Feedback Thread for Course in a box


Hi friends! Not sure how you would like to collect feedback, but I thought a discourse braindump might be fun. My biggest disconnect was around audience. And fair warning, this is pretty stream of consciousness:

Helpful context (maybe)

My skillz - can fiddle around in code and with github, but am by no means a dev or a pro. Definitely higher literacy than most, but Github and I have a very love / hate relationship. Huge love, I’m dottering down feedback as I go, so I hope it’s helpful.

Concepts vs tech

I found a bit of a disconnect between the technical part of Course-in-a-Box and the concepts around community. I understand the connection, but will others? On the Start module you don’t mention Github, nor on the community module. I think the idea of Course in a Box is “helping you build and run your own open learning experience” but it doesn’t explain that. So my question is who’s the audience here?

On this

I was using Terminal for the first 20 or 30 minutes, as a previous Github user, I figured this is what I was supposed to be doing. I read the buttons “Fork this” “Edit that”, but didn’t connect that they would be performing the functions. I edited course.yml and committed via terminal before even scrolling down.

As a github user (and P2PU fangirl), I forked this back in July, and named it “jekyll-course-template”. So I needed to change the repo name, not the github name. Performing the required operations by clicking the link and editing within Github makes me wonder what happens to my local repo. I guess I will have to update it…these kinds of questions make me think that I’m not the target audience. My guess is that the Course in a Box is directed at people without as much techie background? Maybe helpful to point that out somewhere.

Once I understood that my skillz weren’t the target group, I stopped making mistakes.

Random thoughts from this first day of activity:

Maybe link to a markdown cheatsheet? Editing in Github is nice, but there’s no wysiwyg for people. If they are newbies, they might appreciate a cheatsheet. Also, a warning that takes a few minutes.

Video at the bottom seems out of context. A brief note about what it IS would be good. It includes things not covered in the text, as far as I can tell.

The birthday gif in the email is the one I send everyone on their birthdays. Makes me giggle wildly.


looks very good. …I think there are so much audience , it’s a interesting thing.


Hey @laura - thanks for the great feedback. You raise some very valid points regarding audience. To some extent we are also a little uncertain when it comes to the level of tech skills we require for people who do course in a box? The current required level is using Git through the GitHub interface. We may make it easier (hint: can already be used to edit a course).

Diving into the terminal definitely makes you a pro! Part of course in a Box is that it should become more useful the more you know. Would stating the level of skills required solve the problem or would you like more resources aimed at people with more tech skills? Ex. how to setup github pages locally, how to manage changes between a local repository and your github repository, etc.

There’s still a lot of the feedback I need to chew on! Useful stuff, thanks for sharing!