What’s new with coding exercises

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Coding exercises are quick 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. But we’ve heard feedback from you that our coding exercises are too hard to use today. So, we’re working to improve this tool so that you can engage your learners by offering them authentic ways to practice and assess their comprehension.

Over the next few months, we’ll be updating this article with a roundup of changes we’re making to Udemy’s coding exercises. Read on below for the latest.



February 2023

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.


What’s changed?

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.



November 2022

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. 


Comprehensive Answers

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.



October 2022

Since our last update we’ve launched the following improvements to coding exercises:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.



August 2022

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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