As part of the Lean Startup Machine weekend, my group and I are
examining the topic of adaptive learning.
When I began learning Rails several years ago, it was hard to find
content written for me, the beginner. Sometimes I found a great
introduction to a topic; other times the links would be over my head
and too difficult.
Now I have a bit of the opposite problem: I'll look for some advanced
topics on Rails 3 and Mountable Applications and find the basic
information duplicated across various posts and links.
Have you had this problem before? Do you ever struggle with a topic
and say "I'd love to learn more but this is too hard", or "c'mon,
bring on something more challenging!".
If so, would a solution that can adapt as you use it be interesting?
Is it something you'd pay for if you could have it today?
It seems to me that it would be hard to target users with such a wide
range of experiences (beginner to expert). I'm not familiar with
adaptive learning techniques, but if I'm a moderate level user, I
wouldn't want to sit through too much beginner level stuff to get
through to the more advanced levels.
As far as paying for a service. I think that most users would have to
consume a lot of your product before they're willing to pay for
something. Look at Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial. He's giving away the
content for a high quality book for free in order to generate a user
base. If Railscasts had started out as a pay site, I don't think it
would be as popular as it is today. But if Ryan Bates started doing
advanced level episodes for pay today, then I'd probably sign up.
I guess when I'm hacking all day at the computer and I run into a
problem, I'll be googling for quick answers and be unlikely to take time
out for a involved tutorial. My brain expects short, quickly consumable
information from the internet. When I want to learn something in depth,
I still like a good book to take some time away from looking at a