Integrated R labs for high school students
The Mobilize project developed a year-long high school level Introduction to Data Science course, which has been piloted in 27 public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The curriculum is innovative in many ways, including the use of R and the associated curricular support materials. Broadly, there are three main approaches to teaching R. One has users learning to code in their browser (Code School and DataCamp), another has them working directly in the R console (swirl), and a final approach is to have students follow along with an external document (OpenIntro). The integrated R labs developed by Mobilize bridge between working at the console and following an instructional document. Through the mobilizr package, students can load labs written to accompany the course directly into the Viewer pane in RStudio, allowing them to work through material without ever leaving RStudio. By providing the labs as part of the curricular materials we reduce the burden on teachers and allow students to work at their own pace. We will discuss the functionality of the labs as they stand, as well as developments in the .Rpres format that could allow for even more interactive learning.