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The Anatomy of a Hexlet Groups: understanding formats and making learning more effective

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All of our students come to Hexlet with a certain amount of educational experience, at least at school or university. This experience forms not only the idea of what the learning process should look like, but also their very attitude toward learning. Unfortunately, sometimes this can stunt development. Habits and attitudes built up over time often prevent people from seeing alternative options. In this article, we'll take a look at a few common student attitudes about learning and try to see how true they really are.

It's important to move at the pace of the group and not to fall behind

We are convinced that everyone has their own learning style: some absorb new information better in the morning, and some - in the evening. Some are more comfortable learning consistently every day, others - "in waves" when inspiration strikes. Comfort and avoiding unnecessary stress can affect the outcome no less than the most qualified tutor. That's why at Hexlet we practice asynchronous learning - a format with no strict deadlines, and students have the opportunity to study together regardless of their level.

This approach is seen in, for example, American universities - students choose a discipline that interests them and study it in the same classroom with other students, regardless of their department or course.

Asynchronous learning is at the heart of all Hexlet formats. Students can independently participate in discussions on the website. In groups, students interact in messengers and webinars. The individual format itself involves learning at the pace and intensity that best suits each student.

The speed of your Hexlet learning has no bearing on its success

Study programming a little every day, or "in waves", not taking your eyes off the monitor, or go on vacation for a couple of weeks to recuperate - it's all up to you!

How do I learn at my own pace? Maintain constant progress, ask questions, and take breaks when needed. If you plan to stop for more than a week, you should let the group community manager know when you plan to return.

You should only ask smart questions

Sometimes it seems like everyone around you already has it figured it out, but you alone don't understand anything, and if you ask a question it's bound to be stupid. It's kind of embarrassing to ask because everyone will know you did something wrong. The desire to do everything perfectly the first time and avoid bad grades (both formal and informal) becomes a significant obstacle to quality learning.

Learning is the stage where you ask questions and make mistakes. This is the only way to gain experience and learn the answers.

We know for a fact that questions are never "bad" or "stupid". Questions are equally useful for students (because they can help them understand what they're struggling with) and tutors (because they help them understand how to improve their learning).

How do I learn to ask questions? For the question to be as useful as possible, it must be formulated correctly - say what you did, what error it caused, and what ideas you have about the causes or consequences.

Programming is not for everyone, so few will make it to the end of the course

Numerous studies eloquently testify that success in any kind of learning has little or nothing to do with what we used to call ability. It is crucial to have determination, a healthy attitude toward failure, and self-confidence.

But, sometimes, it happens that students end their learning earlier than expected. There can be many reasons for such a decision: wanting to change the program or take a long break, problems at work, financial difficulties or simply force majeure. Sometimes there are students who are not suited to Hexlet, whether it's the learning process, the content, or other aspects.

Learning is not a competition with winners and losers

Deciding to end their learning only indicates that they had good reasons for it, and is certainly not related to talent or ability.

How do I know if a learning program suits me? Discuss this with your group tutor and community manager. They will help to understand exactly how and in what time frame you can achieve the goals set for yourself.

The tutor will only help with the project review

Hexlet tutors are practicing developers who, in their spare time, help students make their learning more comfortable, interesting, and effective. You could say that the material on Hexlet introduces the topic and tutors illustrate it. This is especially true for asynchronous courses with webinars, where each webinar is an introduction to the technology and basic concepts. The rest of the topic's studying takes place through homework, project work, and, of course, activities led by a tutor.

The main value of learning comes from the practice, sharing experiences, and the opportunity to ask and discuss. There is plenty of theory online, but it cannot be consolidated without practice and evaluation by an expert in the field.

Our tutors conduct activities based on the level and requests of the students, as well as additionally checking projects and homework. Just checking the code for errors is a mechanical and rather uninteresting job, for which we use linters and tests. Tutors are left with the creative part, where they can design content and help people.

How do I interact with the group tutor? Reach out if anything is unclear, attend events, and ask clarifying questions. I can help a tutor help me by formulating a good question and solving one problem at a time.

In lieu of a conclusion

The Hexlet team is in regular communication with tutors and students. We discuss learning problems, what was poorly understood, and how expectations differed from reality. Feedback helps improve the learning process, facilitates clearer explanations, and brings the best practices to our platform. Learn comfortably, ask questions, share feedback, and remember: anyone can successfully master programming!

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User avatar Sergei Melodyn
Sergei Melodyn 20 May 2022
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