>Developing a Kick-Ass Tutorial for EclipseCon

>One thing that has been hit or miss at eclipsecons have been the tutorials. Tutorials are hard to do right. They need to be paced correctly, they need to have a good balance between introducing the topics and concepts, and the lab exercises that go with them. Yes a tutorial should have lab exercises, otherwise it’s not a tutorial, it’s a very long drawn out Extended Talk.

A good source I’ve seen for tutorials, has been XFront.com. Vogella.de also does a good job as well. The key to both sites, is the balance between introducing the concept, and then ample exercises and examples that re-enforce it.

Some keys for those that have submitted tutorials:

1. Keep your introduction short and to the point.
2. Get to Lab exercises as quickly as possible. Ideally within the first 15 minutes of the tutorial.
3. Labs should be self contained, and able to be worked on outside of your presentation.
4. Make all material downloadable.
5. License your tutorials under with an Eclipse License or a Creative Commons License.
6. Make source code available. Host the source for your tutorials as either part of your eclipse project or at Eclipse Labs.
7. Do not depend on a good Internet Connection. Everything to do the tutorial should be on the USB sticks or downloadable before hand.

Above all, remember what you yourself liked and didn’t like about the tutorials you have attended yourself. Avoid the mistakes that annoyed you, as they will surely annoy your students. Tutorials are interactive. It’s the hands on that helps enforce the concepts you are trying to teach.

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3 Responses to >Developing a Kick-Ass Tutorial for EclipseCon

  1. Kim Moir says:

    >Great suggestions!

  2. >Thanks for the great suggestions Dave!

  3. Lars Vogel says:

    >Thanks Dave for speaking highly of my website. 🙂

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