they will need to land or advance their dream job. We develop an outline and discuss the best ways to teach our students the particular topic and how to get them involved through interactions.

FEEDBACK
We script each lesson as if we were talking directly to the student complete with visual ideas and all! We collaborate with other course developers and potential students to insure we are on the right track with what students want in how we’re planning the course.

PRODUCTION
We film the course. We might not get every take just right, but it’s the bloopers that make recording so much fun!

LAUNCH
We get the course ready for the site which can include programing feedback or quizzes or preparing a project so our students can have an interactive experience.

This entire process from start to finish is filled with creativity, teamwork, research, and quite a few laughs along the way. After all, if we don’t have fun creating the course, why should we expect our students to enjoy taking the course?

You can check out courses here: https://www.udacity.com/

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