The fivethirtyeight R Package: 'Tame Data' Principles for Introductory Statistics and Data Science Courses


As statistics and data science instructors, we often seek to use data in our courses that are rich, real, realistic, and relevant. To this end we created the fivethirtyeight R package of data and code behind the stories and interactives at the data journalism website After a discussion on the conflicting pedagogical goals of “minimizing prerequisites to research” (Cobb 2015) while at the same time presenting students with a realistic view of data as it exists “in the wild,” we articulate how a desired balance between these two goals informed the design of the package. The details behind this balance are articulated as our proposed “Tame data principles for introductory statistics and data science courses.” Details of the package’s construction and example uses are included as well.

Technology Innovations in Statistics Education