[R] GUI's for teaching
mprager at ec.rr.com
Wed Jun 26 21:03:49 CEST 2002
At 6/25/2002 at 08:26 AM, Jonathan Baron wrote:
>The reference card is in the contributed documents section of CRAN and
>below. Students do use it. But a GUI would make them happier (but not
>enough for me to spend time trying to make one).
Yes, it is probably best for students' development if we don't spend too
much time trying to make them happy, anyway. It used to be that the
*students* tried to make the *instructor* happy. However, the world has
I agree with many that a GUI is problematic in several ways. A time sink
for programmers. A difficulty for analysts who want to keep an audit
trail. A potentially divisive element in the community of R users.
A reference card would be great, and I'd love to see an *electronic*
reference card that could be popped up easily without wading through many
branches of a help system. A big plus in such an electronic reference card
would be room for the user's own notes.
Unless a GUI somehow records the steps of analysis that has been performed,
it negates the value of a program as a teaching and learning tool. How can
one critique an analysis without knowing how it was performed? This is the
same problem one has in trying to debug an analysis done in a spreadsheet.
With no source code for the mathematical manipulations, how can they be
reviewed, unless one goes cell by cell by cell.....
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