Initial Preparations

To prepare tutorials, it is a good idea to use tutorials from previous terms as a starting point. Often these will contain questions that you can use. In addition, you will want to look at the assignment for the next week and see of the current tutorial relates or if it contains any questions (and thus solutions) that are in the assignment (this can happen, especially when you are dealing with topics like trees). It is also very helpful to ask the professor(s) if they have any ideas for the upcoming tutorial or if there is anything they would like to cover. Since I used the past tutorials as a base, I wrote down which of the tutorial questions should be removed and those that should be added.

Writing Tutorials

During Fall 2011, I would start with the material from one of the previous terms and remove some material and add more material. If you are starting with tutorials created prior to Fall 2011, you will notice they are of a different format than those during/after that term. I would suggest using the format of Fall 2011 since it is more consistent with the format of the lecture slides.

First of all I updated the tutorial (changed the date etc.). Then I would comment out the unneeded questions (the questions I wished to remove). This allows tutors in the future to see questions from previous terms even if they were not used in the previous term (although this could lead to excessively long text files). I would then add questions to the tutorial.

As already mentioned. Taking material from past terms is often helpful, but there are a few things you will want to watch:

  • Make sure that the style is consistent with what is being taught that term. There may be slight changes in the style guide between terms
  • Make sure the references to the lecture slides are up to date. These can change between terms so make sure they are the same or you will have confused students.
  • Always double check the solution and everything else on the slide. Do not just assume that is is right.

<noautolink>LaTeX</noautolink> Specifics for Tutorials

The tutorial slides are written in <noautolink>LaTeX</noautolink>. A few good <noautolink>LaTeX</noautolink> resources are:

  • Wikibooks - LaTeX
  • For general questions use google, there are a lot of forums that most probably have an answer to your question

Much of the information below can be gleaned from looking over the Fall 2011 slides.

Included in the Fall 2011 tutorial directories will be all the required files to make the tutorial slides (with answers) as well as the slides that will be posted to the course website (slides without answers). To make the tutorial, type the make command into terminal. You should ensure the following files are in the directory with .tex file:

  • 135slides.cls
  • pause.sty
  • Makefile
  • pp4p.jar
  • schemesymbols.tex
  • slatex.sty

If you do not reuse the tutorials from previous years you will want to copy the <noautolink>LaTeX</noautolink> preamble from previous terms.

-- HumaZafar - 10 Sep 2012

It would be more convenient for you, if you convert your latex files to pdfs using the command make from the course account directory where you should have your make [0-1][1-9]-*-slides.tex and the six files mentioned above. You need to name your files in this particular way for the Makefile script containing the make command to run on them. If you are curious about the make command, read Makefile using a text editor. This command will automatically generate the following five pdf files:

  • *-show.pdf: This is the version you need to send to the IA and use in your own tutorial
  • *-post.pdf: This version contains all the slides except the solution slides. This is the file that we post on the course webpage.
  • *-post3up.pdf: This is same as the *-post.pdf except it is in 3-up.
  • *-click.pdf: This version contains only the clicker questions.
  • *-prof-work.tex: You don't need to use this pdf for the tutorials.

For the make command to successfully filter out the solution slides, remember to use \begin{slides} and \end{slides} to for all your question slides including the clicker questions. Use \begin{clicker} and \end{clicker} for all your solution slides including the clicker slides.

-- XixiHu - 21 Feb 2013

A slide environment begins with the \begin{slide} command and the solution slides environment begin with the \begin{clicker} command. The titles for each slide are as follows: {\Large\textbf{Title Here}}. It is also helpful to change the font size for the rest slide to \small. If you cannot fit all of the solution on one slide you can go to two slides or use a smaller font size ( footnotesize, scriptsize, and tiny). Instead of using \begin{verbatim} environment or \texttt{} command to display scheme code, use one of the following"

  • \begin{schemedisplay}: I used this most frequently out of any of the commands. Great for showing blocks of code and it places a newline character before and after the block of code. It gives more space to blank lines in your code segments.
  • \scheme{}: I generally used this for short segments of code such as function names or answers to multiple choice questions. This is intended for one line of code or less.
  • \begin{schemebox}: Similar to schemedisplay except it does not have a newline character before or after and the spacing in the text is smaller

For the list structure, use \begin{alphalist} (with item for the list items and enumi as the counter).

When in one of the aforementioned 'scheme' modes, you can use the follow special characters. \to produces a right arrow similar to -> and yields produces a double arrow =>.


I found clickers to be a good learning tool in tutorial, although the lack of marks assigned to clickers in tutorials decreased students' incentive to bring their clickers.

To use clickers, you will need to ensure the clicker software is downloaded from i>clicker Instructor downloads page onto the computer you intend to present from (whether your course account - using the podium computer, or a laptop). Also make sure that you download version 5.5 (I can't remember why, but one of the profs told us to make sure we had the correct version).

It is recommended that you have a separate 'course' set up for each section. To create a new 'course' click "Add Course" and input information. To reduce confusion, especially if you teach multiple tutorials, you could input the time of the tutorial in the Course number field. To set up the details for the course select it and select choose. In tutorial you will click "Start Session" which will open the small white clicker application box but for now click on "Your Settings and Preferences" which will open another window. In the first tab (General): Input your clicker ID (the eight digit hex code on the back of the clicker) where it says "Instructor's Remote ID", Set the frequency for the room that you are doing the tutorial in and change the alert message to "Not at all" (This is a pop up that will appear every time you ask a question). The default settings in the "Registration/Export" and "Question and Polling tabs are fine (You may want to double check that your Polling timer under "Question and Polling" is set to count up). Under "Scoring" change the session participation marks to 0, and under performance change both "Points for Responding" and "Points for Correct Response" to 1. And ensure that there are no limits to the total performance points earned in a session. When you are done click "Set for this Course"

Don't forget to remind your students of the frequency for at least the first few classes.

Topic revision: r1 - 2020-12-23 - AdamMehdi
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