The theoretical and practical aspects of statistics are often taught separately - with the conceptual elements of statistical models taught in lecturers, and the practical exercises worked on in computing workshops afterwards. Live coding, where instructors type and narrate code out loud as they teach with students are asked to code alongside, has been shown to improve engagement and encourage students become active participants rather than passive listeners.
However, including live coding within a lecture isn’t always straightforward - it relies on students either bringing laptop with software pre-installed, or having signed up for cloud-based services in advance. With the creation of webR, which makes it possible to run R code in a web browser, this no longer has to be the case. All an instructor or students needs is an internet connect - nothing more than a smartphone is needed.
In this talk, I’ll describe ways that teaching materials can be adjusted and made more engaging with live coding examples. It will include a demonstration of using webR to teach a simple statistical concept showing its potential to revolutionise the way we teach data science. Though this talk will primarily focus on the use of R in teaching, it will also prove relevant to those who use alternative programming languages.