CECS Tutoring Quality Program 2/2009

The second discussion forum for the Tutoring Quality Program (TQP) of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at the Australian National University will be organized on Thursday, 14 May 2009.

Paul Preston from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre will facilitate the discussion on marking and providing effective feedback to students and dealing with student expectations of outcomes.

The first session for Semester 1/2009 was organized on 19 March 2009.

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ResearchFest: Celebrating ANU Research Students

The Research Student Development Centre at the Australian National University is organizing ResearchFest: a week of fun, informative and stimulating activities celebrating the contribution and teaching of research students.

ResearchFest schedule
ResearchFest schedule

CECS Tutoring Quality Program

The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Tutoring Quality Program  (TQP) organized its first discussion forum for Semester 1 2009 today.

Paul Preston from the Academic Skills and Learning Centre led a discussion forum on the role of tutors in effectively supporting and guiding student objectives of learning and understanding.

The Tutoring Quality Program is a Community of Practice (CoP) for tutors and demonstrators in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University.

Tutors provide essential support and scaffolding for effective teaching and learning practice in the university context. The TQP provides a necessary and much-required forum for the development of best practices in teaching and learning.

Several interesting ideas emerged from the discussion which will definitely result in better-informed and capable tutoring practice.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

A LaTeX setup for the Windows platform

A simple workflow for a fairly standard LaTeX setup for the Windows platform. YMMV.

  1. Download the MikTex setup exe
  2. Get the whole package directory from a nearby server using Internet Explorer or using the MikTex installer
  3. Install MikTex by pointing to the local copy of packages. Install as “Administrator” and install for all users.
  4. Install the Sumatra PDF viewer. This is required because Acrobat reader locks  a PDF file in use.
  5. Install TexnicCenter, a highly capable IDE for LaTeX. Change the PDF build profile to use XeLaTeX instead of PdfLaTeX.  XeLaTeX is the unicode and works better for multi-language input.
  6. Enable complex language input in Windows. In XP, go to Control Panel -> Regional and Languages (You will need your XP install disk for this).
  7. To add version control support using bazaar for Windows and version control script for LaTex, install gawk for Windows.
  8. Install gnu-gawk for Windows.
  9. The vc.bat file and the corresponding bzr awk script for Windows should be copied in the directory of each document. After each bzr commit, run the vc. bat file. This updates the vc.tex file (include it in your LaTeX document via \input{vc} )
  10. Bibliography management is handled by JabRef (a Java application).

Additional Notes:

  1. ipe is a very good tool for vectorized illustrations and figures. It has a modern UI and is quite easy to use.
  2. A good way to manage the document workflow in TexnicCenter is to start with a simple new document in a desired directory and convert it into a project with “Project->Create with active file as main file” from the menu. Multi-file projects will then show up in a file/structure explorer with hotlinks.
  3. Use polyglossia instead of babel for multi-language localizations in  LaTeX documents.
  4. Nicola Talbot’s “LaTeX for complete novices” is a no-frills tutorial which gets you started immediately.  For writing a PhD thesis, follow this up with “Using LaTeX to write a PhD thesis”.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

ANU Tutor Orientation 2009

The Australian National University’s Tutors Support Network (TSN) is conducting a Tutors Orientation session on Tuesday, 10 February 2009.

This session provides an excellent opportunity for new and returning tutors at the Australian National University to find out more about tutoring facilities at the ANU, pay conditions and support infrastructure and exchange experiences and ideas with scholars and academics.