When Stanford University computer science faculty members Chris Piech and Mehran Sahami were unable to teach in person due to shelter-in-place orders, they were compelled to reimagine one of Stanford’s most popular courses for a broader online audience.
They called the new course “Code in Place,” and in one month, it enabled over 10,000 students in 120 countries to learn computer programming from 900 volunteer teachers — likely the most teachers who have ever taught a single class.
“The Code in Place community was incredibly warm and supportive. The students and volunteer section leaders were very engaged and really encouraged each other to succeed,” said Sahami, who is the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering and professor of computer science. “Just reading the online discussions brought a smile to my face every day. Being part of it was an amazingly positive experience.”
Piech and Sahami built Code in Place off the first half of CS 106A, “Programming Methodology,” which is one of the most popular courses at Stanford and teaches the fundamentals of computer programming through the widely-used Python programming language. To offer these lessons online, they created a new kind of virtual classroom experience focused on “human-centered learning.”
Source: “A popular intro to coding course is offered to the world, for free”, Taylor Kubota, Stanford Engineering