Sneak peak at upcoming Live Syllabus updates

Sneak peak at upcoming Live Syllabus updates

March 24 2022

Hey everyone!

As I've mentioned to a few students, we are neck-deep in some really cool updates to our Live Syllabus platform. In case you don't know, Live Syllabus is the unique Learning Management System that we have customized to allow for our "Custom Paced" coding programs. Without Live Syllabus, we couldn't do "Custom Paced" since it's the software that powers the program! What is "Custom Paced"? Our custom-paced approach is unique. For many learners, self-teaching with self-paced courses simply doesn't cut it, and courses with remote live lectures are too expensive. Not only that, we found that remote students don't benefit as much out of attending live online classes, but instead learn much more from weekly 1:1 tutoring. If you're struggling with self-teaching, and want to avoid the costly tuition or ISA loans required for a full-time bootcamp, consider our "Custom Paced" program!

We've reached the stage where we are now "dog fooding" the new theme and new features for instructors (students, sorry, you'll still have to wait a little bit before you get access to these features!)

So, without further ado, here's the first "sneak peak" at new feature we have implemented on the platform:

Theming

One big new feature is a rewritten theming system. This allows students and educational institutions to switch between custom themes, otherwise containing the same content. This is a super useful feature, especially for allowing an accessible, fast and lightweight high contrast mode! Switching between themes is as easy as selecting the one you want from your user menu, and the UI will transform into the new look. See below for an example:

Laser Ink

We created our own design language called "Laser Ink", derived from combining a brutalist web approach --- utilitarian, high-contrast design which stays true to old school Web 1.0 principles with clearly well-designed links, and exposing the "concrete" of the website to "keep it honest" in terms of UX --- with some light isomorphism around half-tone printing and laser printing. This leads to a high contrast, highly usable, and speedy design, focused on "KISS" (keep it simple, silly!). A nice bonus to this design style is that it looks good when printed, especially from school printers, even if black-and-white!

I've got a lot more to say about Laser Ink, but a tiny sneak peak for now:

Glass

If the spartan, utilitarian nature of Laser Ink isn't for you, we also have flashier options, including Glass, which follows the softer, more GPU-intensive Glass UI trend that is popular these days:

When?

Like most software products: Soon ;)

Seriously, we hope to release to students some time this year. So stay tuned for our up-coming Live Syllabus make-over!

Michael Bethencourt

Michael is a software developer and instructor. His favorite teaching challenge is teaching big computer science concepts to total newbies. He believes that complex concepts don't need to be complicated! His favorite engineering approach is full stack thinking: recognizing complexity that can be shifted between low-level infrastructure and JavaScript, or vice-versa. When he's not coding, he's probably doing political work, playing video games that feel too much like work, and counting down the days until first contact.

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