Seminar: R-Shiny for teaching

Department of Sociology Seminar

Weds 27 November, 12:00-13:00, F1030 Foundation Building

Using R-Shiny to create interactive apps for quantitative research methods teaching

Brendan Halpin, Dept of Sociology, University of Limerick

R-Shiny, a library for the R statistical programming language, makes it easy to create interactive web-pages which build on the statistical tools which R provides. In this talk I will discuss my experience using R-Shiny to create:

  • interactive demos
  • self-learning apps and
  • automatically graded assessments

for students on quantitative research methods modules

Demos are apps that demonstrate a statistical concept, allowing students to vary parameters and see what changes. Self-learning apps allow students to undertake a task repeatedly (with fresh numbers each time), and receive instant feedback. Assessments give students questions with individualised numbers but identical structure, store the answers and automatically mark the submission, with detailed feedback.

R-Shiny offers potential for anyone teaching statistics or quantitative research methods, in any substantive area. The talk will consider pedagogical and programming issues, and summarise the experience using this approach with undergraduate and Masters sociology students over the past few years.

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