We just launched the new Qvault computer science platform and can’t be more excited. Our first crash course in Go, “Go Mastery” is now available! We teach students by allowing them to write, compile, and run backend code directly in the browser.
Education as an industry is unbelievably far behind when it comes to technological innovation. We are humbled to be a part of pushing its boundaries. We have three core goals with the Qvault app:
- Gamify Learning – Learning online should feel like a game, not a chore. We use a rewards system for unlocking content. It helps keep students engaged and coming back each day to learn more
- Focus on Mastery – Clumping students together in classes and moving them forward before concepts are mastered is an artifact of the past. Timed-tests and due dates don’t exist in Qvault. Students move at their own pace and can’t move on until a concept is understood.
- Code In-Browser – Hands-on is king when learning to code. Our courses are mostly comprised of coding assignments that can be completed right in the browser, even in backend languages like Go.
There is no reason learning shouldn’t feel more like a game. The current “learn as you go” courses often don’t incentivize students to go fast. As a result, many students become disinterested and lose motivation, or end up going so slow that they don’t achieve their goals. By treating courses like videogames, we keep students engaged.
Focus on Mastery
Mastery-based learning allows each student to master a concept before moving on to the next one. Contrast this with traditional schools where students pass with a “C” and are forced to move to the next course, where they will likely do even worse. Advanced subjects like Computer Science require solid fundamentals, and mastery-based learning is the best way to achieve that.
Sal Kahn from Kahn Academy has a great video about mastery-based learning, and spells out exactly what we are aiming for at Qvault:
Code In Browser
Programming courses make the most sense as hands-on, code-as-you-go style tutorials. Go Mastery has 2 exercise types:
- Code Completion (~75% of exercises)
- Multiple Choice Questions (~25% of exercises)
Both kinds of exercises are accompanied by instructions in easy-to-follow text format. We’ve found that videos are one of the worst mediums for learning to code. Students get stuck listening to things they already know or don’t care about, and lose the ability to skim through instructions and move fast.
We use Web Assembly compilers to allow students to learn and run backend languages right in the browser, something few online learning environments offer. If you want to try it out for free you can do so in the Playground.