swirl: Learning Statistics & R

October 29, 2013
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[This article was first published on Econometrics Beat: Dave Giles' Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
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Most of us would acknowledge that getting up to speed with R involves a pretty steep learning curve – but it’s worth every drop of sweat we shed in the process!
If you’re learning basic statistics/econometrics, and learning R at the same time, then the challenge is two-fold. So, anything that will make this feasible (easy?) for students and instructors alike deserves to be taken very seriously.
Enter swirl – “statistics with interactive R learning” – developed at the Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University.  It’s dead easy to download and install swirl – it just takes a few moments, and you’re underway.
There are simple, interactive, lessons that introduce you to the essential concepts, and you have the option to watch related videos. If you need to take a break part way through a lesson then you can save what you’ve completed, and pick up from that point at a later time.
My guess is that students will find swirl appealing and very helpful.
© 2013, David E. Giles

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