Social science faculty view motivation as the key to overcoming barriers to learning R/RStudio


Anecdotal evidence suggests Social Science departments considering teaching R/RStudio have concerns about the relatively steep learning curve. Class evaluations suggest students can overcome the challenges of R/RStudio, provided they are motivated but empirical research is absent. This pilot study invited teaching staff at a UK university who had recently undertaken introductory R/RStudio training to take part in two group interviews (each N = 3) and asked about their experiences of learning R and how they thought their students would fare. An inductive approach was adopted and data analysed thematically. Key themes included four factors that contributed towards motivation: Efficacy, value, accountability and anxiety. Data also indicated suggestions for cultivating motivation via these four factors within pedagogic practice. It is concluded that overcoming the challenges of R/RStudio is more likely if the identified motivating factors are addressed within pedagogies. Ongoing research is required to support and develop these preliminary findings.

In University of Brighton Learning & Teaching Conference
Jenny Terry
Jenny Terry
Lecturer & Doctoral Researcher

Researching research, teaching research, and researching teaching research.