Utilizing Open Source Resources to Teach Introductory Data Science

By Tyler George (Cornell College)


There are a plethora of open education resources for introductory data science courses. Utilizing these resources in a classroom presents a variety of challenges for instructors including difficulties adapting the course materials to their particular program or campus, setting up computing infrastructures or cloud services, and learning new software.  This poster will cover a successful introductory data science course redesign using primarily the open source resource, Data Science in a Box, by Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, in a One-Course-at-A-Time semester calendar at a small liberal arts college. Four major areas will be covered in this poster related to this Introduction to Data Science course implementation. (1) The course design including the schedule, classroom setup, and daily course flow. (2) The technology and content necessary to learn to teach the course effectively. (3) The use and effectiveness of the chosen teaching pedagogies, primarily collaborative learning, supported by open source activities that required student groups to collaboratively use RStudio and git to complete. (4) The setting up of a minimal infrastructure to utilize RStudio Server on a campus computer. Lastly, the difficulties and room for improvement in all four areas will be discussed.