Swirlifying Stats Training: Facilitating the Transition to R

Christopher Butler University of New Mexico
What works well in teaching statistics and statistical programming to a novice group of students? I present key insights from more than a decade of teaching statistical methods with constant tinkering. These boil down to having frequent online quizzes with unlimited attempts and providing starter scripts with embedded tasks for each lab. Because some changes took effect during the same semester and cohorts vary considerably, this is not a cut-and-dried template for success. However, assessment data is presented to support the value of online quizzes with unlimited attempts. The paper also includes a discussion of transitioning the class from Stata to R and creating interactive tutorials (using the Swirl library in R) to aid learning.