Mr. Lee Nicholson

Teacher at Alpharetta High School


A super nice member!

I teach: Computer Science

To ages: 14 to 19


November 17, 2017

This is our second year of offering AP Computer Science Principles. Our enrollment has increased from 0 to 103 to 178 in two years. We are especially happy with the increase in young women from approximately 25 to over 70 this year.

CodeHS has allowed us to grow the program without severely decreasing the educational engagement, differentiated pacing and rigor. With so many students, it would have been almost impossible to provide the individualized feedback on the coding experience that the CodeHS auto-grader software provides. There are also several great features like Queue Settings and Fast Grade that allow a teacher to pick selected assignments out for personal examination and quickly move through (even) over one hundred student submissions in an hour.

The course starts at a very easy level and increases in difficulty through the first semester. Students with no prior computer experience quickly find themselves creating websites and programming — almost before they notice it. The Exercises are also interesting to almost all students who have already had Computer Science A, however.

I like the availability of block mode programming that transitions to text-based — without tempting students to remain dependent on block mode. I like the way the course Quizzes require students to listen to the videos (or lose points) and how they prepare them for the AP Exam. There are many Supplemental Modules that allow students extra practice — or challenges if they are faster workers.

The Lesson Plans and Solution References provided to assist the teachers are excellent. The Feedback and Support service is excellent. It’s not exactly online chat, but the response is within a few business hours and they do a great job of solving your specific issues. Coursework is online, so teachers aren’t spending hours at the copier or grading simple input assignments one-by-one manually. The Gradebook is very useful and flexible.

There are Access Controls that allow you to turn off access to major Quizzes or to Modules you don’t want students to work ahead of schedule. You can leave access to the AP Practice Exam open for practice throughout the year. You can leave access to the Performance Task Modules open all year as well — much to the delight of highly motivated students.