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I'm reaching out because I'd like to take a Master's Degree in Spain (which starts in October), but my current job will end in December, and I'm trying to find an effective way to organize classes with the course's professors to study from home for the first few months, if possible.

The course is a programming one, and a big part of it is interaction between students and with teachers. What I thought would be an acceptable solution is a mix between Realtime Board and Skype, but it would require someone to watch over my assigned "station", and would in my opinion disrupt the flow of the class. Are there any alternatives?

In short, I need two things:

  • A tool like RB, but specifically for code (although RB itself could be used if no alternative is found); basically an online, self-refreshing collaborative space.
  • A communication tool. Skype is sometimes unreliable with my current connection, but maybe there are other ways other than recording each lesson to do this?

If anyone needs more information to answer properly feel free to ask, and if the question is not appropriate for Academia, do suggest a better site, I'm all ears!

  • Did your professor say he would let you take the course remotely? – scaaahu May 25 '14 at 10:33
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    Attendance is not strictly enforced, so if we find a solution that doesn't impede him teaching and me learning he said he'd do all he could to make it happen – Christian Fratta May 25 '14 at 10:51
  • Do YOU need the constant interaction or does the TEACHER require this? What is the purpose of such close attention to every move you make? Authenticity? Something else? – earthling Aug 4 '14 at 13:46
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First, I suggest you consider what are the absolute requirements of this lecture. You say the attendance is not that important. Are there mandatory weekly homework assignments, or a final project which has to be handed out in the end?

It is good that the professor seems to be in goodwill to help you in the process.

I assume this course requires a lot of interaction because it is related to programming, but honestly I have not learned much from the lectures when I have ever had programming classes. Exercises, and actually sitting down and writing the code has helped the most. Of course, the presence of an expert in the field can make things easier for understanding. But, I don't think it is absolutely necessary.

I also believe that the gain that you will have by following the lecture via skype or via Realtime Board, won't be as big as you doing the exercises alone. You might be loosing more time than gaining knowledge from attending the lecture.

The time from October to December does not seem like a long one. Even if it is (assuming that the course might be fast-paced) you still will be able to catch up for the two months when you will be back. Because the introductory parts are easier and you can grasp them faster. If we add other factors to the equation, for example, if you have previous programming experience, this will be even easier.

I don't know what programming language you will be learning there, but if it is one of the programming languages which is covered in one of the online programming teaching platforms (Codecademy), then you don't need to worry at all.

One thing you can do, is to reach out to the professor or any other fellow student and ask them to record the lectures for you; You can listen to the lectures while studying from the textbook. But the main point will be doing the exercises. My experience so far has told that programming is something which you learn by doing, rather than learn by being taught, although some help is welcomed.

Hope this helps!

Note: It would be useful if you could provide the programming language, and your previous experience with programming in the question.

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