Digital Scholarship Resources - Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications Office

DiSC R Lessons

A shortened link to this page is

About the lessons

DiSC R lessons are provided by the Digital Scholarship and Communications Office (DiSC) of the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries at Vanderbilt University. The DiSC office provides regular lessons for R beginners with a variety of followup intermediate lessons. There is no cost associated with the lessons.

The beginners lessons are generally offered at least once per semester. See the schedule below for session details.

Each lesson includes of a series of videos with a practice scripts and homework assignments. The live working sessions provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions about the lesson videos and homework, or to work on the homework with assistance.

The lessons are part of a free, online learning system called CodeGraf. You are welcome to work through these lessons or any of the other lesson modules available in CodeGraf on your own at any time (no registration required). To explore all of the lesson modules that are available, visit the CodeGraf landing page.

The DiSC office also provides lessons for learning Python and getting started with GitHub in a similar format.

Archive of past lessons

Beginners Lessons - Spring 2022

Time: Thursdays from 11:00 AM - noon Central (US) Time (starting January 20).

In-person venue (starting January 27 unless changed): Central Library Poetry Room (room 612A). Note: I have been told that people with VUMC staff IDs are unable to swipe into the Central Library. (I think Medical School faculty, staff, and grad students can get in.) If you are in this situation, you can participate by Zoom, or contact Steve Baskauf to figure out a method for you to get in.

Instructor: Steve Baskauf office hours information, or email to arrange another time to talk.

Because of the uncertainty related to COVID 19, all participants should register through Zoom so that they can participate remotely if necessary. At least the first lesson will be remote. After that, you may choose to participate either remotely or in-person. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom session.

Registration link

I will be presenting the lessons using RStudio Cloud. It behaves almost exactly like RStudio desktop but does not require any installation. Create an account at before the first lesson to save time.

You are welcome to use desktop RStudio if you already have it installed, but we will not be spending time going over the installation process. There are some installation videos that you are welcome to watch if you want to do an installation yourself. Stop on the page after the Installing Anaconda section.

Working session date Lesson Topic Web pages (times are total video length)
Jan 20 1 Introduction and examples terminology recommended, but optional (18 min) / programming environments recommended, but optional (50 min) / RStudio Cloud quickstart required (8 min)
Jan 27 2 Basics: Vectors and vectorized computing, packages lesson videos (45 min)
Mar 3 3 Lists and dataframes, tibbles lesson videos (40 min)
Mar 10 4 Missing data, basic stats, basic plots lesson videos (47 min)
Mar 17 5 Tidy Data and basic data wrangling lesson videos (31 min)
Mar 24 6 More data wrangling and piping lesson videos (46 min)

R Resources

Here’s a page of R resources that include a number of online lessons for R beginners.

O’Reilly for Higher Education books and videos (Vanderbilt sign-in required)

ggplot lessons

ICPSR data example

Bivariate tests example code - Requires installation of the MVN library lesson slides

Other sources of R resources on Vanderbilt’s campus

Data Science Institute (DSI)

Research IT

Digital Humanities (DH) Center

Software Carpentries

Cosponsored by DiSC, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Research IT, ACCRE, and the Data Science Institute


Questions? contact Steve Baskauf

Revised 2022-01-07

Questions? Contact us

License: CC BY 4.0.
Credit: "Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications -"