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(This article was first published on fishR » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I am teaching my Fisheries Science and Management course at Northland College this semester. The science portion of the course is a fairly traditional treatment of population dynamic parameter estimation methods (using R with the FSA package, of course). This semester I am trying to use most of my lecture time to discuss the background, interpretation, and utility of the various models and methods. I will then provide short videos to be watched outside of class that will demonstrate how to perform the related calculations.

For example, in yesterday’s class we derived the Leslie (depletion) model for estimating the initial population size and the catchability coefficient from the catch equation and an equation for the reduction in population size relative to cumulative catch, and discussed assumptions and limitations of the model. I then directed the students to this short video on how to make the computations in R that they can watch on “their own time.” I will have a short homework assignment that requires them to perform these calculations with data and interpret the results. [I should note that I also asked them to read the related fishR vignette prior to the class lecture.]

It will be interesting to see how this pedagogy works (it should be noted that this pedagogy is not exactly “flipping the classroom“, but it is not dissimilar in concept).

If you are interested in the videos, they are available on my Screenr page (there are only three “fisheries” videos so far and then several from my introductory statistics course). Comments are, of course, welcome.

p.s., It is tough listening to my voice on these videos!