I watched through the basic tutorial series on blueprints. While it was nice to see that I had no ugly surprises or gaping holes in my knowledge, it also made me wonder who the tutorials were for?
Take as an example the way how object-oriented programming was explained in the tutorial; who are you “reminding” of the concept? The whole class-object-instance and parent-child paradigm is essential to understand to use the engine at any fair level of proficiency; if someone needs a reminder of those concepts, they need to be (figuratively) hit into the head with a sledgehammer until they understand the concept. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get stuff done in the engine without really having a good idea of what’s going on, and eventually hit a brickwall because of it.
For people who do already understand the concept that “blueprints use an object-oriented visual scripting language” is enough. For people who do not, they need to be, at the very minimum, directed towards material which would allow them to learn these concepts. The essential basic programming concepts for designers could be taught on a separate primer as well. But what it should not get into is “reminding people” of what object-oriented programming is. Either assume that people know of the concept and make them aware of the requirement beforehand, or teach it properly.
I would also advice against trying to emulate with what a lot of other online courses are doing; the follow-along tutorials. I don’t think they are generally well-thought of, at least from an educational perspective.
On paid online platforms, the course is the product. That is why the online courses come up with a rather lucrative project to start with, instead of what would make the most sense from an educational perspective. At least that is my experience with udemy, and the only reason why I can say that I’ve gotten good value there is because the courses were so cheap to begin with, thanks to the promotions or coupons that are always out there. I have not tried any of the subscription-based platforms.
The free online material varies in quality. The most helpful stuff I’ve found are the things that are very focused on showcasing some process. The longer tutorials I never really got along well with, usually because of the lack of direction. Another issue with doing various tutorials is that they tend to go into the stuff you could have learned elsewhere. This could also be an issue for the academy, if the courses are going to be completely isolated from each other.
Structure-wire, this is absolutely the best course I’ve ever done. Though it is old by now, the format was great: videos used to showcase things quickly, and directed exercises written on a PDF to follow along. There was a distinct lack of explaining good topography, but other sources explained enough about quads and edgeflow.
As educational material, exercises in general are superb. With exercises you can limit the amount of things that are being done on a single project to the minimum amount things needed to be done at once. They are also great because if you have already been learning on your own before, you can dive straight into the exercise and see if you can already do the things that are being taught.
But yeah, to chime in with the rest, documentation is always great.