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Develop Course and Training Materials using GitPitch and Fruit Punnets

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@gitpitchDavid Russell

A primer on using modular markdown and a whole lot of berries to better reach your audience.

Sweet. Sour. Bitter. Pungent. Astringent. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit? Of course, we all have our favorites. Having been fortunate enough to have grown up in a household of keen gardeners, seasonal fresh fruits like raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and red currants were literally ripe-for-the-picking.

But my personal favorite these days is เงาะ, or rambutan. Which grows in abundance here in south-east Asia.

Fruit can be delicious and in many ways fascinating. But fruit punnets are both fascinating and relevant…

A punnet is a small box for the gathering and sale of fruit and vegetables, typically small berries.
Photo by William Felker

If you are thinking about building course or training materials using GitPitch, then fruit punnets can provide some invaluable lessons.

Mouthwatering Modular Design is Good

If you read just about any book or tutorial on modular-design it will almost inevitably start with a statement along these lines:

Modular design is a design approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules, that can be independently created and then used in different systems.

This is interesting, certainly. And universally acknowledged as good practice. Whether you are trying to build batteries for the Tesla Model 3, or building skyscrapers in record time, But it’s hardly delicious.

Yet when these same ideas are mapped to slideshow presentation design using GitPitch, things start getting much more tasty.

Separating Content from Content-Delivery

Well designed course and training materials typically require careful planning of content for each concept, topic, chapter, etc.

And where possible, a separation between course content and course content-delivery should be maintained to ensure maximum flexibility now, and into the future.

Fruit punnets provide a great example of modular flexibility. If all of the berries shown above were simply kept in one large barrel, it would quickly become unmanageable. For example, how would we extract just blueberries? Or arrange our berries in a new order: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Using fruit punnets, it becomes very easy to select specific berries, or combinations of berries, in whatever order we need them.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov

Modular Slideshow Content and Delivery

GitPitch supports modular markdown. A feature that encourages and facilitates modular design for all of your presentation content.

Revisiting the common definition for modular design from above, we can restate it as follows:

Modular presentation design is a design approach that subdivides any slideshow into smaller parts called slide-punnets, that can be independently created and then used within-and-across any number of slideshows.

Slide-Punnets in Practice

Let me turn your attention to the GitPitch community where smart, creative people are busy creating great content that clearly demonstrates best-practices in modular design.

For example, here is a great course on A Practical Introduction to ReactJS created by Sudharshan Ravindran. Suddi gives us a masterclass in clean, modular presentation design.

[ GitPitch Sample Presentation ] — Click to Focus

As an end-user, the presentation is a classic GitPitch slideshow. So to understand why I sing its praises so highly, check out the file and directory structure within the Git repo for this presentation:

[ GitPitch Presentation ] — Sample Git Repo Directory Structure

By simply glancing at the file and directory structure we can see how this presentation has been designed using modular principles. The overall structure has been broken into clear, distinct topics. And so has the presentation markdown. See for yourself, right here:

GitPitch Managed Content-Delivery

Earlier I emphasized the importance of separating content from content-delivery. GitPitch supports this approach by providing a powerful include-delimiter that can be used within any top-level PITCHME.md.

Let’s look at Suddi’s top-level PITCHME.mdfor example usage of the include delimiter:

---?include=topics/cover/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/poll/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/introduction/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/fundamentals-of-web-development/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/state-of-web-development-today/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/what-makes-react-special/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/questions/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/workshop/PITCHME.md
---?include=topics/course/PITCHME.md
+++?include=topics/questions/PITCHME.md
+++?include=topics/end/PITCHME.md

As you can see, the top-level PITCHME.md is made up entirely of content injected into the presentation using the include delimiter. You can think of each include statement as functioning like a slide-punnet. Each can be easily picked up and moved around without changing the underlying content.

Because of this, if Suddi now wanted to update his ReactJs presentation, perhaps moving the workshop topic to appear later in the course, all he would need to do is rearrange the order of the include delimiters within his top-level PITCHME.md. This would change the delivery-of-content, without requiring any changes to the content itself.

And if he wanted to use the existing modular content to create a new mini-course on ReactJS he could simply create a new PITCHME.md within the same repository that includes only the subset of topics required by the mini-course curriculum.

You can use GitPitch to create an unlimited number of slideshow presentations within a single-branch of a single-repo. And slideshows within the same branch can share modular markdown content plus assets, including images, logos, and custom styling.

A combination of these great features combined with Git itself make GitPitch a great option for anyone developing and delivering course and training materials.

Mouthwatering Presentations on Git.* ;-)

If you are developing and delivering either course or training materials and you’re using GitPitch I’d be very interested to hear from you. Especially about features you’d love to see added to the service. Drop me a note in the comments section below or reach me anytime directly on e-mail or Twitter.

GitPitch lets you effortlessly craft and share beautiful content about the things you care about. Use it to promote, pitch or present absolutely anything ;) As always, I look forward to seeing what the GitPitch community creates next.

You can follow me right here on Medium or on Twitter for more news, tips and unique creations from the GitPitch community.

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