Assessing Shiny apps through student feedback: recommendations from a qualitative study
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Teaching statistics has benefited from Java applets, the successful technology that appeared in the late 90s and which allowed real interactivity on an Internet browser. Combining dynamic functionality with the web provides an inspirational complement to the contents of many subjects in undergraduate statistics courses, especially for active learning activities. Since Java applets are becoming obsolete, we explore a different technology based on R (currently a popular statistical language) and Shiny, which is a web framework for developing interactive applications inside the R environment. Although the pedagogical value of these tools has been implicitly accepted so far, our aim is to consider the students' perspective while investigating more suitable means to accompany the use of apps in statistics. We conducted a qualitative study in which we tested 10 of our applications and collected student opinions through questionnaires and regular meetings. Our conclusions indicate that the students view these resources positively, although they demand more support, just enough to facilitate both getting started and using the tools effectively. In addition, programming in R is surely more accessible and satisfying for statistics lecturers than other languages and, consequently, implementing instructional activities can be specially tailored by the teacher.
This is the accepted version of the following article: Gonzalez, J., Lopez, M., Cobo, E., Cortes, J. Assessing Shiny apps through student feedback: recommendations from a qualitative study. "Computer applications in engineering education", Setembre 2018, vol. 26, núm. 5, p. 1813-1824., which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cae.21932
CitationGonzalez, J., Lopez, M., Cobo, E., Cortes, J. Assessing Shiny apps through student feedback: recommendations from a qualitative study. "Computer applications in engineering education", Setembre 2018, vol. 26, núm. 5, p. 1813-1824.