# Is there an online “coding platform” for teaching LaTeX

I have been looking for an online "coding platform" for teaching LaTeX but I have not found anything that does what I need. By a "coding platform" what I mean is a web-based system where:

• you can write tutorials on how to use LaTeX, possibly with or without embedded videos
• have the "students" write and view the output of their code as part of the tutorial
• be able to test that the student is able to complete set LaTeX "coding" tasks, recording their marks

So, I am looking for something like CodeAcademy, Coursera or TreeHouse for LaTeX. Online LaTeX systems like OverLeaf and ShareLatex provide a web-based means of writing LaTeX but, as far as I am aware, none of these systems allow you to test student progress.

I'm not adverse to hacking an existing system to make it do what I want, so if you know of something that could be modified to do what I want, within its licencing agreement of course, please let me know as this could be better than writing a system from scratch.

• Not sure, but have you ever used edx.org? seems to use linux servers for its coding exams and tests and I looked several times for several years if there is a LaTeX course but didn't found one yet. It is something missing from there and they use MathJax very much, so, I suspect that they could be interested in such a course and could provide the needed additional requests on their platform in order to make their platform better and more "marketable"... They have cooperation with really big universities like MIT and Harvard etc. and surely such a course would be interesting for them. – koleygr Mar 12 '19 at 0:39
• @koleygr Thanks. I've sent them a query to find out if they can/will support this. – user30471 Mar 12 '19 at 1:01
• Welcome @Andrew ... Hope that you will get a positive answer... Good luck anyway. – koleygr Mar 12 '19 at 1:04
• Perhaps not the best to suggest since we get many starter problem requests but educationally anki allows for tracking user progress not sure if there are many "using latex" tutorials since its generic with a latex ability but uses audio images video etc Linux win mac iPhone &roid don't let it put you off but down sides you may need to help students through are here tex.stackexchange.com/search?tab=newest&q=anki and apps.ankiweb.net/docs/… latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9933 ctan.org/topic/card-flash – user170109 Mar 12 '19 at 4:40

There is no marking scheme in place but a group of us are developing an online tutorial at

https://learnlatex.org

The site is still in development but English and Vietnamese content mostly there, comments welcome.

• My it was last vote, and I am very happy to give to you. Very nice answer. – Sebastiano Jun 23 '20 at 21:18

May be an overleaf professional account can serve your purpose. You can have unlimited users with unlimited project hosting. Also you can use google classroom for teaching and assignments keeping overleaf as online tool for validation. www.overleaf.com

• Can you be more specific with examples and make this sound less like an advert? – Andrew Swann Jun 22 '20 at 11:26
• I am not in anyway connected with overleaf, sorry if the reply carry any such message. – Bukaida Jun 22 '20 at 15:05
• You can use google classroom for giving and submission of assignment. Simultaneously you may create a project for each student in overleaf and keep the sharing between you two. Then you can share a screen shot of the final output and ask your students to reproduce it using overleaf, so that you can check as well as rectify the Assignment in the same common environment. It is just one of the ideas that came in my mind. Google classroom is free and overleaf free account supports upto 6 projects with twin sharing. – Bukaida Jun 22 '20 at 15:20

I eventually decided to use Ed, which we have available at our university. I have managed to write a fairly convincing unit using it, with 250 students currently enrolled. At this point I have only written the content for the basics of using LaTeX and I am in the process of writing tutorials that cover more advanced topics. The unit is still under development but I am pretty happy with how it is shaping up.

The unit consists of "tutorial lessons" that the students work through at their own pace, with an attached discussion forum where they can ask questions. The tutorials contain LaTeX code that the students can compile and edit, with syntax highlighting and tab-completion, after which they can view the output. In addition, I ask the students to complete "LaTeX coding exercises", which I automatically mark using some code that I wrote.

Here is a screenshot from one of the first lessons:

Having the students be able to run LaTeX in their browser, submit code and then have it automatically marked, is the "LaTeX coding environment" that I was looking for. The tutorial and coding infrastructure is provided by Ed and the automatic marking by me, using a fairly generic approach (json files specifying the tests to run and json output giving the results, including feedback).

Unfortunately, the unit is not public but I am happy to discuss what I have done with anyone who is interested. In particular, automatically marking LaTeX code proved to be an interesting exercise. (LaTeX output is not quite as robust as I had always believed.)

A quick Google search turned up this:

https://www.classcentral.com/course/edx-latex-for-students-engineers-and-scientists-15201

and there seems to be an unexpected variety here:

https://www.udemy.com/topic/latex/

These latter ones all seem to be behind a paywall, and I don't know whether that's relevant for your purposes.

I also found this one:

https://www.pe-rc.nl/la-tex

I must admit I didn't expect to find much, but there do seem to be some LaTeX courses out there.