Wow…people looking for an education should grab this while it’s free. At some point a revenue model will need to kick in, and they’ll start asking for your Visa card; though I’m sure the price will still be orders of magnitude below existing universities. Perhaps we’ll look back at this someday as the “Napster” era of free online courses.
It works. Several years ago I was able to teach myself Verilog and basic FPGA design strictly with what professors left on their web sites. I didn’t even bother with regular textbooks on the topic (which ran $100 or so – more than the cost of an FPGA dev board).
Audrey Watters has a review of Udacity’s CS101 class up at her blog … http://www.hackeducation.com/2012/04/14/udacity-cs101/
she did not complete the class – a very common occurrence with online learning
The post does ask (but not explore) reasons why, and she says she will continue to try to learn to program with this sort of course.