For your convenience, below you’ll find student comments extracted from the articles Self-Paced, Instructor Assisted Approach to Teaching Linear Algebra and Self-Paced, Instructor Assisted Approach to Teaching Python Programming. For more details on the philosophy of NCLab’s instructor-led training, how NCLab’s self-paced courses are built and used, the training method itself, its benefits for students and instructors, comparison with flipped classroom, and tips, tricks, and lessons learned, we recommend that you read the original articles.

Linear Algebra

While reading the student comments below, disregard the keyword “Linear Algebra”. The subject is not important. The student comments pertain to their experience with the instructor-led training method:

“Having never dealt with Linear Algebra, the format of this class has been extremely helpful in my success as a student. Being able to tackle the class at my own pace, collaborate with peers, and receive direct help from the professor in real time has been an invaluable experience.” M.N.

“I love the self-taught aspect of the course supplemented by the teacher. Instruction is excellent. The flexibility is superb.“ A. R.

“This is how I like to learn, at my own pace. I like the bite-sized tutorials and I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I complete the exercises that follow them.“ M. J.

“I have really enjoyed the course so far, and based on my test score this is the most successful I have been in a math course since high school. I would not call other classes I have had difficult but simply unengaging, and this class has turned that around.“ Y. M.

“I cannot compliment enough any training that involves students actually working on the problems rather than just listening.“ A. S.

“The format of your Linear Algebra class using NCLab lets me have an easier time learning the material than in other courses. Thank you for having the class set up using this tool.” M. S.

“The problem I have in most classes is that I tend to fall asleep during lectures, so being able to learn at my own pace while I’m most awake is a blessing.“ F. T.

“I really enjoyed the online/modular format of this course. The material was presented clearly and concisely and allowed me to focus longer on concepts that were difficult, while glancing over concepts I was already familiar with.“ A. C.

“The format of the course ensures that I am learning what I need to before moving onto the next section. I can learn at my own pace and find supplemented instruction as needed. In many of my previous math courses I have had to spend time at home relearning the material. I really enjoy this format.“ M. S.

“The most beneficial parts of this hands on course is the ability to access the instructor and the strait-to-the-point lecture and side notes.“ E. M.

“The feature I find most beneficial about this course format is that the notes are always one click away so I don’t need to keep track of writing down my own notes. I also like how we are able to learn at our own pace.“ A. L.

Python Programming

“This class was extraordinary. [Instructor’s] use of NCLab helped me to actually learn and understand the applications of Python, rather than memorizing and regurgitating code. It let me learn by doing, making mistakes, and presenting everything in a very approachable way. I feel like I could adequately use basic Python in a job and I am very grateful to have learned it in such a hands on, low stress way.”

“[Instructor] and the NCLab platform are so effective at teaching various subjects in math and data. I’ve taken linear algebra and Python, and feel like I’ve retained more knowledge on these classes then any other I’ve taken.”

“This course is very well designed and makes getting help for yourself easy, but [Instructor] is also always available to help and is happy to listen to and work through your issues! He has designed the course exceptionally well.”

“I would not have changed anything about this class, it was perfect in presenting totally new material in a way none of my CS classes have ever been able to teach it.”

“This course is the best self directed course I have ever taken. There are built in features that make it easy to solve your own issues when you need, but also explains the topics well enough for you to have a strong foundational knowledge of the material that make getting outside help easy. It also provides access to fur her material if you want to further your own knowledge.”

“I loved the class format. If I weren’t graduating I would have taken SQL with NCLab next semester. I really enjoy the fact that this format allows us to fit the course work into our busy schedules whenever is best, including weekends or late nights. I really wished that more CS/Math classes at [University] would have been this same way, it would have created a lot less stress. Also asking for help on a problem was easy due to the professor having weekly office hours and also being open to answering questions through email. Lastly, some of the students at [University] also work and have extracurriculars that we need to juggle on top of school work. This format really helps with bringing flexibility to our schedule by allowing us to work during the day or fulfill our internship hours throughout the week more easily.”

“I really enjoyed the course for a few reasons: I liked how it incrementally built on previous sections and it helped me learn by doing. I wasn’t necessarily unsuccessful in previous CS classes I have taken that were lecture based, but I got very frustrated and did not have easy access to help. They were discouraging and I felt like I didn’t learn anything and really couldn’t be expected to actually solve a problem using C or C++. In the NCLab Python course, I only had to reach out for help a handful of times and it was very empowering to be able to solve a problem on my own and actually have a true understanding of why my solutions were correct. I recently took geography 416 where I learned R, but I didn’t actually learn R, I learned how to copy and paste code from lecture and tinker until it worked. This class was totally different, I feel like I could actually use Python in a job and be proficient from day 1. Another reason why I liked this class is because I have a chronic illness and taking a self paced course took so much stress away. I could work on it when I felt well, but there was no pressure to attend a lecture or study for an exam. Accessibility is a huge problem at [University], and just having this one class that I didn’t have to worry about was so positive for my mental health. I didn’t have to worry about finding a ride to and from school, I didn’t have to worry about needing a bathroom break during class, I didn’t have to find a note taker to revisit material, I could repeat a section as many times as I needed to if I couldn’t remember a previous topic. Taking this class was one of the best decisions I made, and I have recommended it to many people because I got so much out of it. Thanks for designing an awesome course.”

“The NCLab Python course taught me more than I’ve learned in any other class. The ability to learn by doing helped me out so much since you basically have to write different queries to pass every section and every section builds upon one another and at the end you get a final task that puts it all together. Python is a skill that employers are in need of so I really appreciate the certificate at the end of each section for me to put in my resume. Highly recommended.”

“I wish more courses were offered with a self paced format. I found that I am able to challenge myself more and learn more effectively from this method.”

“I really enjoyed this course and would absolutely take any similarly formatted courses available. Thanks for the great semester!”

“For computer science courses I greatly preferred the self-paced format of this course. I also appreciated the option to reach out for help and feedback. However, the help within the course was extremely helpful in itself. I loved how I could truly format my schedule in a way that I could continue my growth and learning while also making it to the other duties in my life.”

“The course is going great! I’ve been through about seven or eight DataCamp courses for learning R but feel I did not retain the information very well, potentially because they are not very challenging. With your course, the problems we do at the end of each lesson are challenging enough that I feel I retain the concepts very well. So far, very much enjoying the course!”


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