Thursday, March 22, 2012

Preparing a Paper for an International Education Conference

The first course for my "Graduate Certificate in Higher Education" was hard work, but I managed to get through it okay. So I thought I had better have some published papers to my name, if I was to do more tertiary teaching. Something I noticed was that most of my academic IT colleagues are not that interested in the details of teaching and most of my fellow students of teaching know little of IT. So I suspect there is not much competition for papers on IT in education.

It happens the "International Conference on Computer Science and Education" (ICCSE 2012), an IEEE sponsored conference, is on in Melbourne, Australia, 14 to 17 July 2012. So I reworked the two assignments from my first teaching course and some material from talks I had given, into a paper for the conference. The hardest part of this was not writing the paper (I have spent years working on the topic I selected), but using the Yeedao paper submission system. The conference organizers are in China and most of the papers are coming from China, so it makes sense to use a China based system. But the English language interface for the system key slipping into Chinese, making it difficult for me as an English speaker. However, this was still much quicker and simpler than a process using email.

After submitting my own paper, I volunteered to review some of the others. This proved a very educational experience, in terms of not assuming what the reader knows. The Chinese authors had used some education terms not common outside China and some words which seemed to have a different meaning in China (such as "democracy"). I suspect I had also used some terms in my paper which would be difficult for those outside Australia to understand. But it was good to see that most issues with tertiary education are common between nations.

My paper got a reasonably positive review, but one comment was that I had not used the IEEE template. I thought this odd as I had used the IEEE Microsoft Word template (which worked okay in the open source LibreOffice word processor). But I then realized that there was another step in the process I had not done, to run my word processing document through the IEEE PDF eXpress system. This system carries out checks on the document and turns it into PDF. The PDF I had created directly from my word processor did not meet the publishing requirements. I found a code the conference system and used that to upload my document to the IEEE, where eXpress converted it to PDF after a few minutes.

While there were no errors detected in my document, I noticed my email address was formatted as a hypertext link (blue and underlined) but did not work. The IEEE converter strips off any hypertext links in a paper (and then puts links to papers cited papers in a separate step). But the conversion had not removed the hypertext link look from the text. I had to edit the text to remove the blue and underlining.

You get ten conversion attempts with the IEEE system. That sounds a lot, but it took me three attempts to try to remove the hypertext underlining (it is still there).

Having the paper camera ready, I had to use a separate IEEE system to lodge the camera ready paper.

This is not the end of the process as I then had to register and pay for the conference. Having a paper at the conference costs only $150, but you have to register as well. The registration process was a little complex, as it has been designed for someone in China. As an example I was provided with the international SWIFT code for a bank in Sydney. But as I am in Australia I had to work out which part of the account code was the Bank's Australian BSB code.

1 comment:

Tom Worthington said...

The preprint of my paper is available: WORTHINGTON, T. 2012. A green computing professional education course online: designing and delivering a course in ICT Sustainability using Internet and eBooks. [Preprint]. 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education. Melbourne, Australia: IEEE.