Implementing Version Control With Git and GitHub as a Learning Objective in Statistics and Data Science Courses

Matthew D. Beckman, Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, Nicholas J. Horton, Colin W. Rundel, Adam J. Sullivan, Maria Tackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A version control system records changes to a file or set of files over time so that changes can be tracked and specific versions of a file can be recalled later. As such, it is an essential element of a reproducible workflow that deserves due consideration among the learning objectives of statistics courses. This article describes experiences and implementation decisions of four contributing faculty who are teaching different courses at a variety of institutions. Each of these faculty has set version control as a learning objective and successfully integrated one such system (Git) into one or more statistics courses. The various approaches described in the article span different implementation strategies to suit student background, course type, software choices, and assessment practices. By presenting a wide range of approaches to teaching Git, the article aims to serve as a resource for statistics and data science instructors teaching courses at any level within an undergraduate or graduate curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S132-S144
JournalJournal of Statistics and Data Science Education
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Education


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