Teaching classroom environment

I would like to hear from instructors in academe who teach R-centric courses. More specifically, I would like to know:

  • What classroom setup you use in your course (e.g. computer lab, regular classroom with student laptops, tablet, etc…)
  • Which R working environment do you use (e.g. local installation of R/RStudio or RStudio Server)?

I’ll start off by sharing my environment for an exploratory data analysis in R course that I teach at an undergraduate college. We meet twice a week in a computer lab (desktop PCs) and once a week in a classroom equipped with 5 large wall mounted monitors for use in student group sessions (the monitors allow students to project the contents of their laptop to the screen to facilitate sharing of work). The computer lab is used for lecture while the monitor equipped classroom is used for a 2.5 hour lab where students work in groups of three or four on a small project. The latter environment requires that at least a couple of the students in each group have a laptop but not all students are expected to have laptops in this course (though most do). We work off of local installations of R/RStudio on both the computer lab PCs and on student laptops.

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Oh I envy the group setup you describe!!

  • I use a classroom with flat tables where students bring their laptops. All students have laptops in the class (and if they didn't I'd be working with the department/university to get them loaners). Laptops in class are used for team work a huge majority of the time (as opposed to individual work) so really they just need 1 laptop per team.

  • I use RStudio Server. We discuss the reasons for this at https://peerj.com/preprints/3181/, but in a nutshell the goal is to get students started quickly without installation hassle initially, and then teach them how to do a local install later in the semester when they're all a bit more comfortable with R, and errors.


All the time I have a computer class. Some of the students bring their laptops with them.


Nothing fancy ... a laptop, projector, Rstudio, and revealjs slides. Students are required to bring their own laptops with R and Rstudio installed.