The Complete Guide to Teaching Programming Online

Updated on May 5, 2023

Are you searching for ways to teach programming online? Thanks to the internet, this is a completely valid and lucrative career path. People can teach programming from virtually anywhere, reaching students from all around the world while also decreasing costs for both students and teachers. 

The hardest part is getting started, so in this article, we’ll take a look at how you can start teaching programming online and the tools that are available to you. We’ll discuss why the best way to teach programming is to set up programming courses using WordPress and a tool called Sensei Pro

Is Teaching Programming Online Worth It?

Teaching online, in general, has become increasingly popular due to its convenience and benefits for both students and teachers. With eLearning, students have the flexibility to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule without the need to attend regular classes or travel long distances. This has been particularly beneficial since the pandemic in 2020, which has normalized online learning and online tutoring.

eLearning is cost-effective as it eliminates the need for physical infrastructure like classrooms or equipment such as computers. In addition, eLearning allows teachers to reach learners from all over the world who may not have had access to quality education otherwise. It also enables teachers to create engaging in-person content using tools such as video and interactive slideshows, which may be difficult or impossible to achieve in a traditional classroom setting.

Given the steady and growing revenue potential of the computer programming and consultancy industry, as seen in countries like Sweden and Japan, a high-quality eLearning course in this area has a high likelihood of success. Teaching programming online is certainly worth it, especially given the normalization of online classes across the world.

Platforms for Teaching Programming Online

When it comes to teaching programming online, the best method will depend on the resources and goals of the teacher. There are many ways of teaching programming online, and the first choice you will have to make is whether you want to use one of the major marketplace platforms that host hundreds of instructors on the same website or create your own website using WordPress. Let’s compare the top options here:

1. Sensei Pro and WordPress: With this LMS plugin, you can quickly create engaging online courses, lessons, and quizzes on your WordPress website. Users have multiple configuration options for the setup of their courses, and the plugin caters to multiple use cases out of the box, including creating programming courses. 

Sensei Pro

2. Codecademy: Codecademy is one of the most popular online platforms for learning coding skills, offering tutorials and courses in languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python. It uses interactive exercises to help students apply their knowledge to real-life situations, making it more practical than other online learning platforms.


3. Treehouse: Treehouse is another popular platform for learning web design and development skills. It features video tutorials, coding challenges, and lots of unique projects to cover the fundamentals of computer programming. Students can even receive personalized learning plans based on their interests and objectives.


4. Udemy: Udemy boasts over 50,000 courses that include yoga, photography, marketing, business skills, and even game development. You can create and host your course on Udemy as well, which could reach the entire world.


Many of these platforms offer benefits like simple course creation and student tracking, but they often lack customization options and don’t have support for live interactions. The exception is Sensei Pro, a complete package that supports all of these features plus more.

Sensei Pro, which is the premium version of the Sensei LMS plugin, offers various exclusive features like scheduled drip lessons for engagement, co-teachers for extra support, and multiple quiz types with personal feedback, which can help foster communication and collaboration. The plugin also includes interactive blocks like videos, flashcards, and image hotspots to enhance the learning experience. 

Ultimately, the best approach to teaching programming and computer science online will depend on factors like your expertise, target audience, budget, and available resources. However, by leveraging the features of platforms like Sensei Pro and using tools for communication and collaboration, educators can create effective and engaging programming courses for online learners.

Identifying Your Audience

To create an effective and engaging online programming course, it’s essential to identify your target audience by considering their programming experience and the language they want to learn. Understanding your students’ needs will help you tailor your course content and delivery to meet their specific requirements.

Whether it’s to learn more about data science and data structures, or to unleash new ideas for an Android app, it’s important to consider the goals and motivations of your students too. It could be high school students looking to get started with computer science courses, or a software developer that is looking to develop new apps. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to identify the people who are interested in learning programming so you can provide hands-on coding classes that are suitable for them.

Creating an Engaging Learning Environment

Creating an engaging learning environment that encourages collaboration and interactivity is crucial to your success when selling online courses. This can be achieved by incorporating various activities such as quizzes, polls, and code challenges.

Sensei LMS offers a great feature known as Sensei Blocks that can help achieve this. You can use Sensei Blocks to create interactive quizzes, videos, image hotspots, task lists, and even flashcards. You can use these blocks as the foundation of your lessons, such as by:

  • Using the interactive video block as the main component of your lessons, where you can present your lecture on any particular topic. The interactive video block integrates with videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and VideoPress
Video progress: 0%

This is a video about programming

  • Using image hotspots and flashcards to provide supplementary information about the topic. These elements work particularly well within text sections, so you could also incorporate a synopsis of the lesson with key takeaways.

Choosing the Right Programming Language

Programming covers many different languages, so it’s important to pick the right one to teach if you want to start a successful and popular learning course. There are many languages, such as Javascript, Python, HTML, Java, and CSS, which all have their uses. For software development, you could even learn languages such as C, C++, and C#. All of these languages have their place in the world of technology, but some are certainly more in demand than others.

If you want to choose a safe language to teach, then Javascript is the most used among developers across the world. It’s closely followed by HTML and CSS, SQL, and then Python. Choosing any of these will be a great way to get started with teaching programming online, but it’s never a bad idea to specialize in multiple languages.

Designing Effective Online Course Outlines

To design effective online courses, you should create a well-planned course outline with clear learning objectives, followed by a diverse choice of content and engaging activities for students. In addition, a variety of resources such as videos, tutorials, and practice exercises should be included to improve the learning experience.

Sensei has a Course Outline block that enables you to build your course structure right inside the Gutenberg block editor, making it easy for you to map out your course from start to finish.

It’s important to design lesson plans that align with course objectives, using real-world scenarios and interactive web pages to keep students engaged. Regularly review and update the materials to ensure they remain current and effective. You can also run a blog centered around your courses for additional resources.

You should also consider integrating an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) into your course. These tools help programmers develop software code more efficiently, and it’s often a good idea to get your students to use the same one as you so that you can diagnose issues more easily.

Foster a Community Around Your Courses

Students might sign up for your programming course, but if you want your students to see it through to the end or even sign up for new courses you release, you’ll want to make it possible for them to interact with you so that they can ask you questions and know that you’re invested in their development. Sensei has a customizable Contact Teacher block that lets registered students get in touch with you.

Styling the Contact Teacher button

Interacting with students is also crucial, especially for technical programming topics where students may want to ask questions to their fellow peers. Using forums, chat rooms, and video conferencing can foster communication and collaboration. A great way to get started is to integrate Sensei with a plugin such as BuddyPress to create an online community based on your courses.


Assessing Student Learning

To ensure students are meeting the course objectives, it’s important to assess their learning on a regular basis. Activities such as quizzes, exams, and projects can be utilized to measure their progress.

Sensei LMS provides seven quiz types that can be manually or automatically graded. These quiz features allow for effective assessment of student understanding and progress throughout the course. These Sensei quizzes can automatically grade your students, but you can also manually review them for a more personal assessment of their progress.

Quiz types available in Sensei

Promoting Your Online Programming Courses

To promote your online programming course, use marketing platforms such as social media and email campaigns to reach a wider audience. Offering discounts or free trials can also encourage enrollment if you reach the right audience.

To help with promoting your online programming courses, Sensei Pro allows you to submit your courses to the Sensei Showcase, an online directory for courses made with Sensei. This will get more eyes on your course and help you reach a wider audience. If your site is built with, then you can also use Jetpack’s Blaze program to promote your courses on websites in the and Tumblr ad network. 

Jetpack's Blaze ad network

Start Teaching Programming Online with Sensei LMS

To conclude, teaching programming online is worth the time investment if you’re looking to pivot your current career or even switch to something completely new. It’s a fantastic way to make use of your programming skills, and it’s also a great opportunity to learn completely new languages for the sake of teaching.

Start teaching programming online today with Sensei Pro, a comprehensive learning management system for WordPress that simplifies the process of creating, selling, and even marketing your programming courses.

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