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  • Top Tips For Teaching with Overleaf

    Posted by Kate on September 8, 2020

    Remote teaching can be a great way to continue the learning process, when in-person instruction is not an option. For teachers, there is a lot to consider; and planning, along with utilizing the right tools, is crucial to ensure a smooth transition from classroom to home.

    If you're looking for a nice course as an example of how to teach getting started with LaTeX, why not check out our free online introduction to LaTeX course, written by one of our founders, Dr. John D Lees-Miller. This three-part course is freely available online in slide format and as a downloadable PDF, and has also been translated into several different languages. Perfect if your students have never used LaTeX before, or if it has been a while and you would like a refresher :)

    Here are some of our top tips to help you when you’re working on your assignments, class content or own projects.

    1. Check out the Overleaf rich text mode.

    You don’t need to know any code to get started - you can simply edit the text, add images, and see the typeset document automatically created for you as you type. A perfect way to get you and your students started with an Overleaf project, and to collaborate with those colleagues who are more familiar with WYSIWYG editors such as MS Word.

    2. Create assignment templates

    Create assignment templates that you can easily share with your students.

    3. Include instructions

    Include instructions your students might need in your assignment template, for example:

    • Summary of the assignment - explain the overall task
    • What resources, tools or content the students should use to complete their assignment - provide links to relevant information
    • Assignment requirements, for example:
      • Length - number of words, paragraphs, pages
      • Citation requirements

    4. Append student name/ID to submissions

    Ask your students to copy the assignment template and rename it appending their name/student ID - this acts as a unique identifier when they are submitted and helps you keep track of who’s project/assignment it is!

    5. Track assignments with our history feature

    Use our history feature to label versions of your assignments - for example to clearly identify which version was handed out to which students - great if you’re constantly improving your assignment content or structure.

    6. Use tags

    Use tags to keep track of grading or marking status - for example “Unmarked/Ungraded” “Marked/Graded”.

    Use our link sharing feature to share an assignment as read-only with your entire class (they can then create their own editable copy to use for completing the assignment).

    8. Preparation is key

    In the same way that you would prepare for a lesson at school, make sure you give yourself enough time to get set up at home. Make sure your internet connection is stable, you’ve got a glass of water nearby, that you’ve got the assignment templates you want to share open and links available, and that your mic and sound are working well.

    9. Give great feedback

    Use the review feature to leave feedback on specific project sections as comments for your students, or our chat pane to talk generally about the project with your students.

    10. Transfer projects to a new user

    Changed subject or role? Transfer any old course projects to a new owner using our project transfer feature.

    11. Keep track of assignment submissions

    Use a spreadsheet (Google sheets or Excel) with a tab per class to keep track of those students who have submitted what and when, perfect for sharing with other team members/department heads - you can also store project urls for easy access into Overleaf.

    12. Find out if your institution offers premium subscriptions to Overleaf

    Check to see if your institution has signed up to provide you with a premium subscription - you can find our list of institutional partners here. If you don’t see your institution on the list, and are interested in your institution setting up an institutional subscription, just let us know!

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