Module 2 Introduction to R and Pair Programming
This unit is designed to take students with no programming experience and introduce them to R, a programming environment commonly used by scientists for analyzing and visualizing data. By introducing students to how computers operate, they can better conceptualize why coding language is so particular. By spending time introducing students to the basics of working in R, they are prepared for tackling more difficult coding assignments later in the course. Utilizing pair programming helps students work together to tackle harder assignments and build greater cooperation and understanding.
- Students will gain an understanding of how computers interpret commands
- Students will learn how to execute basic commands in R
- Students will be able to generate simple plots in R
- Students will practice simple data collection
- Students will gain experience working in teams
Context for Use
The purpose of the R videos in this section is to introduce students to pair programming. Pair programming is a practice developed in computer science to help students learn programming context and syntax quickly. In this practice, two programmers (students in this case) work together to accomplish a task (Williams et al., 2000): one of the students is the "driver" and the other is the "navigator". The navigator is mainly responsible for watching and verbally communicating the programming instructions from the video to the driver. The driver is mainly responsible for translating the navigators instructions into syntax and inputting it into the computer.