I recently finished the MIT 6.00.1x course. It’s a great course, I learned a lot, and I feel much more confident about my ability to code and to think through how to create and organize my code.
It’s been a long time since I took an Instructor’s paced class. I, like most people, have learned most what I have in a self-paced way. To have assignments to complete every week, and a midterm and final was pretty new for me. But I learned a lot that I can apply to my next experience.
For one, I should have checked the syllabus to see how frequently I would need to complete assignments. There are two types of assignments in addition to the tests, psets and sets. You don’t have to turn a pset in until your second week. Looking at the next set of lessons, I saw that a pset was due every week! 😳 If you’re taking this class, perhaps get through the first two week’s work a bit more quickly so you can get ahead of the timeline.
Having plenty of time to complete a pset allows you to go back over the material repeatedly – making you better prepared for the mid-term and final. It also gives you plenty of time to take great notes.
When learning about coding, I like to take notes a couple of different ways. My first time through, I’ll note the lectures and resource material just like I would in any class. But coding is a do-ing thing and you’ll also need to know how to do something when it comes psets, midterms, and finals. So also taking notes based on what you need to do (index into a list, create a dictionary, debug, etc.) can be super helpful. Don’t forget to add links to the lesson so you can refresh your memory when the time comes! And always take notes in some sort of searchable format. Command + f allows you to find every instance of “string” on your page. 👍
This course has great, relatively short videos. And they’re still understandable when the speed is increased. Repeatedly listening to the videos – even if you have just 10 minutes – becomes a great way to study.
That’s my experience with the MIT 6.00.1x course. It took me a while to write this blog post so I’ve had some time to get a little distance and be able to see what I really gained from it. My confidence to think computationally is greatly improved and I feel much more comfortable with Python overall. The greatest gain was in my belief that I could create a program from scratch (I had to several times!) and the skills necessary to do so. It’s definitely a class worth taking. 🙂