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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Supporting Statistics and Data Science Education with learnr


A modern statistics or data science course aims to equip students with both conceptual and computing skills. This is a challenging task as instructors do not want to increase students’ cognitive load with new tools and technical details and have to balance limited teaching time to help students in achieving the learning outcomes of both content and tool use. Interactive tutorials, built with the R package learnr, can support student learning with progressive reveal of content, interactive code exercises, and quizzes with automatic feedback, and an interface with the potential to reduce technical burdens via deployment as a web application. We describe different use-cases for learnr tutorials including introductory and upper-level statistics and data science courses based on our own teaching experiences. We also discuss the common benefits and lessons learned from implementing and teaching with learnr tutorials.

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