Adaptive Learning for Ruby on Rails

Hey all,

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?

Thanks much for any thoughts and comments.


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 computer screen.

Good luck.