What’s new with coding exercises
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We think learning is better when you’re not just watching — you’re doing. So we’ve updated our coding exercises with long-requested features. Refer to our official guide for tips on how to create coding exercises.
Coding exercises are short interactive activities that let your learners get practical coding experience. We know that learners want to go beyond video – they value practice, and we know that you want to provide it. Based on your feedback, we’ve made design, functionality, and data improvements so you can offer your learners authentic ways to practice and assess their comprehension.
This article contains the roundup of changes we’ve made to Udemy’s coding exercises. Read on below for the latest.
We’ve released an updated version of the Practice Insights report, which is dedicated to providing you with more data and insights into how your students interact with coding exercises. With this report, you’ll be able to see how many learners viewed, attempted, and successfully completed a coding exercise, as well as the amount of time learners have spent on the exercise. Here’s what’s new in this report:
Coding exercise course summary
See all coding exercise data for a course in one place. On the page, you can see the total amount of time spent taking coding exercises in your course and compare key metrics across the coding exercises in your selected course.
Additional actionable data
In response to feedback we heard from the initial release, we’ve added average values and percentages to the performance funnel (views, attempts, and successes) for a coding exercise. By providing these additional values we’re hoping that you are able edit coding exercises when learners get stuck.
New Coding Exercise Improvements
We’ve built upon our existing capabilities and functionalities this month by introducing new languages and expanding our feature access.
Adding React 18 to our language library
With hundreds of thousands of people learning React on Udemy, React is one of the most popular languages on Udemy. In response, we’ve expanded our coding exercise language library to include React 18 so that your learners can get practice in the most recent and relevant language.
“Run Code” functionality
After months of working to improve the coding exercise tool, we are slowing down updates to give you time to use the current version and allow us to focus on other products. We’ll continue posting announcements here as they come up. For now, check out the Instructor Guide and start building exercises today!
Last month, we announced several improvements to the coding exercise creation experience, making it easier than ever for you to provide interactive practice for your students. Additionally, we’re excited to share that we’ve found that Udemy Business courses with coding exercises see 90% more student enrollments than comparable courses without them. However, creating coding exercises is only one part of enabling effective practice. We understand that you want to know how coding exercises help your students achieve their learning outcomes.
Therefore, in addition to the course engagement metrics in your performance report, we’re launching a new Practice Insights report that’s currently dedicated to providing you with more data and insights into how your students interact with coding exercises.
Practice Insights Features
Filter options: Drill down on the Practice Insights report into a course’s coding exercise and select a date range of the last 7 days, 30 days or 12 months. For courses included in Udemy Business, you’ll be able to view data for just your organizational learners if desired.
Performance funnel: See how many students view, run tests, and successfully complete each exercise so you can identify where students may struggle or drop off. You can use this data to identify improvement opportunities, make adjustments, and provide the right level of guidance.
Time spent: View the total number of minutes students spend on a coding exercise. This will initially be available only for individual exercises, but in the coming weeks you’ll be able to see this data for all coding exercises in a selected course. As a reminder, the time Udemy Business learners spend on coding exercises gets added to your engagement revenue.
Please review the new Practice Insights report, and share your feedback. We’d love to know what you think of the new report! This is the first non-video practice asset we’re highlighting on the page, but we plan to expand this report in the future.
Coding exercise course summary: By the end of June, the Practice Insights report will highlight the total time spent for all coding exercises within a course. Additionally, a new performance data table will allow you to easily compare key metrics across the coding exercises in your selected course.
Learner “Run Code” functionality: We’ll also be releasing a new “Run code” button in Python coding exercises for learners in the upcoming weeks. This allows them to run their code and see the output before submitting for tests. This is a feature requested by both learners and instructors.
We hope these updates, along with those we made over the past year, have significantly improved the coding exercises tool for you and your learners. Looking ahead, we’ll continue updating and expanding languages and monitoring the tool for any necessary changes. However, this marks the conclusion of the larger-scale design and functionality changes for coding exercises. We hope the improvements we’ve made empower you to create engaging interactive content today and for years to come. Code on.
We’re excited to announce several new features and enhancements to Udemy’s coding exercises tool! These updates are aimed at providing a better experience for both instructors and learners by making exercises easier to create and more engaging to complete. Let’s dive in:
Coding exercise creation
New step-by-step creation flow with in-product guidance
We’ve redesigned and simplified the coding exercise creation process by implementing our Learning Science and Design team’s recommended “backward design strategy.” You can learn more about how to create coding exercises in our instructor guide. These changes aim to make exercise creation more intuitive and help you provide high-quality practice opportunities for learners.
To help guide you through the new flow, we’ve created pop-up instructions with links to helpful resources. Plus, for those who might need a little inspiration, we’re adding a coding exercise example pool that instructors can access by clicking ‘View examples’ on the Author solution page.
AI integration for Python, C++, and Java coding exercises
We’ve integrated third-party AI technology into the new builder for Python, C++, and Java coding exercises. The “Generate with AI” feature automatically creates solution code, test cases, and evaluation logic for exercises in these languages. Instructors can then review, revise, and customize the AI’s work to perfect the exercise. Right now the feature is only available for English-language exercises, but we will add more languages over the upcoming weeks.
Coding exercise performance insights
Starting today, in the course engagement section of the performance report, you can see analytics specifically related to coding exercises. This includes how many times an exercise has been viewed, dropped, and successfully completed by your learners. Our aim is to provide these performance insights so that you can better help your learners achieve their learning outcomes.
Beyond these metrics, we’ll be launching a new Practice Insights page in June. You can learn more about this additional reporting below in the “Upcoming” section.
Learner guidance improvements
Multiple related lectures
In response to your feedback, we’ve improved the related lecture feature in coding exercises. Now you can link to multiple lectures in a single coding exercise. This provides learners with more background and context on how to approach the problem.
Attempt-based hint and solution explanations
Previously, learners could see the hints and solution explanations whenever they wanted. Moving forward, we are hiding these descriptions until learners have submitted three incorrect attempts. We’re hoping this helps ensure learners are truly testing their knowledge and getting sufficient practice.
Coding exercise creation: Expanding AI languages
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding even more languages to the AI integration tool. This will include going beyond English and rolling out the feature for other popular coding languages.
We plan to use AI to help you teach as efficiently and impactfully as possible. You can learn more about how we’re thinking about AI here.
Performance reporting: Launching the Practice Insights page
In June, we’re launching a new “Practice Insights” page to provide a deeper dive into a single coding exercise. On this page you’ll be able to:
- See a funnel of how many students viewed, started, and completed the exercise
- View minutes of consumption and enrollment numbers for courses in Udemy Business
- Filter by date range – last 7 days, last 30 days, last year, all time
Check out these new features and share your feedback – we’re working to improve coding exercises based on input from the Udemy instructor community. Code on.
At Udemy, we aim to build features and tools that empower you to create the best practice opportunities for your learners. That’s why we’re delighted to announce an exciting new feature that will make creating coding exercises easier. For exercises in Python, C++, and Java, you can now get some help from third-party artificial intelligence to create your exercise files.
This feature is available for only English-language coding exercises for now, but we plan to release this feature in more languages over the upcoming weeks.
In the past, we’ve heard from instructors that creating solution code and test cases can require significant time and effort. We’re excited to leverage generative AI technology to reduce that workload so you can focus on crafting more and better practice opportunities for your learners.
Here’s how you can try it out today:
- Go to your course’s curriculum page and start creating a new coding exercise in Python, C++, or Java
- Like usual, add the initial problem, directions, and any starter code in the Instructions field
- Click the new “Generate with AI” button at the beginning of the files section – within moments, you’ll see solution and evaluation files generated for your exercise
- Carefully review and make changes to perfect your exercise
- Choose what parts of the starter code to keep to get your learners started
- When you’re satisfied, simply click “Save” and “Publish” to launch it for your learners!
Try it out and let us know what you think of the new feature through the “Share feedback” button!
This new AI-powered feature is just the first of many improvements we plan to make to the instructor coding exercise experience. Next month, we’ll be rolling out additional enhancements including a new step-by-step creation flow, learner usage analytics, and related lecture functionality improvements. Stay tuned for more details on these upcoming releases!
It’s been a month since we launched the improved coding exercise experience, and we’re thrilled to hear that you and your learners have been making the most of the changes! To spread the word about the improvements, earlier this week we implemented a comprehensive marketing campaign that included the following:
New product video
We created a new coding exercises product video that showcases the tool and improved experience. This video was shared on our social media platforms and will be used to explain the product to learners on Udemy.com.
We created a new homepage experience for technical learners that directs to a search page of courses with coding exercises.
Homepage pop-up for Udemy Business learners
We notified all English-speaking Udemy Business learners who took a course with coding exercises within the last year with a homepage pop-up.
We sent an email to learners enrolled in a course with coding exercises, encouraging them to login and try the new experience in one of their courses.
We’re pleased to report that we’ve already received exciting and positive responses from learners to the marketing campaign. Plus, in the upcoming months, we have more product updates and additional guidance tools to help you get the most out of your coding exercises.
Interested in adding a coding exercise to your course? We have a guide to help you build effective and engaging coding exercises. Code on.
We’re happy to announce that some long-requested changes to coding exercises are live starting today. These updates give you more meaningful engagement opportunities while helping your learners get even more from practicing their code. Learn more below and create your own with our new Instructor guide to creating coding exercises.
We’ve been hard at work over the past few months, implementing changes from the feedback we’ve received from both learners and you to create a better coding exercise experience. Instructors, like Jose Portilla, are already using the new experience and features for their practice-focused courses. In the beta, the new experience has improved instructor satisfaction to ~90% and increased learners’ successful coding exercise completions.
An IDE-like learner Interface
Our improved coding exercises have a more realistic coding environment that closely simulates an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This lets learners engage in authentic practice of real-world tasks that can help them in their current or future jobs. Also, learners will now be able to see all test cases and use them to see the error detail to understand where their code is failing.
New guidance features
But a new look is just part of the update. We’ve also launched the following features to help you help your learners:
- Hints: Offer tips, reminders, and helpful links to help your learners complete exercises with confidence.
- Related lecture: Add a related lecture to give learners more background on how to approach the problem.
- Solution explanation: Provide a detailed explanation highlighting key concepts to help learners comprehend the answer to the exercise.
Expanded language library
We’ve expanded our language library to include C# 11 and SQLite 3, bringing the number of languages to 22. We chose these languages because C# 11 was one of the top-requested languages from the beta and instructor research. SQLite 3 provides SQL instructors another option for coding exercises, especially if they want to avoid some of the limitations of the AlaSQL SQL Database.
Why should I build coding exercises for my course?
Our research shows that learners want more than just on-demand video in their courses. They want opportunities to practice and test what they’ve learned. By including coding exercises in your course, you will be creating higher-quality content which can lead to more learner engagement.
As an added bonus, if your course is part of a Udemy subscription plan, the time your learners spend on coding exercises gets added to your engagement revenue.
How do I create a coding exercise?
Whether you’re creating your first coding exercise or improving your existing ones, our instructor guide to creating coding exercises walks you through everything you need to know. It’ll cover some common questions about coding exercises and go in depth on the recommended steps: Planning the objective and outcome, creating the solution, framing the exercise, and adding hints and test cases to help your learners.
If you are looking for directions on how to access and navigate to the coding exercises, check out the Help Center.
How will learners find out about the improved coding exercise tool?
Learners will be able to access the new coding exercise experience starting today, but we’ll be promoting these changes more broadly in 2-3 weeks. This gives you the opportunity to create new coding exercises for your courses or add guidance features to your current coding exercises. We will promote these changes with an email to learners enrolled in a course with coding exercises as well as promoting via social media and on Udemy.com.
What’s next for coding exercises?
Beyond these improvements, we’re also working hard on updating the coding exercise creation experience so it’s easier for you to use. Additionally, we’ll continue to maintain the tool, monitor for bugs, and update coding languages to maintain freshness.
While releasing coding exercises improvements this year, we’ve mentioned that bigger updates would be coming your way. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be rolling out these exciting new enhancements over the next few months! We’ve built the following product features after hearing feedback from the instructor community that the biggest problems with the coding exercises tool were the poor learner experience and lack of guidance features. We hope to address these pain points with the following changes:
Improved Learner Interface
Learners value practice that is as authentic as possible to what they will be trying to achieve outside of their course. When this is done well, it leads to better transfer of the practice to their current or future job. Our new coding exercise learner experience closely simulates an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) so they can engage in meaningful practice of real-world tasks.
New Guidance Features
Currently, when learners get stuck on a coding exercise, it’s hard for instructors to help them. In the improved version of coding exercises, we will be launching the following features to help you help your learners:
- Hints: Instructors will be able to provide tips and reminders to help learners complete the exercise.
- Related Lecture: Instructors will be able to add a related lecture for learners to revisit to get more background on how to approach the problem.
Beyond practice, learners use coding exercises to check their understanding of the concepts they’re learning. To help learners get valuable and immediate feedback on how they’re doing, we’re making the following improvements:
- Solution Explanation: Instructors will be able to write a detailed explanation highlighting key concepts that help learners comprehend the answer to the exercise.
- Test Cases: Instructors will be able to create detailed test cases that are shown to learners in the new design. Previously, instructors were able to create test cases, but they were hidden. Learners will now be able to see all test cases and use them to see the error detail to understand where their code is failing.
Experimenting with New Badges
As we increase investment in this tool, we want to make sure we’re highlighting these practice opportunities to learners. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing a new badge for English courses that have more than ten coding exercises, have at least a 4.2 rating, and are popular within their category. While it is an experiment, we hope this new badge will help students find the right course and accomplish their learning goals.
Most of these coding exercise improvements are currently in beta testing with a select group of courses. We’ll be slowly rolling out the beta to courses with coding exercises over the next few weeks and aim to launch the new experience for all courses in early 2023.
Since our last update we’ve launched the following improvements to coding exercises:
- We released code snippets and auto-completion features to help learners practice similar to an integrated development environment (IDE). Code snippets are templates that make it easier to enter repeating code patterns.
- You can now create coding exercises in Java 17 with JUnit5. Java is one of our most popular programming languages, and these improvements could be helpful for the 600,000+ learners who are enrolled in a Java development course.
- When learners open coding exercises in a course, they’ll now see a fully-extended environment. It’s a smaller-scale design change, but we’re hoping it improves the user experience for you and your learners.
Additionally, we’re working on making larger-scale design and feature changes that align with some of the top requests we’ve heard from you and learners. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this initiative in the upcoming months.
Over the years, we’ve heard repeated requests from those of you who teach programming courses to improve our coding exercises tool. We’re happy to tell you that we’ve prioritized improvements to coding exercises in the coming months so that you can create hands-on practice opportunities that encourage course engagement.
While we tackle some of the bigger opportunities, we wanted to let you know about some fixes and updates we’ve already made:
- You can create coding exercises in Python 3.10. This was a common request and we’re hoping you can take advantage of the new language immediately!
- You can edit coding exercises after publishing them. Previously, you could only delete and recreate a published coding exercise. Now, you can simply unpublish it within the course, make your updates, and republish.
- Learners can save time by copying text directly from the coding exercise descriptions and pasting into the activity portion of the exercise.
We’ll continue to keep you posted on the changes we make to coding exercises. Feel free to visit the How to Create a Coding Exercise article in the Help Center to learn more!