[R-sig-teaching] I need your thoughts on teaching with R
jones at reed.edu
Mon Mar 9 22:09:08 CET 2009
I should have noted this at the beginning of the thread rather than
now, but forthe record, there is an R special-interest-group mailing
list called R-sig-teaching where this might also be of interest.
On Fri, Mar 06, 2009 at 11:28:41AM -0600, Andrew Zieffler wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I hope this email finds you all well. I have been asked to write a paper
> that discusses some suggested practices based on learning theory and
> cognition research for using R in teaching statistics. In thinking about
> framing this paper I have been considering all of the instructional
> choices that have to be made. For example, should one use the base
> graphics, lattice, ggplots, etc? Should there be instructional sessions
> just devoted to R or should it be completely integrated and students
> introduced to functions and the like as they need it? What additional
> supplemental materials should be made available to students to help them
> learn R? And there are many more of these types of questions and
> decisions that need to be made.
> As I have looked at many of the texts that have incorporated R they all
> seem to have a similar approach of introducing simple operators such as
> addition, subtraction, etc Then moving to assignment; the idea of
> vectors; functions etc. It is unclear to me if there is a reason for
> this pattern or if it is based on tradition? Maybe this lends itself to
> developing better skills for students who will go on and do more
> programming in R, but --- at least in our courses --- there are also a
> host of students who will only ever use R as a data analysis tool.
> All of this is a very long-winded way of asking for your help. I would
> love to hear your thoughts on the following:
> 1) What are the instructional decisions that a person needs to make if
> they are going to be teaching statistics using R?
> 2) What decisions have you yourself made and what were your reasons?
> 3) How do you teach with R? Do you have sessions on R and other sessions
> where content is taught? Is the computing fully integrated with the
> content? Or some combination?
> 4) If you have the heterogeneous group of students (some going on to
> program in R, others just trying to get through, etc.) how do we deal
> with this? Do we need to have different types of assignments and
> materials for the different students?
> Thank you in advance.
> Andrew Zieffler, Ph.D.
> Educational Psychology
> University of Minnesota
> 167 Educational Sciences Building
> 56 East River Road
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
> Email: zief0002 at umn.edu
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