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Stanford Engineering Opens Enrollment for Free Online Course that Teaches Beginner Coding Skills -- No Programming Experience Required

Taught by Stanford Engineering computer science faculty, Code in Place has scaled up to teach thousands around the world.

STANFORD, Calif., March 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Code in Place, a free, online program created by two Stanford School of Engineering computer science professors, has opened enrollment for more first-time participants to learn the basics – and joy – of coding. The goal of the six-week course, which begins April 24, is to make computer science education accessible to more people while creating an engaged community of learners and instructors from around the world.

Stanford Engineering Opens Enrollment for Code in Place — Free Online Course that Teaches Beginner Coding Skills

"Anyone can code," explained Chris Piech, assistant professor of computer science, who, with Mehran Sahami, chair of the Department of Computer Science, will offer the third edition of the popular high-touch course. No programming experience is required, only an interest in learning how to code and the time to dedicate to the class. The course was first offered in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of instructors volunteer each year to help teach the course, making it one of the largest public service projects in computer science education. Each instructor teaches a live online section of 10 learners, providing critically important synchronous, personalized instruction and mentoring to accompany lectures taught by Stanford faculty. These volunteer instructors are recruited globally and trained how to teach the live sections in an interactive and community-oriented way.

The high number of volunteers — more than 2,000 instructors to date — has allowed for roughly 20,000 learners to take part in the learning community since the program's inception.

"We've discovered that almost as many people want to teach computer science as want to learn," said Piech. "It's inspiring how many are willing to devote countless hours volunteering for Code in Place. This way of teaching is truly joyful and provides an opportunity to learn both content and team-leading skills."

Code in Place is a modified version of Stanford's introduction to computer programming course CS 106A: Programming Methodologies. CS 106A is an extremely popular course at Stanford and is taken by students from a wide variety of majors. CS 106A is also well known in the professional world; many working adults take a 10-week version of the course for credit through Stanford Online.

"Teaching Code in Place has been an immensely affirming experience," said Sahami. "What we have in common is a passion for helping others discover the joy of coding."

This passion pays off for both learners and teachers, offering quality coding education to individuals who might not otherwise have access to it, and creating an educational model that is founded on open-access, human-centered learning. The Code in Place program is hosted by the Stanford School of Engineering and supported by the Stanford Center for Professional Development, which manages Stanford Online. The course is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Carina Initiatives.

Applications are currently open both for section leaders and learners, and the deadline to apply is Monday, April 10, 2023.

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SOURCE Stanford Center for Professional Development and Stanford Online, School of Engineering, Stanford University