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Teaching and learning R in the cloud with RStudio Cloud

Teaching and learning R in the cloud with RStudio Cloud

Much has been written in the statistics and data science education literature about pedagogical tools and approaches to provide a practical computational foundation for students. However, a common friction point for getting students (and faculty) started with computing is installation and setup. Circumventing the installation and setup steps early in the course by having students access R and RStudio in the cloud can minimize frustration and improve buy-in. RStudio Cloud is a lightweight and easy to set up / use solution to this problem. In this talk, I will discuss pedagogical reasons for teaching computing with R on the cloud as well as share best practices and tips for setting up your learners for success on RStudio Cloud. We will also provide an opportunity for the audience to experience computing in RStudio Cloud first hand, demo its newest features, and highlight a suite of ready-to-use resources for teaching R to new learners.

Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel

December 09, 2021

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  1. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel Duke University + RStudio RStudio Cloud Teaching and

    learning with 🔗 rstd.io/rscloud-whyR
  2. RStudio Cloud is a lightweight, cloud-based solution that allows anyone

    to do, share, teach and learn data science online, in the browser. There is nothing to configure, no dedicated hardware, no installation.
  3. Hello RStudio Cloud

  4. None
  5. Why? RStudio in the cloud

  6. lots of friction points ‣ Install R ‣ Install RStudio

    ‣ Install the following packages: ‣ rmarkdown ‣ tidyverse ‣ ... ‣ Load these packages ‣ Install git much less friction ‣ Go to rstudio.cloud ‣ Log in ‣ Start coding…
  7. How? RStudio in the cloud

  8. RStudio Workbench* You have ‣ sysadmin experience / IT support

    ‣ hardware / local VM / cloud computing credit ‣ RStudio experience rstudio.com/pricing/academic-pricing ✓ Free licensing for teaching with RStudio’s academic pricing ✓ Çetinkaya-Rundel, Mine, and Rundel, Colin. "Infrastructure and tools for teaching computing throughout the statistical curriculum." The American Statistician (2018). doi.org/10.1080/00031305.2017.1397549
  9. RStudio Workbench* You have ‣ sysadmin experience / IT support

    ‣ hardware / local VM / cloud computing credit ‣ RStudio experience RStudio Cloud You have ‣ RStudio experience
  10. Why? RStudio Cloud

  11. RStudio Cloud in a nutshell ‣ Does not require IT

    experience to set up ‣ Features designed for teaching ‣ Organize class as workspace ‣ Leverage roles (instructor, teaching assistant, student) ‣ Turn projects into assignments ‣ Peek into student projects ‣ Ensure same setup with a base project ‣ System libraries work out of the box (e.g., Git) ‣ Knit to PDF and Word works out of the box
  12. Projects in RStudio Cloud

  13. None
  14. None
  15. None
  16. Teaching with RStudio Cloud

  17. Shorter engagement Longer Engagement ‣ Workshop, short course, etc. ‣

    Content can be organized in one (or few) project(s) ‣ Not keeping track of learners share project ‣ Semester-long course, multi-day workshop, etc. ‣ Content best organized in multiple projects ‣ Keeping track of learners invite to workspace
  18. Share an RStudio Cloud project 1

  19. instructor view

  20. student view

  21. + ‣ Students land directly in a project upon login

    ‣ Great for sharing code in general, e.g. collaboration, reproducible examples (reprexes), etc. - ‣ Students need to remember to make a permanent copy of the project ‣ You can't keep track which students started their assignment ‣ You need to be granted permission to peek into student projects ‣ Permanent projects count towards students’ free hours ‣ Students control permissions + / - Sharing an RStudio Cloud project
  22. Invite to an RStudio Cloud workspace 2

  23. instructor view

  24. instructor view

  25. instructor view

  26. instructor view RStudio Cloud role permission course role Admin Manage

    users, view, edit and manage all projects Instructor Moderator View, edit and manage all projects TA Contributor Create, edit and manage their own projects Student Viewer View projects shared with everyone Auditor, Guest
  27. instructor view

  28. instructor view Base projects ‣ Anything you might want in

    all projects: ‣ R version ‣ Installed packages ‣ Files (e.g., code of conduct, submission instructions, etc.) ‣ Update as many times as you like! ‣ Changes are not retroactive
  29. + ‣ Various permission levels ‣ Base projects with desired

    packages installed ‣ Assignments, which remove the need to remind students to make a copy of the project before starting work ‣ Ability to peek into students’ projects - ‣ Students land in the workspace, may need instructions for next steps (e.g., start the assignment titled Getting started) ‣ Student work counts towards (instructor/institution) workspace hours ‣ Instructor controls permissions + / - Inviting to an RStudio Cloud workspace
  30. Tips for teaching with RStudio Cloud

  31. Tips for teaching with RStudio Cloud ‣ Changes to an

    assignment student has started won’t propagate to student copies ‣ Packages in the base project are installed, but not loaded ‣ The latest information is always on the RStudio Cloud Guide and the What’s New page ‣ If you encounter slowness/glitches, check the System Status
  32. Tips for teaching with RStudio Cloud ‣ Create an additional

    account, log in as a student to see what they see ‣ Test assignments to set sufficient computational resources ‣ Use the “peek at your students’ project” feature sparingly ‣ Use the “assignment” feature for live coding starters
  33. None
  34. Programming with 📦 rscloud

  35. None
  36. Learn more about RStudio Cloud

  37. rstd.io/cloud-playlist

  38. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel Duke University + RStudio RStudio Cloud Teaching and

    learning with 🔗 rstd.io/rscloud-whyR