RStudio 1.3 Preview: Integrated Tutorials

February 24, 2020

This blog post is part of a series on new features in RStudio 1.3, currently available as a preview release.

We’re excited to announce that RStudio v1.3 will gain a newly-minted pane: the Tutorial pane, used to host tutorials powered by the learnr package.

The learnr package makes it easy to turn any R Markdown document into an interactive tutorial. Here are some example tutorials from the learnr package, hosted on shinyapps.io:

Summarizing Data

Summarizing Data with R

Filtering Data

Filtering Data with R

A learnr tutorial can include any of the following:

  1. Narrative, figures, illustrations and equations,
  2. Code exercises (R code chunks that users can edit and execute),
  3. Quiz questions,
  4. Videos,
  5. Interactive Shiny components.

With the Tutorial pane, it is now possible to work through a learnr tutorial directly from the comfort of the RStudio IDE. You can use the RStudio IDE to learn, reflect, and tinker as you work through your running tutorial.

The RStudio IDE, with a tutorial running in the Tutorial pane.

Browsing Tutorials

RStudio will automatically index and display the tutorials provided by the installed R packages in your R library paths:

The RStudio IDE, with the Tutorial pane showing a list of available tutorials.

You can use this list to browse and run tutorials at your convenience.

Authoring Tutorials

The learnr package bundles a selection of tutorials that will introduce users to R, RStudio and the Tidyverse, but we hope the R community at large will find this a useful medium for creating and sharing their own R tutorials. If you’re interesting in authoring your own learnr tutorials, please see the Publishing article on the learnr website.

Try it Out!

The Tutorial pane is available in the latest iteration of the RStudio v1.3 preview release. You can download the latest preview release here:

RStudio 1.3 Preview

We’d also like to take this time to highlight a small selection of R packages developed and shared by members of the R community that provide their own learnr tutorials:

  • vegawidget can be used to render charts specified using the Vega visualization grammar, and includes a learnr tutorial exploring how the package can be used;

  • sortable includes a tutorial showing how sortable widgets can be included in your own learnr tutorials;

  • sur includes a tutorial that (quite comprehensively!) explores the manipulation of R data frames, including how missing data can be handled.

If you’d like to try out the tutorials bundled in these packages, you can install the packages from CRAN with:

install.packages(c("vegawidget", "sortable", "sur"))

and their associated tutorials will automatically become available in the Tutorial pane.


Questions? Comments? Please share your feedback with us on the RStudio community forums.

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