Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

A place to share learning material: written tutorials, videos, etc.
User avatar
Joel_graff
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:23 pm
Contact:

Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:00 pm

So I recently stumbled across Synfig, which is a GPL3 animation studio.

Anyway, they produced an official beginner's course for Synfig. It's really interesting because the original author was Russian and spoke in Russian, so they decided to re-use the material, but dub in other languages. They also developed a small profit-sharing model, and have distributed the course on Udemy. I was really impressed by the clean, professional style of the first video (linked below) and thought it would be an excellent model for us to emulate here. They also keep the video lengths down - under ten minutes - which makes watching one more attractive, especially to the uninitiated.

I think the primary challenge to creating solid, comprehensive training materials is that the responsibility always lies solely on the time and expertise of one person. It's really a lot to ask, given the complexity of FreeCAD and the fact that, frankly, none of us (patreon account-holders aside ;) ) are paid to do this.

So it seems to me that to really crack this nut, we need to explore a community-driven approach. For example, I would love to provide vocal talent, and maybe video editing skills, but I really lack the expertise for providing in-depth, comprehensive content in FreeCAD as I'm not a typical parametric CAD user.

Anyway, I really think this could be something we could manage ourselves as a community, but it would require commitment from a cadre of users, devoted to specific tasks. We'd need native (or near-native) speakers for several languages, which is something that could likely be worked out as time goes on as well as people who can articulate just what makes a good training video and how to manage complex or difficult topics well and in manageable segments.


Synfig complete training course on gumroad:
https://gumroad.com/l/synfig-course-v3-en

Udemy link:
https://www.udemy.com/course/synfig-stu ... ation-en/



Youtube "making-of" presentation at LibreGraphics 2014
phpBB [video]


First video of course on youtube:
phpBB [video]


pinging yorik and kunda...
yorik wrote:ping
kunda1 wrote:ping
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
User avatar
yorik
Site Admin
Posts: 11458
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Contact:

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby yorik » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:33 pm

This is really good material indeed...

I think some sort of crowdfunding campaign would be totally doable for such a project (ex. every time XXX $ is reached, a new episode gets produced). The difficulty is probably much more to assemble a team of dedicated people to do it...
User avatar
Joel_graff
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:53 pm

yorik wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:33 pm
The difficulty is probably much more to assemble a team of dedicated people to do it...
Right. And I think if we were able to more clearly delineate the tasks at hand, it might be easier to create such a team.

In my head, I've broken it down into a few specific pieces:

1. Create a course abstract / syllabus identifying and detailing the key elements to be taught
2. Script and record screen casts for various elements
3. Overdub video with language-specific narratives
4. Post produce videos / audio
5. Deploy to various platforms

It's not easy, to be sure. The most challenging aspect (in my mind) is developing a syllabus / scope for the course and scripting the videos, detailing the content. Without a firm, clear picture of exactly what the course ought to include, it's hard to expect anyone to show up to help. :)

It's also important to consider that we probably would want a series (6 - 12) of single-topic videos that are ten minutes (give or take) in length. Making shorter, single-topic videos really helps control scope creep and keep things manageable. As I learned in public speaking... if you can't effectively communicate your idea in three minutes, you probably can't do it in thirty. :)
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
openBrain
Posts: 1809
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby openBrain » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:36 pm

Related, @rockn has developed a MOOC workbench => https://framagit.org/freecad-france/mooc-workbench
IMO I find it a very valuable way of learning.
hacharts
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:10 pm

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby hacharts » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:55 am

Hello everyone !
First of all I'd like to thank you for all the hard work you're doing to develop this software. It isn't an easy task, especially in an industry where everyday there's a new professional software with more capabilities in many fields.
I am Moussa HACHEMI, architect (graduated as an architect) and teacher, I am now teaching architectural drafting. The main problem when working in this field in my country is finding a good software to use to make architectural drawings (except stealing of course -the easiest way-). And when I say architectural drawings I mean BIM modeling, because it's always possible to do the different tasks on multiple softwares, but it's time consuming. From the time I discovered Freecad (~a year), I wanted to use it for the production of architectural drawings, but I discovered that it's still under development so I thought about starting a tutorial series to help finetune it's workflow, but I hadn't enough time because I work on freelance projects too.
So this opportunity will give me the possibility to do it within a team, which always gives extra motivation, and I hope I'll be able to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to it. I can speak in french and arabic, and I'm in favor of being part of a team that will work on this.

Sorry for the long paragraph, and thank you for your time.

Respect,
Moussa HACHEMI.
openBrain
Posts: 1809
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby openBrain » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:52 am

hacharts wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:55 am
Hello everyone !
Hi Moussa, bienvenue. :)
In case you're interested in, @dimitar also started tutorials for architects.
hacharts
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:10 pm

Re: Developing an open online course for FreeCAD

Postby hacharts » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:08 pm

openBrain wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:52 am
hacharts wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:55 am
Hello everyone !
Hi Moussa, bienvenue. :)
In case you're interested in, @dimitar also started tutorials for architects.
Merci beaucoup @openBrain !
Yes I saw it's videos, it's a really good start. I hope I can help