W03: A Fully Customizable Textbook for Introductory Statistics/Data Science Courses

With Chester Ismay (Reed College, Pacific University); and Albert Kim (Middlebury College)


This workshop will provide a guide to creating a user-adaptable electronic textbook incorporating data visualization, data science, and other relevant pedagogical concepts into your introductory statistics course. RStudio, Inc. has recently released the bookdown package for easily creating interactive textbook resources in a variety of formats using R Markdown. We present our own introductory statistics and data science textbook using bookdown that:

  • Focuses on the entirety of the data/science pipeline
  • Adheres as much as possible to Hadley Wickham’s tidyverse principles
  • Blurs the line between lecture and lab with students writing in R and R Markdown for their coursework
  • Uses freely available modern, rich, and complex data sources
  • Leverages the mosaic package for statistical inference via resampling and simulation
  • Most importantly, provides complete customizability to the instructor and reproducibility to the student

This workshop is intended for instructors with a background in R, RStudio, and R Markdown, and who are curious about incorporating the ggplot2 and dplyr packages for data visualization and manipulation into their introductory statistics courses.

All of the materials from the workshop are available at:
Our open-source intro to statistical and data sciences book using R:
Our free DataCamp course using FiveThirtyEight data with links to the relevant stories: