Supporting management of teaching material with org-mode

Table of Contents

This file is README.org and is best viewed in org-mode in Emacs… go git clone, or read it online ;-)

1 Goal

This repository contains an example of how to manage some source files of teaching material, using org-mode in Emacs.

It uses org-reveal in addition to the standard LaTeX exporter.

2 Home of the project

The project sources are available in https://gitlab.com/olberger/org-teaching.

See its generated documentation at the Gitlab pages, either:

These documentes serve as an example of its use, in addition of the frameworks' documentation.

A more or less up to date snapshot may be found at http://www-public.tem-tsp.eu/~bergero/org-teaching/

3 Testing it

3.1 Documentation and example teaching materials

Read the documentation first. See the contents of the provided HTML and PDF files, or directly lesson.org under Emacs, equipped with org-mode (org-mode should be there by default in recent Emacs distributions).

These files represent the standard set of teaching materials in org-teaching, used for documenting the project, and as an example (note that these links may be best viewed in Emacs from a local clone of the Git repo, as Gitlab may not provide the best experience):

All these are generated from the corresponding .org files, which all include the common lesson content from lesson.org. You may prefer to read this file directly with Emacs.

3.2 Rebuilding the docs

The provided Makefile can be used to regenerate the documentation from its source, drinking its own champaign.

It uses the tools from the docker/ subdir for the Docker container powering the org-mode exporters (see docs at https://gitlab.com/olberger/docker-org-teaching-export/).

In order to use it, pay attention to the git submodules that need to be retrieved : elisp/org-reveal, reveal.js and docker/.

git submodule init
git submodule update

4 Features

The following features are provided:

4.1 Single source

A single org-mode source file contains the core of the lesson including listings and/or executable bits managed with org-babel or other classical org-mode features. In the provided example, this is lesson.org.

This single file is meant for editing, and the rest of the files provide the framework for generating the different outputs described below.

4.2 Teaching to the audience with a slides deck

We deliver the course by presenting a slides deck for each lesson, using reveal.js. In the provided example, this is slides.html.

Reveal.js displays slides as Web pages (using the Web browser in fullscreen mode) with a 2-dimensional structure of slides allowing the presentation of a main track of slides (horizontal ones), and additional slides (vertical ones), if need is, to dive into more details on a specific section of the lesson (typically for Q/A). Reveal.js also offers support for a "presentation mode" allowing the use of multiple displays so that the presenter can read additional notes. I've chose to "tune down" reveal.js to avoid fancy 3D animations, and stick to a more sober display, but YMMV.

4.3 Providing a reference handbook to students

The content of the presentation is also rendered as a handbook which is provided to the students. It contains the same things as the slides deck, including presenter notes, which are embedded in the document. In the provided example, this is handbook.pdf.

This handbook is rendered with LaTeX as an "article" A4 PDF.

4.4 Providing additional material to teachers

An additional document is produced which contains the same stuff as the students handbook, but also embeds additional sections meant to be read only by the teachers. In the provided example, this is teacher-handbook.pdf.

5 Examples

5.2 Real teaching material

The examples/ subdir provides some real-life examples that have been used for teaching.

See the results in:

6 Changelog

  • 2021/05 Adding a real example lab (in french)
  • 2019/07 Update to docker-org-teaching-export 1.2

7 History

I've been teaching a course on Web architecture and applications (CSC4101) at Telecom SudParis and wanted to manage the sources for the different teaching materials using org-mode.

Org-mode allows me to save the sources of documents in a revision control system (typically Git), as it's based on plain text.

It also allow the generation of different documents for different uses or audiances from a single source.

As I was teaching Web stuff, I also wanted to drink my own champagne using as much Web as I could (i.e. HTML).

8 Copyright & license

This content is provided under the clauses of the MIT License, unless otherwise specified (in particular, copies of org-reveal and reveal.js are provided under their respective terms).

Copyright (c) 2016-2018 Olivier Berger and Institut Mines Telecom

[See also the LICENSE file].

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Author: Olivier Berger

Created: 2021-05-11 Tue 11:09

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