Hi, I'm Yaakov Chaikin. I teach grad web development at Johns Hopkins University and on Coursera.org.
By day, I am a software developer.
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I Went From Teaching 14 to 14,000!

2 min read |
| by Yaakov Chaikin

For years now, at our annual faculty meetings, Tom Longstaff, the Chair of the Computer Science Department of Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering (JHU), has been dazzling us with charts and graphs of student statistics with one message: “Education is moving online. Get used to it!” There are indeed so many JHU courses that are available online now.

At the end of last year, JHU decided to “kick it up a notch” and partnered with Coursera.org to create a Full Stack Web Development specialization. I got pulled in to create the 2 front-end development courses: HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers (free) and Single Page Web Applications with AngularJS (free).

Knowing that I might end up presenting my material to a lot of students, I decided I needed to up “my presentation game” as well. I wanted to use the latest production tools the pro screencasters use: video, green screen, etc. Our top notch instructional design team offered to do all the “pro” stuff for me at the JHU facility, but knowing that my recording schedule is going to be after work, sometimes in the wee hours of the night, I decided that asking them to do a quick 30 minute video shoot at 1am was a bit too much. 😃

Weeks upon weeks of research, trial and error with lighting, green screen setup, and lots of frustration, I was finally satisfied that I can produce something decent in the comfort of my own basement “studio”.

My first course, HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers launched 2 weeks ago. Depending on the semester, my regular JHU classes can be anywhere from 14 to 25 students. At the time of launch, my Coursera course had already 12,500 students pre-enrolled.

12.5K students! Hitting that “Publish” button on the Coursera platform was a conflicting experience. Half of me was saying “Woohoo!” The other half: “I want my mommy!” Very intimidating.

It’s now been 2 weeks since the course launched and I have 14.5K students enrolled!

The response from the students has been phenomenal! As of this writing, with 96 ratings, over 92% of students have given the course a 5-star rating (out of 5 possible)!

I can try and tell you that ratings and reviews don’t matter much to me, but, come on, who are we kidding here? 😂

Coursera doesn’t publish the ratings this early in the launch. But I see them! So, here are some of my favorite ones so far:

Rating #1 Rating #2 Rating #3 Rating #4 Rating #5

Are you sold yet? 😃 So, if you or someone you know might benefit from the course, please share the course link with them!

The best part is the price: FREE! 😃

Click Here To Watch The Intro Video To the Course

P.S. There are other excellent courses in the specialization that are already live. Check them out:

Ruby on Rails: An Introduction (by Kalman Hazins)
Rails with Active Record and Action Pack (by Kalman Hazins)
Ruby on Rails Web Services and Integration with MongoDB (by Kiran Chittargi)
Capstone: The Photo Tourist Web Application (by Jim Stafford)
Ruby on Rails Web Development Specialization (entire specialization)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other people on the JHU team who are working tirelessly to help us produce these courses (all excellent at what they do!):
Sara Burns - Instructional Designer and Project Manager
Elizabeth Bonilla - Multimedia Production
Jim Stafford – Coordination of material
Tom Longstaff - Chair of Computer Science Department
Dan Horn - Senior Executive behind the effort
Dexter Smith - Senior Executive behind the effort