Guidelines/Rules for an Ideal Tutorial  

Hans Vangheluwe's Ideal Tutorial Rules

  I have compiled these rules over the years, tremendously enjoying excellent tutorials, 
  but also being frustrated by tutorials which were a waste of everyone's time.

  Some of these rules also apply to Summer/Training Schools:

  The criteria for organizing a tutorial at venue X about topic (typically, a formalism or technique) Y are:

  - topic Y is sufficiently mature, both from a theoretical and from a usability (of, e.g., tools) point of view.

  - topic Y is of relevance to the X community (or more specifically, the anticipated audience at X). This is the WHY.

  - topic Y is well defined, in purpose and (restricted) scope. This is the WHAT.

  - how to use topic Y and/or what its detailed semantics is (in the case of a formalism)
    is precisely and concisely given, by preference also through examples.  This is the HOW.

  - the heterogeneous (and often minimal) background of the audience is taken into account.
    A tutorial is not a research presentation (and certainly not a recycled rejected conference paper)!

  - a paper and/or technical report on the topic of the tutorial must be available.
    In conferences such as SpringSim/ANNSIM and WinterSim, and sometimes at MoDELS, it is possible
    to publish such a paper (an added reason to organize a tutorial and way to satisfy
    our MSDL requirement that one should only attend a conference if one has a published paper :).
    In some cases, it is sufficient to refer to a paper authored by someone else.
    This also implies that the tutorial is not necessarily about your own work
    (though you should be an expert on the topic).
    A technical report with (much) more detail (than given in the tutorial) is useful to
    take someone whose appetite has been whet to the next level.
    This should be publicly available and could for example be published on

  - the (mature) simulators/tools/... are generally available online, possibly on a website
    created for the tutorial. What is posted there must be complete, with full documentation,
    and easy to install.

  - all the material (presentation, tool(s), examples) of the tutorial must be available online
    (and possibly handed out on a USB stick).
    In case of difficult to configure toolsets, use a virtualbox image or a docker container.

  - extra material (in particular, examples) must be available.

 For MSDL: our (MSDL) best example is our series of DEVS tutorial(s).
 Other examples: Statecharts, co-Simulation, Modelling Physical Systems for Software Modellers
 (including a-causal modelling with Modelica and an introduction to CBDs and PID control), Model Validity.
 Other presentations from the DSM-TP Summer Schools and the MPM4CPS Training School could, with minimal effort,
 be brought up to the above standard.
 Material from MoSIS and MDE courses would require more effort to satisfy all the above criteria.

Maintained by Hans Vangheluwe. Last Modified: 2023/04/30 02:01:03.