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Wednesday, June 29 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Approaches to R education in Canadian universities

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Poster #4

The R language is a powerful tool used in a wide array of research disciplines and owes a large amount of its success to its open source and adaptable nature. This has caused rapid growth of formal and informal online and text resources that is beginning to present challenges to novices learning R. Students are often first exposed to R in upper division undergraduate classes or during their graduate studies. The way R is presented has consequences for the fundamental understanding of the program and language itself. That is to say there is a dramatic difference in user comprehension of R if learning it as a tool to do an analysis opposed to learning another subject (e.g. statistics) using R. While some universities do offer courses specific to R it is more commonly incorporated into a pre-existing course or a student is left to learn the program on his or her own. To better establish how students are exposed to R, an understanding of the approaches to R education is critical. In this survey we evaluated the current use of R in Canadian university courses to determine what methods are most common for presenting R. While data are still being collected we anticipate that courses using R to teach another concept will be much more common than courses dedicated to R itself. This information will influence how experienced educators as well as programmers approach R, specifically when developing educational and supplemental content in online, text, and package specific formats.


Michael A Carson

Laurentian University

Wednesday June 29, 2016 2:30pm - 3:30pm PDT
Sponsor Pavilion