About POCU

DocuBot Dec 10, 2018

Founded by Pope Kim, a seasoned software engineer/architect and former faculty member at well-known public and private colleges, POCU is an online-first education service which offers fundamental computer science courses that every top programmer needs to know for their life-long career.

Proudly Unaccredited

POCU is an unaccredited institute, and we are proud of it! (for many reasons that we plan to share via future blog posts) In short, it is more important for us to build our Core program that consists of a dozen of fundamental computer science courses than going through tedious and accreditation process that does not necessarily guarantee the quality of computer science education. (If you check out what is happening to the computer science graduates from many colleges, you will know what we mean.)

This also means that we are self-funded. If we do not deliver what we promise, we will be responsible. Thus, we have our best interest in ensuring our students’ success.

If you are looking for a certificate, diploma or degree, please look somewhere else.

High Expectation, High Workload

We do understand that current education trend is “education for everyone”. While we see the importance of it, we also think it could be dangerous especially if you want to become a top 1% programmer. We are here to train the next generation of great programmers, so our expectation on you is super high. We won’t even let you pass a course unless you get 85%!

If you are not serious about being the best, or do not like to work hard, POCU is not for you.

Best of Two Worlds

No education settings are perfect, but we try our best to take pros from both physical and online schools while minimizing cons of both worlds.

Online Video Lectures at Your Pace

All our video lectures are offered online, and you can watch them whenever and wherever your want. In general, this form of lecture delivery is superior than class settings. For example, you can double the play speed if you are a fast thinker. Also, you can replay any portion of a lecture if you happened to zone out for a minute. Or maybe you will never zone out if quizzes are asked every 10 minutes during a video lecture. ;)

However, there is a big problem with any video lectures: there is no interaction between you and other students or between you and the instructor. To solve it, we offer a chat room where you can ask questions and collaborate with other students. Also, we plan to offer “office hours” where your questions are answered on live.

Real-time Feedback on Your Homework Without Being Lousy

Being an online-first education provider, we automated the grading process for your labs and assignments. (But not for exams!) You probably have seen other online providers doing this, but we are different in two ways.

  1. We also grade your coding style: we grade your work not only on the functionalities, but also on coding style. As industry veterans, we detest perfectly functioning codes that no one can read. We train you to become a real professional who can code and collaborate.
  2. We do not force you to code in web browsers: Web browser is for web surfing, not for coding. We allow you to use real IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) that professionals use.

We tested this real-time feedback system at a college with a great success. From the statistics we gathered from the college class, we found that most students think their work is good when they make the first submission whether they are allowed to re-submit their work or not. But the average grade of the first submission usually sits around 60%. When the real-time feedback system was not offered, this was the average grade students received. However, with the plus resubmission allowed, the average became over 95%. The beauty of the system is is not about the higher grade they got, but about the coding practices and debugging skills they had to develop to get there.

We found that students who used this system became more proficient in implementation and debugging, in general

Real Exams

Sure, an online course without an exam makes you feel great. However, this gives you an illusion that you mastered something that you still do not understand. This is a critical problem with a lot of online education providers. While we focus on practical, hands-on learning, we see equal importance in understanding core computer science concepts: If you do not have the latter, you can still get a job after school, but you won’t last for long.

For that, we “force” you to take midterm and/or final exam for each course that we offer. These exams will be proctored so that everyone’s grade is fair and free from cheating. Also, these exams will not be all multiple choices. Multiple choice questions make our life easy, (i.e., easy to grade and easy to mark), but absolutely do not push you hard enough to try to understand core computer science concepts.

Still in Beta, But Works Great

We are still in beta, but most of the essential functionalities for your core learning experience is already there. We just could not get to nice-to-have features and marketing materials ready yet. Please look for new features and more blog posts in a near future!

Happy POCU-ing!

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