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Treehouse

Treehouse Review

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By: Treehouse Island, Inc.

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Detailed Review

It is a human tendency to have a fondness of things that we can control or instruct. We domesticated wild animals so that they can follow our way of life. We have pets; who are under our control. A dog is loyal, and it obeys every order that its owner gives. If told to run it will; when we ask it to stop, it obeys. We have robots who are programmed to follow commands. Thus, everything in the technological era runs on coding and programming. It may be a car, a computer, a watch, a tv or elevators. Treehouse is an online learning platform that provides IT related subjects.

Pros

  • They offer a wide range of topics which deals with computer languages and other skills. The student can choose from their collection of over 300 courses.
  • Their tracks act as a roadmap which leads the students to achieve their learning outcomes in an easy to understand manner.
  • They usually add new content to their library, often once in a week. It includes courses, workshops, practices, among others.
  • Treehouse community is a place where the fellow student interacts one-on-one and achieve mutual benefits.

Cons

  • The course content is best suited for the beginners as it starts from the basic concepts in programming language and coding.

Introduction

Science and technology have changed the way people think, act, work, and live. We heavily rely on machinery to conduct our daily activities.

Household chores, cooking, traveling, agriculture, manufacturing, services; everything revolves around automation.

Modern applications consist of microprocessors or minicomputers which regulate sensors, thermostats, and lighting elements.

The computer doesn’t operate on its own as it requires instructions to act upon, and it is possible via codes. That has to be in the language that it understands, machine language.

Grasping the machine language is quite challenging as it includes binary codes. Thus there was the development of programming languages.

There are various languages, but all have a similar motto; to execute the code. Thus, a person types in what course of action he/she wants the computer to perform.

It turns into a language that the computer understands, binary codes. Thus, writing a code involves providing communication between the human and the machine.

A script consists of lines of codes, which the programmers utilize. They compile and execute the script to develop a program.

Thus, the program is the end product after conversion of programming language into machine code.

It is then user-friendly as any non-technical person can work on it. The program can be the games, websites, or the apps that we use in our daily lives.

We are globally facing a scenario in which there is a high demand for professionals such as programmers and developers. It is because they write the codes to create apps and website, among other things.

Treehouse offers such potential professionals the chance to learn how to build websites and create apps (Android and iOS.)

It doesn’t stop there; they offer courses related to business, marketing, and photoshop. It has its headquarters in Florida.

Treehouse was found in 2011 by Ryan Carson. Their mission not only includes providing accessible education in the IT field, but they open doors to apprenticeship and jobs.

They also encourage and provide a guide on how to open a business in the tech industry. With more than 300 courses, they currently have 50 000 plus audience of students.

They provide self-guided courses and their Techdegree, which offers project-based learning. The student can opt for a self-guided program by either choosing their tracks or library.

The track is a guided pathway to learn a particular subject. It consists of courses and workshops that build upon each other and provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Their mode of teaching revolves around engaging video tutorials conducted by their expert tutors coupled with quizzes. They also provide workspace for writing codes.

They also cater to the beginner level students; start from scratch and then work their way upwards to provide the students with a strong knowledge base.

Getting started

It is often a daunting task to select an online learning platform. And if it involves learning to code and other computer language programming, then the intricacy multiplies by manifold.

That is why Treehouse offers ways to simplify the student's process of selecting the right course.

We already mentioned they offer tracks, which are pathway one takes to reach the end of a particular program.

Apart from that, when the student registers and signs into Treehouse, a few basic questions are asked, which can help the student his/her level and purpose of learning.

The first question addresses the student’s primary goal for signing up with them.

It may be useful in identifying if the user is a professional or a student. The intention of learning also becomes apparent.

Some students are aware of what they want. Others may need advice on what is available and best suitable for them.

As such Treehouse pops the second question by asking the user if they need any help in finding the right course.

The outcome depends on the option selected by the user. If the student is unsure, then they provide guidance. Or else, a list of all the topics they offer is presented and the student chooses from it. He/she can then proceed with the learning process.

Technology-focused learning

Treehouse offers web design, along with web, app, and game development courses. It is focused to teach people coding and support them to meet the highly demanded jobs in the tech industry.

The dashboard’s UI is simple and appealing. The first panel provides the students access to the tracks, library, community, support, workspaces and the last part deals with account settings.

The home is an integral part of the system as it displays the progress of the students. It applies for both the tracks or the individual library courses.

Apart from that, the bookmarked content and the completed courses are also available on the home page.

Treehouse may offer few non-technical courses of business and others. But it is inclined towards the content that involves coding whereby students can develop apps and website.

So, why is technology so important for our society? Why give it so much emphasis? We embraced technology because it made our life easy and raised our standard of living.

Our ancient ancestors struggled to create fire; now, we have electric cookers, ovens, and facilities such as food preservation and storage.

Technology has enhanced areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transport, and communication, among others.

There is a joke that says technology has changed the roles within a family. In the past, it was the son/daughter who always asked for help from their parents.

Now, the parents need guidance and assistance from their children, as they have limited knowledge on the usage of modern appliances.

We have smartphones, electronic house appliances, self-driving cars, AI, robotics. These are a recent development in the field of technology, and numerous innovative discoveries are putting us in awe.

We have schools which teach small children on how to code as it the future. Treehouse also aims to provide learning courses that can fill up the niche between the job requirement and education.

Their library collection

Treehouse offers many courses which are hosted by the library. Every week new content is added into their group.

The library is a catalog of their extensive offering which consists of courses, topics, practice, workshops, bonus series, conference, and upcoming releases.

One can use the search bar and look up for courses, conference, or teachers. There are options for filtering the results via the drop-down arrows of newest, all types or all topics.

Upon clicking on any topic, it leads us to the page that displays all the content under it. It may be courses, conference, practice, or workshop.

There is an indication of the duration of the course on the page. Further information such as the difficulty range (beginner, intermediate or advanced), a bookmark button and a watch trailer are accessible by the student.

All the courses begin with an introduction, course overview, and then the stage-wise illustration of the full course.

At each stage, there are various steps with a heading and the teacher’s name, and their details get incorporated in the right panel of the page.

When one has made up their mind to pursue the course, then start the course button is available. The first stage of the lesson is made available via a video player.

The topics offered by Treehouse include Android, data analysis, HTML, PHP, APIs, database, iOS, Python, business, design, Java, quality assurance, C#, development tools, JavaScript, Ruby, computer science, digital literacy, learning resources, security, CSS, Go, machine learning, and swift.

Their programming languages such as Java, HTML5/CSS3, ASP.NET, PHP, Python, Django are popular, and they keep introducing new content such as VR.

Learning through tracks

The same content that is available in the library is available here. The only difference is that the tracks are a combination of content which acts as a pathway to achieve learning goals.

Hence, the student who is not aware of the course and the means to tackle it will find tracks practical and convenient.

The tracks page displays the most popular and browses tracks. One can switch to another track if they find it unsuitable. Otherwise, the option to resume is constant until completion.

They show the duration taken to complete the track along with its stages. A button indicates the companies that are currently using the respective technology.

They also cite the entry-level salary package, which is typical in that field. The user can watch trailer and judge if the track is ideal for them or not.

The selected track will lead us to the overview page. A tour is also present, and it can be used to get an understanding of the page layout.

The option to start the track is on the right side of the page. On the other hand, is the breakdown of the track.

They allocate a compass which can help customize the track to meet the student's skill set. It is carried out by providing the user with an assessment. The results will determine the path.

If a person already has some knowledge, then he/she can carry out this routine and avoid the known concepts.

Organizations can customize their tracks learning path with the Treehouse’s team to meet their requirements. The custom tracks enable this, and it provides the admin with the in-app team features.

The admin will then be able to assign his/her with assignments, follow due dates, and access their progress reports.

A practical way to learn

Whether a student opts to learn via the tracks (multiple contents) or the library (individual courses), the content of a particular topic is the same.

Let us look at the video-based classes of Treehouse. As mentioned earlier, the first page of any course is the overview which provides an introduction to the topics and its content.

The page provides the stages under the course, and the steps under each stage. They display the name of the teachers' and a brief description of the topic and the outcomes.

The video comes with control buttons at the bottom and a navigation bar on the top. It allows the student to move across the steps in the stages of the course.

It is valuable when the student already knows the content and hence skips to other steps. In case one fails to answer correctly in a quiz, then the navigation bar can be used to review the material.

The control options include play/pause, rewind, volume, subtitles, speed, and a selection for full screen. In case the session requires the student to write codes, then a launch workspace button is given.

So, a student can learn from the video tutorials which can be hosted by the tutors or include written texts and images.

The delivery of the learning material is via a combination of courses, workshops, practice, or conference. The content taught has to be evaluated via quizzes and activities such as hello, world!

There are various types of quizzes that are given to see how well the student has grasped a concept. It includes multiple-choice questions, fill the space, or where one has to write correct codes, among others.

The student earns skill badges from the quizzes and code challenges. The points are available in the users' profile page.

One can skip the quiz if the area is familiar, to save time in learning new concepts. One can review the video, and re-learn the notion then answer the question correctly.

The lessons may include activities which require the involvement of the student. It may be in terms of writing codes or other practical exercises.

In case the student is unable to attempt the quizzes as he/she is stuck, then there is an allowance to get help. It is through posting a question regarding the issue.

There is also an option to report the problem in the quizzes. It is in case the student finds the quiz questions vague or thinks his/her is right yet marked incorrect.

Apart from quizzes, students face code challenges. Such tasks test the understanding of the learner in coding.

In case one is unable to handle it successfully, then they can turn towards the community for help. The user can create the workspace needed for this purpose and proceed to create the assigned task.

Thus, students have enough resource to enable them to attain knowledge which will be applicable in the real world. If the student faces issues with doubts, then the community is the place to get solutions from fellow students.

Additional features

The lesson conduction is via videos, which are rich in content and have tasks such as quizzes and challenges.

Below the video are different sections that address various things. It includes teacher’s notes, questions, video transcript, downloads, and workspaces.

The teacher's notes include remarks regarding the coursework, and it can also include links to other sources of knowledge.

In case the student has a query regarding the content, then he/she can post a question which can either be answered by the community or a staff member of Treehouse.

The transcript is the written part of the video. The words uttered in the video get displayed with an indication of the time in seconds.

There is an option to download the video lesson via iTunes to access it on offline mode or whenever the students deem right.

The last feature is the workspace which is accessible whenever the student wishes to write codes.

The in-built tools of Treehouse make it user-friendly. Workspace is one such addition, and a student can access up to 100 workspaces with a storage limitation of 50MB each.

Techdegree program

The team of Treehouse believes that anyone can code irrespective of their professional background. If a novice wishes to build a career in web designing or coding, then Techdegree is the solution.

It is a structured course with a guided path of learning which enhances students technical and soft skills. They use GitHub to host the coding and projects of the students.

Treehouse’s Techdegrees unique feature is the real-world projects, which the student has to submit to earn credentials.

There are usually 9-12 projects which are then reviewed by either by peers or professionals from Treehouse team. There are quizzes and code challenges similar to the those in the tracks and library.

The completion of the program provides the student with the chance to create a portfolio that is career ready.

The students enrolled in Techdegrees have an exclusive community via slack chat. Through it, they can raise questions, get solutions, share resources, and tips, among other things.

Examples of Techdegree include PHP, Full Stack JavaScript, User Experience Design, among others.

Thus, this program should be opted for by individuals who need to excel in the career path of the tech industry.

User’s profile

The user’s account holds some vital information regarding the student’s progress and the total points earned by him/her.

One gets the newbie achievement badge once they enroll in any of the courses. As they progress, they earn the points.

These points are in terms of achievement and forum. The profile page displays in detail the points earned in each course.

There is a section for learning progress, which is similar to the homepage in layout. The only difference is that it shows the percentage of the progress made by the student.

It further includes the time when the user last accessed the learning content. One can re-set the progress, but it will mark all the attempted videos, quizzes, and code challenges as incomplete.

However, the points and the badge remain unaffected. These are means of motivating learner to achieve the intended marks in the tasks and increase their scoring.

 Conclusion

Treehouse believes that everyone has a right to gain an education, that accessible and affordable. Once a person is knowledgeable, then he/she can quickly secure a good job.

They also provide the students with the opportunity of apprenticeships. They do attempt to secure jobs for the students but also empower them to start a business.

They are committed to EDI policies. It is to provide an equitable working environment to every deserving individual without any parity in terms of age, color, religion, and gender.

Their customer support system is quite robust with the options of contacting their team members, checking solution via community or accessing their FAQs and knowledgebase articles.

The user can enroll in their courses via the tracks or the specific content of the library. More serious learners will opt for their Techdegree, which provides a boost in a person’s career path.

The lessons are video-based, with multiple quizzes, code challenges, and workspaces which can be used efficiently to achieve the desired learning outcomes.

They stress on professional learning with courses on programming, web designing, and development. They aim to provide the required personnel in the tech industry who have a solid knowledge base.

They provide a balanced learning experience as their content is not entirely self-paced, but neither is it 100% structured.

The student uses judgment and proceeds according to their grasping power and the course content.

Their community is an active and interactive environ. Treehouse recommends the student to utilize support from it.

Their courses are for the novice learner, but they are eventually building upon them. Hence, it may be best suitable for beginner level student as opposed to intermediate and advanced.

The lesson delivery is via videos and can be useful for people who can learn from such methods and not from book and pen.

The attractive interface, guided tracks or structured Techdegree, video lessons along with quizzes and challenges, and a supportive forum of community member makes Treehouse unique.

It is therefore recommendable to people aspiring to engage in coding, web designing, and programming field. They can set out to make a career out of it or excel in their already existing job in the tech industry.

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