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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

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  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.

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  3. Hello RStudio


    Cloud

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  4. Why? RStudio


    in the cloud

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  5. 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…

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  6. How? RStudio


    in the cloud

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  7. 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

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  8. RStudio


    Workbench*
    You have


    ‣ sysadmin experience / IT support


    ‣ hardware / local VM / cloud
    computing credit


    ‣ RStudio experience
    RStudio


    Cloud
    You have


    ‣ RStudio experience

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  9. Why? RStudio


    Cloud

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  10. 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

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  11. Projects in


    RStudio Cloud

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  12. Teaching with


    RStudio Cloud

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  13. 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

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  14. Share an


    RStudio Cloud


    project
    1

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  15. instructor view

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  16. student view

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  17. +
    ‣ 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

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  18. Invite to an


    RStudio Cloud


    workspace
    2

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  19. instructor view

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  20. instructor view

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  21. instructor view

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  22. 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

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  23. instructor view

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  24. 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

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  25. +
    ‣ 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

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  26. Tips for
    teaching with


    RStudio Cloud

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  27. 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

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  28. 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

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  29. Programming
    with


    📦 rscloud

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  30. Learn more about


    RStudio Cloud

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  31. rstd.io/cloud-playlist

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  32. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel


    Duke University + RStudio
    RStudio Cloud
    Teaching and learning with
    🔗 rstd.io/rscloud-whyR

    View full-size slide