This course teaches computing and statistics to undergraduates with no background
in either. Managing such a course with students from varied backgrounds doing
non-trivial computational work is a big technical challenge. This page briefly
describes the toolkit choices, and the infrastructure section
provides a path forward for instructors who are considering using these tools for
their own teaching purposes.
While the recommended tech stack is tall, only a few of the technologies are
- RStudio Cloud: RStudio Cloud is a managed cloud
instance of the RStudio IDE. We recommend having students access RStudio via
RStudio Cloud as opposed to using a local installation.
- GitHub: The use of GitHub also goes a long way to help
students visualize and understand the git process which also aids in student
buy-in. The web interface allows students to easily view diffs (file changes
over time) in files they are collaborating on, keep track of commit histories,
and search both the current state as well as the entire history of the code
base. Within the classroom GitHub can be thought of as an advanced and flexible
learning management system (compared to traditional tools like Blackboard or Sakai).
- Slack: Slack is a versatile communications and
collaboration tool. Students are discouraged from using email and, most course
communication happens here. Both public (for announcements and general questions)
and private (for team communication) channels are used.