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Vanderbilt University Presents
PROMPT ENGINEERING

Review: Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT by Vanderbilt

Reviewed By Product Expert and Coach
Elizabeth Hogue
on
February 25, 2024

Program Overview

We don't usually write reviews for one-off classes, but we loved this one at Vanderbilt so much we made an exemption! Vanderbilt's Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT is a masterclass in all things Prompt Engineering. It's a beginner-level, bite-sized course that shows great on a resume. It's also super helpful for those looking to enhance their everyday lives with a little bit of artificial intelligence!

The course is taught by "top rated" professor Dr. Jules White, who boasts an impressive portfolio of five Coursera courses and more than 100,000 students. He's a Vanderbilt professor of Computer Science and has won a plethora of awards throughout the years. He also has a student-lead rating of 4.98/5. We love to see it.

If AI feels futuristic and scary to you, this could be a great course to get your feet wet! By the end of the program, you'll be equipped with strong prompt engineering skills and be capable of using large language models for a wide range of tasks in your job, business, personal life, and education.

Best for: Beginners

This course is heavily focused on AI-beginners and starts with the basics of communicating with large-language models. The only prerequisites are basic computer skills, such as using a browser and accessing ChatGPT.

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Weekly Breakdowns

We recapped the learning objectives from each week to set your expectations for course material. The great part about this certification is that it's self-paced-- meaning that if you're super determined you can likely knock it out in a weekend. However, we've recapped the material in weekly chunks for you here. The primary focus of the entire cert is teaching the different types of engagements you can have while prompting the AI. Each week mostly focuses on the different themes-- we found this format to be incredibly helpful and thoughtful provoking.

Learning Objectives from Week 1: Course Introduction

  • Get familiar with basic concepts behind ChatGPT, including Large Language Models and chat outputs.
  • Set up a ChatGPT account and
  • Practice writing your first prompts

Learning Objectives from Week 2: Introduction to Prompts

  • Learn the foundations of Prompt Programming, including prompt patterns and personas.
  • Practice creating prompts with correct size limitations and use cases.

Learning Objectives from Week 3: Prompt Patterns I

  • Introduction to the different types of prompt patterns, including Question Refinement Pattern, Cognitive Verifier Pattern, Audience Persona Pattern, Flipped Interaction Pattern.
  • Practice each of these with applicable real-world scenarios.

Learning Objectives from Week 4: Few-Shot Examples

  • Get familiar with the concept of Few-Shot examples and their outputs.
  • Focus on ReAct concepts and prompting.
  • Pit language models against each other to grade responses.

Learning Objectives from Week 5: Prompt Patterns II

  • Learn more prompt patterns, including the Game Play Pattern, the Template Pattern, the Meta Language Creation Pattern, Recipe Pattern, and Alternative Approaches Pattern.
  • Practice each of these with applicable real-world scenarios.

Learning Objectives from Week 6: Prompt Patterns III

  • Learn more prompt patterns, including the Ask for Input Pattern, the Outline Expansion Pattern, Menu Actions Pattern, Fact Check Pattern, Tail Generation Pattern, and Semantic Filter Pattern.
  • Practice each of these with applicable real-world scenarios.
  • This is the final week, so there's also an assignment to create a prompt-based application.

Cost and Auditing

The certificate is only $49, and comes with a Linkedin Certificate on behalf of the prestigious school Vanderbilt University. This course is different from many we review because it's a flat-rate cost.

If you have a learning budget at your current company, or are dedicated to upskilling your career into something analytics related– we recommend completing the certificate and getting the shareable certificate (GET RECEIPTS!). This will help make your Linkedin and resume more searchable to recruiters who may be looking for specific keywords and programs. To audit the program and simply learn the material, this program is completely free. Learn more about how to include MOOCs on your resume here.

If you're still on the fence, luckily there is the option to take the class for absolutely free (sans certificate). To audit, simply click "Enroll for Free" and click "Audit" on the bottom of the second step. Voila, you're in!

Student Reviews

This course is brand new, which is similar to the OpenAI's chat tool itself. However, the course averages a 4.9 star review with 100+ ratings so far. The ratings breakdown is 91% 5 Star, 8% 4 Star, and <1% 3 Star. No 1's or 2's to be found! We wanted to call out how many folks specifically mentioned their adoration for Dr. White-- almost all of the reviews mentioned how wonderful he is!

Some of our favorite positive review points:

  • "For someone who knows nothing about programming and ChatGPT, this course opens up the door to understanding how to communicate with large language models via a programming mindset. I would recommend this course to anyone at an entry level and is looking in learning more about the dialogue with any AI Model." -Jenny L.
  • "I highly recommend this course to any professionals looking to use technology to enable AI functionality to achieve better outcomes related to automation and consistency.  While some knowledge of Computer Science may be helpful, you do not need to know any specific programming languages.  Dr. Jules White of the Computer Science Dept @ Vanderbilt University has genuine expertise and provided actionable use cases for Large Language Models, including various prompting techniques - and combinations thereof.  The course was excellent & the tests required continuous application of new concepts.  Highly recommend!" - Abe M.
  • "This is an excellent course and well-deserving of a  5-star rating. The instructor's expertise and exceptional presentation skills truly made this course stand out. The material was relevant and comprehensive and encompassed a wide range of valuable and practical prompting techniques. The assessments along the way  provided hands-on opportunities to apply the knowledge gained, further solidifying my understanding.  I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to enhance their skills in prompt engineering skills.  There is great reference material provided." - Michael H.

Aggregations of negative review points:

  • To be honest, there were not many here. Our personal assessment is that this course is targeted at beginners-- so if you're fairly tech savvy, it might not be the best use of your time. But to each their own! 

... and our favorite overall review:

Most of us tend to fall into using LLM like a better search engine. This course took me beyond the typical use case of ask a query and get a response. Highly recommend this case if you are looking to "leverage" the might of an LLM and understand how different models respond to prompts. Thank you for making this an easy to follow course.

-Sandeep

Supplemental Materials

This course from Vanderbilt is great as a showable certification and jumping-off point, but may not teach you everything you need to know to get a role in a tech-adjacent field. Here are some other fabulous programs in the AI space, with a focus on hard skills to compliment the general knowledge provided in this cert:

If you're looking to know AI & Product Management: Duke University's AI Product Management

Both Duke and UVA are incredibly prestigious organizations working to increase public knowledge of product management. This is a mid-level course-- so have some basic knowledge under your belt first-- focused on product management in the realm of artificial intelligence. Read our full writeup here. It's also free to audit, but if you want the certificate (recommended), it's $79 a month to complete at your own pace.

More In-Depth AI Content: Udacity's NanoDegree for AI Product Management

This NanoDegree is hosted on Udacity and takes around 2 months with 5-10 hours of learning per week.This program is comprised of 4 courses and 3 projects. The courses are AI in Business, Dataset Manipulation, Model Creation, and Measuring Impact and Updating Models.

Alternative Specialization Recommendations

Note: there are tons of alternate courses on how to use ChatGPT effectively, especially on Udemy. We specifically are reviewing this one from Vanderbilt because it's a sharable certification from a renowned university.

Prompt-City: ChatGPT Prompt Engineering with 2100+ Prompts

This course ranges between $15-40, and is very useful for finding inspiring prompts. This is different from the Vanderbilt class in that it offers tons of copy-and-paste prompts for various questions, while the other teaches how to think about interacting with the AI. Could be a great enhancer if you're looking to get super familiar with the tool.

Highest Rated: ChatGPT Complete Guide: Learn Midjourney, ChatGPT 4 & More

This is the highest rated/top selling Udemy ChatGPT class, and for good reason. It covers all interactions with the tool, from thinking about prompt delivery to a 17-page prompt guide. We especially enjoyed the section for engineers around using ChatGPT to program, QA and debug. The course cost ranges between $15-70 depending on sale season.

Conclusion

Prompt Engineering is a rapidly growing skill that can stand on its own or help enhance your current career. Having a certification from a prestigious location like Vanderbilt could be a crucial differentiator on an application, so we'd definitely recommend checking this out.


Here at Bridged we are huge fans of stacking micro-certifications to achieve desired career results, which is why we created the skill tracker. We're still in beta and building a product to make your career planning fun and affordable. We'd love to talk to YOU! Was this article helpful? Did you enroll in the course?

Let us know at hello@getbridged.co

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