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R Markdown: integrating a reproducible analysis tool into introductory statistics. (English)
Technol. Innov. Stat. Educ. 8, No. 1, 29 p., electronic only (2014).
Summary: {\it D. Nolan} and {\it D. Temple Lang} [Am. Stat. 64, No. 2, 97‒107 (2010; ME 2011b.00196; Zbl 1205.00052)] argue that “the ability to express statistical computations is an essential skill." A key related capacity is the ability to conduct and present data analysis in a way that another person can understand and replicate. The copy-and-paste workflow that is an artefact of antiquated user-interface design makes reproducibility of statistical analysis more difficult, especially as data become increasingly complex and statistical methods become increasingly sophisticated. R Markdown is a new technology that makes creating fully-reproducible statistical analysis simple and painless. It provides a solution suitable not only for cutting edge research, but also for use in an introductory statistics course. We present experiential and statistical evidence that R Markdown can be used effectively in introductory statistics courses, and discuss its role in the rapidly-changing world of statistical computation. The introductory statistics course has changed greatly in recent decades, with more focus on active learning, use of technology for conceptual understanding and analysis of data, along with “naked, realistic and real" data. In this paper, we discuss how R Markdown, a simple, easy-to-learn, open-source markup language, can be integrated into an introductory statistics course in an effort to achieve the GAISE guidelines, specifically, to enable students to develop the basic capacity to undertake modern data analysis and communicate their results.
Classification: K45 U75
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