Reproducible Teaching with Quarto

R Teaching Reproducibility

What I Like About Quarto So Far

Mine Dogucu

In the last few years since my PhD, I have happily been teaching reproducibility to my students with R Markdown and teaching reproducibly with R Markdown. For the distinction of reproducible teaching and teaching reproducibility see our paper.

This summer I decided to switch to Quarto. Now that I am in the third week of the academic year, I want to make a few comparisons between my old workflow and the current one and share what has worked for me. If you teach/taught (a course, a meetup workshop, etc.) with R Markdown, then this blog post may be useful.

Before Quarto

Prior to this academic year, I wrote my course websites (e.g. Introduction to Data Science in Fall 2021) in HTML despite preparing handout, slides, and starter codes all in R Markdown. I learned HTML back in my undergraduate years and always felt comfortable with writing everything from scratch, designing my own CSS templates, etc. When I used R Markdown rendered into HTML or any other default packages whether they are in HTML or Hugo, working with templates was often frustrating since it took me forever to figure out how to change defaults. However, when I teach I often work with multiple TAs. They know how to use R Markdown but not all have the training in HTML.

What I like about Quarto (so far)

What I don’t like about Quarto (so far)

These are either things that Quarto does not currently support or there is not enough documentation there or simply I am not being smart enough!!!

Overall Opinion

Overall, I really love the Quarto experience for preparing my slides, handouts, etc. I can’t yet say the same for making websites but I think I’ll continue using Quarto rather than plain HTML for consistency and accessibility for community members.