Learners' Perspectives on Learning Programming from Interactive Computer Tutors in a MOOC
With the large demand for technology workers in the world, more people are increasingly learning to code. Many of these learners use turning to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) due to their low cost and accessibility, especially compared to attending in-person courses. However, little is known about who these users are, and what they think about the instruction provided by these systems. In this study, we conducted a qualitative analysis on 218 responses (stemming from 62 questions) on Quora about a popular MOOC called Codecademy. We found that 1) learners are primarily composed of beginners, 2) Codecademy is good at delivering web development/front end courses, 3) an interactive environment increases engagement, and 4) learners largely criticize courses as not being practical and too rigid. Based on these findings, we discuss the importance of interactive computer tutors as programming instructors and propose design features that can potentially improve the experience learning with MOOCs.