Yesterday I ran through the “Rails Best Practices” course over at Code School.
I really like this interactive format. You watch a video / screencast covering a topic or set of topics, then you’re required to code up some excersizes to review the content of the video’s material before you can move on to the next topic.
Overall the format worked really well. The gamification (points etc.) didn’t make a difference for me, but it might be a motivator for some people. I do think they’re on to something here, and from the looks of it (also from the workd marketplace in their tagline) they’ll be refining this as a platform for use with other third party content.
The online editor was actually really well done. It’s not vim or emacs obviously, but it’s not super cludgy like you’d expect, so it works well enough for the small amount of material you’re covering.
I think there’s an opportunity to add in some social features so students can help each other if they get some harder topics going.
As for the content of the “Rails Best Practices” course itself, you can get the same content from here; http://rails-bestpractices.com/, however the code school environment was enjoyable enough.