How Fullstack Made Remote Education an Immersive Experience

By: Daniel Weiss

The idea of a career-defining remote coding bootcamp is enticing, but a program like this raises some questions.

What is the experience like? How can I ask questions (and get answers) in a timely manner? How is a sense of community fostered in a virtual classroom? Does this program provide ample career development assistance?

While developing Fullstack’s Remote Immersive, we’ve thought deeply about these challenges, and done a lot of product design work to address them. The outcome is a course that gives students a high quality, hands-on experience, through remote attendance.

For career development, all Remote Immersive graduates have access to the same career resources as other Fullstack alumni. This includes one-on-one sessions with our career success team to determine your career goals and job search strategy, technical interview practice and coaching with staff, and insider access to our hiring partner network of companies. Remote students can also attend our Hiring Day in New York City or Chicago, where you’ll present your final project to prospective employers and meet with several for interviews.

As to what you can expect from the course itself? Here’s a breakdown of the structure.

Required Hardware

1. A functioning laptop - Macs are the best for professional development, but our program also supports Windows and Linux.

2. A reliable internet connection - This is self-explanatory! Web development in a composition notebook can only go so far

3. An external monitor - Professional developers need to see multiple windows at once. Trust us—this will make your life exponentially more convenient.

Lecture Format

This will be very similar to any in-person lecture you may have had in the past, but instead of an instructor at a podium, you’ll be viewing and interacting with an instructor screen-share.

Additionally, the tools we use allow you to ask questions directly and share your code in real-time.  Our instructors are able to see your code and work with it to guide you through any difficult points. All of this can be done 100% remotely.

Post-Lecture Workshops

Each lecture is followed by a targeted workshop. These lessons are designed to reinforce the concepts you’ve just learned. They will include:

1. Text overviews to refresh your knowledge of the lecture material.

2. Codeblocks to give you an idea of what you’re going to be doing.

3. Coding fields that let you write your own code from scratch and manipulate pre-existing code for targeted learning purposes.

Each workshop is structured in a checklist setup, so you’ll know exactly what you’ve completed and how much more you have to go.

Academic Calendar

A common concern about online learning is that a lack of academic structure leads to student disengagement. Our program calendar lets you know exactly what the pace is and what is to be expected on any given day. Fullstack’s academic team is on-point, all the time. Mandatory lecture and workshop times make the Remote Immersive rigorous, but also a quality academic experience. 

Getting the Help You Need

1. Office hours - Direct one-on-one guidance and help is built into the Remote Immersive.  You’ll schedule time-slots with instructors to discuss your personal progress, any weaknesses, and ways to improve upon them.

2. Discussion Forum - This is an invaluable resource for students. A key feature of Fullstack’s pedagogy is teach-to-learn. By posting to your cohort’s discussion board, you’ll be able to ask and answer questions with the help of your peers.

3. Help Desk - This is your primary tool for getting quick help during workshops and the project phase of the program. Create a “help ticket” directly in the workshop window, and an instructor or TA will be ready to help within a few minutes — if not instantly.

Checkpoints for Academic Progress

At the end of the “Foundations” preparation course, and periodically throughout the first half of the immersive program, we require students to pass assessments covering lecture and workshop material to make sure everyone is moving along at a good pace. These are also an educational tool to help use active recall to support learning.

Since the focus of the program is entirely on your learning and professional success, we’re happy to provide extra assistance and attention on students who might need it in a particular area. Most of the time this takes the form of one-on-one assistance and extra review. Reassessments are common and not to be feared!

Slack

Communication is essential to any successful learning environment. We use Slack as our internal messaging system at Fullstack. This will let you communicate quickly with your peers and instructors.

Virtual Reality

Minecraft: We’ve created a simulated Fullstack Academy campus on Minecraft. Interact with your peers in a virtual realm and build it out to experience immense personal satisfaction. For what we create together is much greater than the sum of its parts.

YouTube 360: We’re livestreaming the Fullstack NYC campus 24 hours a day. Tune in to see your favorite instructors meander around campus with coffee mugs all day long!

To see more, be sure to watch this video walkthrough of the program's learning platforms.


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