Th-18: GitHub and intro stats: technology to support group and project-based learning

By Nicholas J. Horton (Amherst College); Maria Tackett (Duke University)


GitHub is a powerful version control tool that supports collaboration and reproducibility. Beckman et al, 2021 and Fiksel et al, 2019 demonstrated the feasibility and desirability of incorporating GitHub into intermediate and upper-level statistics and data science courses. We describe a project- and group-based learning introductory statistics course (n=21 students) where GitHub was used to facilitate group and individual project deliverables and to foster discussions and feedback. The focus of our poster is the student experience, since understanding the experience from their perspective can provide insight how to teach GitHub effectively. Assessments regarding GitHub included a mid-semester survey, an assessment near the end of the semester, and end of semester evaluations. In addition, commit (change) history was recorded for each of the group and individual GitHub repositories. While some reported frustration, student feedback was in general fairly positive with many describing GitHub as useful or straightforward. We intend that participants will leave with (1) additional motivation for exploring the use of version control tools in their courses, (2) guidance about how to incorporate GitHub into an introductory statistics course, and (3) a sense for how students used GitHub and reacted to its use.


Th-17 - GitHub and intro stats - technology to support group and project-based learning.pdf