New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
In this paper we will discuss the development of a LaTeX workshop and how this innovative academic outreach experience has contributed to our success and growth as graduate students. Through this workshop we developed a community of LaTeX practitioners in our university. LaTeX is a typesetting tool that is widely used to write research papers, theses, and dissertations.
In our home department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) we’ve often experienced a student climate that is less than helpful and borderline dismissive of new learners acquiring concepts and tools that are indirectly related to classes. Specifically, our ECE environment views LaTeX as a tool that should have been learned implicitly throughout our education. Through the creation of our workshop we sought to counter this dismissive climate and bring implicit concepts to the forefront, aiding in the creation of a more unified graduate student body. During our workshop we emphasized an exploratory methodology to learn LaTeX, modeling behaviors of openness and vulnerability that we want to encourage in our community.
We went through two cycles of our workshop creation process. After the first iteration, student feedback showed that we omitted important information for new users, effectively isolating them from using LaTeX. In the creation of the second iteration a more structured and explicit organizational strategy was adopted, incorporating the feedback we received to address the issues we faced in the first workshop. Teaming with the graduate school at our university obliged us to consider the workshop more seriously, professionally, and to be more critical of our approach. This additional accountability and the need to structure our time increased our ownership of the workshop while contributing to our professional graduate student development.
The two authors of this paper have differing instructional approaches. During the creation of the workshop many obstacles regarding how to deliver the instructional material in the most effective way were encountered. However, our differences in teaching styles complemented each other resulting in a more reflective practice, aware of student needs, balanced by the need to cover all the necessary technical content. Our yin and yang approach helps both authors enhance their experience, culminating in an effective community building LaTeX workshop. Having a student led seminar creates a more open relationship between graduate students making a better environment for research and creation.
Guizani, N., & Rodriguez-Simmonds, H. E. (2016, June), Developing Personal and Community Graduate Student Growth through the Implementation of a LaTeX Workshop Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26768
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015