demonstrating R in introductory class using point-and-click software

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demonstrating R in introductory class using point-and-click software

Ranjan Maitra-2
Dear friends,

OK, I did not think that it would ever come down to this, but I am
here with a question on what would be the best point-and-click approach
to using R in the classroom in a way that the students can also follow
and exhibit (on their own).

So let me explain: I am teaching an introductory-level statistics class
for introductory first- and second-year civil and industrial
engineering students. This is a basic class following the book (not
important): Basic Engineering Data Collection and Analysis by Stephen B.
Vardeman and John Marcus. The class is very basic, and has
traditionally relied on JMP and Excel (less prevalent) to illustrate
data examples. I don't want to use either because I am a proponent of
OSS, and also because I find these two too cumbersome to handle. Also,
I don't think I have the time (and the students do not have the
inclination, I am told) to handle even basic interactive programming.
So, I was wondering if people with more experience would have
suggestions on what would be best to use.

I apologize if this has been discussed quite a bit here, but as I said
before, I did not think that it would come to this, so I basically did
not pay much attention.

Thanks very much for suggestions and experiences!
Best wishes,
Ranjan



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Re: demonstrating R in introductory class using point-and-click software

Bert Gunter
Why did you not go to CRAN and follow links there, which would get you to:

http://www.sciviews.org/_rgui/

-- Bert

Bert Gunter
Genentech Nonclinical Biostatistics
(650) 467-7374

"Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. And knowledge
is certainly not wisdom."
H. Gilbert Welch




On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 7:22 PM, Ranjan Maitra
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear friends,
>
> OK, I did not think that it would ever come down to this, but I am
> here with a question on what would be the best point-and-click approach
> to using R in the classroom in a way that the students can also follow
> and exhibit (on their own).
>
> So let me explain: I am teaching an introductory-level statistics class
> for introductory first- and second-year civil and industrial
> engineering students. This is a basic class following the book (not
> important): Basic Engineering Data Collection and Analysis by Stephen B.
> Vardeman and John Marcus. The class is very basic, and has
> traditionally relied on JMP and Excel (less prevalent) to illustrate
> data examples. I don't want to use either because I am a proponent of
> OSS, and also because I find these two too cumbersome to handle. Also,
> I don't think I have the time (and the students do not have the
> inclination, I am told) to handle even basic interactive programming.
> So, I was wondering if people with more experience would have
> suggestions on what would be best to use.
>
> I apologize if this has been discussed quite a bit here, but as I said
> before, I did not think that it would come to this, so I basically did
> not pay much attention.
>
> Thanks very much for suggestions and experiences!
> Best wishes,
> Ranjan
>
>
>
> --
> Important Notice: This mailbox is ignored: e-mails are set to be
> deleted on receipt. Please respond to the mailing list if appropriate.
> For those needing to send personal or professional e-mail, please use
> appropriate addresses.
>
> ____________________________________________________________
> GET FREE SMILEYS FOR YOUR IM & EMAIL - Learn more at http://www.inbox.com/smileys
> Works with AIM®, MSN® Messenger, Yahoo!® Messenger, ICQ®, Google Talk™ and most webmails
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
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Re: demonstrating R in introductory class using point-and-click software

djmuseR
In reply to this post by Ranjan Maitra-2
Hi Ranjan:

I think this is an important and well-posed question. AFAIR, sciviews
provides a fairly sophisticated GUI for R, but I haven't looked at it
in a while. The two packages I'd suggest you look at are John Fox's R
Commander (package Rcmdr...and note all the plug-ins!) and Ian
Fellows' Deducer package, both of which use a more sophisticated GUI
than the R GUI console in Windows.

Deducer runs on top of Java; it needs both rJava and JGR. If you're
using 64-bit R, you also need 64-bit Java installed; if you're content
with 32-bit R, then 32-bit Java is all you need. I know that Deducer
runs pretty smoothly on 32-bit R, but for 64-bit, you'll need to be a
bit more vigilant about the Java interface. For classroom purposes, I
would think 32-bit R is sufficient.

R Commander uses Tcl/Tk to program the GUI, and since a version of
Tcl/Tk comes bundled with binary versions of R, you don't have to
worry too much about the interface.

Take notice that both packages have plug-in packages that you can load
on top of the standard GUI.

I find it a little disheartening that in this era, engineers in
training are averse to programming, though. Sigh..

HTH,
Dennis

On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 7:22 PM, Ranjan Maitra
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear friends,
>
> OK, I did not think that it would ever come down to this, but I am
> here with a question on what would be the best point-and-click approach
> to using R in the classroom in a way that the students can also follow
> and exhibit (on their own).
>
> So let me explain: I am teaching an introductory-level statistics class
> for introductory first- and second-year civil and industrial
> engineering students. This is a basic class following the book (not
> important): Basic Engineering Data Collection and Analysis by Stephen B.
> Vardeman and John Marcus. The class is very basic, and has
> traditionally relied on JMP and Excel (less prevalent) to illustrate
> data examples. I don't want to use either because I am a proponent of
> OSS, and also because I find these two too cumbersome to handle. Also,
> I don't think I have the time (and the students do not have the
> inclination, I am told) to handle even basic interactive programming.
> So, I was wondering if people with more experience would have
> suggestions on what would be best to use.
>
> I apologize if this has been discussed quite a bit here, but as I said
> before, I did not think that it would come to this, so I basically did
> not pay much attention.
>
> Thanks very much for suggestions and experiences!
> Best wishes,
> Ranjan
>
>
>
> --
> Important Notice: This mailbox is ignored: e-mails are set to be
> deleted on receipt. Please respond to the mailing list if appropriate.
> For those needing to send personal or professional e-mail, please use
> appropriate addresses.
>
> ____________________________________________________________
> GET FREE SMILEYS FOR YOUR IM & EMAIL - Learn more at http://www.inbox.com/smileys
> Works with AIM®, MSN® Messenger, Yahoo!® Messenger, ICQ®, Google Talk™ and most webmails
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
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Re: demonstrating R in introductory class using point-and-click software

Christopher W. Ryan
In reply to this post by Ranjan Maitra-2
I've never taught a complete course, but I recently conducted 2
"introduction to R" workshops, each about 5 hours long, for a class of
about 15 high school science students. Very basic. We emphasized
graphics. But by the end, we had gotten into conceptual stuff about the
population vs the sample, sampling variation, and the distribution of
test statistics. They loved it, and although I am of course biased, I
think it went well. We may do more.

I used base R, no GUI, on purpose. I wanted to convey to them the
advantages (and ease) of writing, saving, and sharing code. Literate
programming and reproducible research and all that.

I have everything we did in an emacs org file. I'd be happy to share it
with you if you'd like.

So maybe don't give up on command line just yet?

I also can't understand how engineering students, no matter where they
are in the course of their training, could be averse to writing code.

--Chris

Christopher W. Ryan, MD, MS
SUNY Upstate Medical University Clinical Campus at Binghamton
425 Robinson Street, Binghamton, NY  13904
cryanatbinghamtondotedu

"Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or
evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or
unworthy." [Karen Schulz, in Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error]


Ranjan Maitra wrote:

> Dear friends,
>
> OK, I did not think that it would ever come down to this, but I am
> here with a question on what would be the best point-and-click approach
> to using R in the classroom in a way that the students can also follow
> and exhibit (on their own).
>
> So let me explain: I am teaching an introductory-level statistics class
> for introductory first- and second-year civil and industrial
> engineering students. This is a basic class following the book (not
> important): Basic Engineering Data Collection and Analysis by Stephen B.
> Vardeman and John Marcus. The class is very basic, and has
> traditionally relied on JMP and Excel (less prevalent) to illustrate
> data examples. I don't want to use either because I am a proponent of
> OSS, and also because I find these two too cumbersome to handle. Also,
> I don't think I have the time (and the students do not have the
> inclination, I am told) to handle even basic interactive programming.
> So, I was wondering if people with more experience would have
> suggestions on what would be best to use.
>
> I apologize if this has been discussed quite a bit here, but as I said
> before, I did not think that it would come to this, so I basically did
> not pay much attention.
>
> Thanks very much for suggestions and experiences!
> Best wishes,
> Ranjan
>
>
>

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.