Proposal: Faster Course Development with Video-Based Courses

In order to speed up the development process for new courses, I propose that the Training Team also explores video-based courses with full transcripts, to go alongside the fully text-based courses that have been produced so far. There are a few elements to this that would all need to be implemented simultaneously, so here are some thoughts about how this could look:

Use published tutorials for course content

The coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. of this idea is that courses will effectively become a logical group of tutorial videos strung together in order. This means that, as content is developed, we need to become intentional about creating tutorials with this in mind. The immediate benefit is that course content will be coming out all the time as stand-alone tutorials, and then packaging them into courses will be a faster process that will involve adding content to Sensei and creating assessments. If we could find a way to combine these with lesson plans then that will be a win all round as it would create much tighter cohesion between all content types.

This doesn’t mean all tutorials need to be part of a course – we can and should continue to publish stand-alone tutorials, so that avenue for contribution and content creation will continue to remain wide open. 

Expand tutorials with fully formatted text

One distinct advantage of our current courses is that they don’t lock people into one way of learning – we have multimedia courses that use videos, text, and images. In order to ensure that we don’t only have one way of learning, all tutorials will also include a text version alongside the video. We already have the full transcript published – while we won’t be changing that, it would give us a good starting point for creating the text tutorial and adding screenshots where appropriate. It’s definitely some additional work but well worth it, and it’s an area where it will be easy for new contributors to get involved. It will also greatly enhance all tutorials regardless of the benefits for courses.

Continue maintaining existing courses

The existing courses (plus the ones currently in development) cover the primary areas of WordPress usage and development:

  • Getting started with setup and publishing
  • Building a site with the Site Editor
  • Building blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. themes
  • Developing blocks

I propose that we continue to maintain these courses as they will always be extremely valuable, so we can work that maintenance into our schedule around the time of each major WordPress release – something that is already happening, thanks largely to @courane01. This process must be documented and easily repeatable each time a major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. is on the horizon.

Conclusion & Feedback

In practice, this means the tutorials published on Learn WordPress will be available as both video and text, and courses will take significantly less time to produce, as their content will be published while it is being developed. Not only does this make it all available sooner, but it will also more readily allow for more public feedback on the content, and it will make it much easier for new contributors to get involved in the course creation process.

Does this proposal sound reasonable? We can experiment with this approach and continue to iterate on the process.