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PlusPlus 101: Offer technical tutorials through codelabs
PlusPlus 101: Offer technical tutorials through codelabs

Learn the basic steps for creating self-paced tutorials, especially geared toward technical content for engineers.

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Written by Jonathan Allston
Updated over a week ago

Why use codelabs?

Codelabs in PlusPlus make it easy to create, maintain, discover, consume, and track self-paced technical tutorials. Codelabs can be authored by people who are not professional instructional designers, don't have license to eLearning authoring tools, and want to use a format (like Markdown) that they are already familiar with.

Codelabs are especially helpful for getting new engineer hires up to speed quickly, as existing experts effectively capture and share their knowledge at scale. Beyond tutorials for engineers, you may find the intuitive learning format useful for training broader audiences.

Here are a few more benefits:

  • Markdown provides a familiar and easy format to create tutorials.

  • Versioning tools help you keep rapidly-evolving content up to date.

  • You can integrate codelabs into a track and/or automatically assign them to onboarding engineers.

  • Codelabs are discoverable for team members and progress is trackable.

  • Team members enjoy an easy, beautiful, and intuitive learning tool.

Solution

Here are the typical steps to getting started with codelabs in PlusPlus:

  1. Make sure codelabs are enabled in your instance of PlusPlus.
    For more, see How to enable self-paced content types.

  2. Create your technical tutorials using Google Codelabs.
    Learn more about authoring and formatting for Google Codelabs.
    You can also author codelabs in Google Docs if you have the Google Drive integration turned on.

  3. Import the tutorial into PlusPlus.
    For more on this step, see How to import codelabs to PlusPlus.

  4. Assign the codelab to engineers in your org.
    You can do this by integrating the codelab into a track, assigning it directly to an engineer, or setting up automated rules to assign it to onboarding engineers.

  5. Track progress and get feedback on the codelab.
    You can manage codelab assignments and gather feedback on the codelab content.

  6. Update the codelab when needed with new versions of the content.
    For more on this step, see How to import codelabs to PlusPlus.

Go deeper

Codelabs in the big PlusPlus picture

Codelabs are just one way you can offer self-paced learning content with PlusPlus. We also offer courses, articles and videos, as well as the ability to facilitate live, relational engagement with live events, office hours, and mentorship. You can also incorporate codelabs, videos, articles, courses, and live events into a sequential learning playbook with PlusPlus tracks.

For a closer look at all the content types available in PlusPlus for both live engagement and self-paced content, see PlusPlus 101: Content you can create.

Using Google Codelabs

With Google Codelab-formatted Markdown files, the formatting and authoring tools are familiar to engineers, and PlusPlus can use the metadata defined in a Markdown file to build out codelab details upon import. We also support importing codelabs authored in Google Docs.

Why not use eLearning? SCORM? CMI5?

Traditional eLearning formats such as SCORM and CMI5 are well-suited for L&D professionals who have the time, skill, and resources to build highly interactive content in dedicated authoring tools. While eLearning courses can be highly interactive, scripted, and polished for the learner’s experience, they are expensive to produce (especially collaboratively) and maintain. The source files are proprietary and cannot be versioned and iterated on using tools and workflows that engineers are already familiar with.

Please note that expected behavior on cmi5 courses is the Preview button will appear disabled.

See also

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