EDH 7916: Contemporary Research in Higher Education

Spring 2020

A course in quantitative research workflow for students in the higher education administration program at the University of Florida

Course information
Meeting location
Getting started

Getting started

You’ll need to download and install a few programs on your computer for this course. You’ll also need to register for a GitHub account. All software and registrations are free.

Unless you have experience building from source, select the binary download that matches your operating system (e.g., Windows, MacOS, or Linux). Some links take you to the same page. In that case, make sure you select the correct version for your operating system.

Unless you have a particular reason against doing so, I recommend installing everything using the default options presented during the installation processes.

  MacOS Windows Linux
R Link Link Link
RStudio Link Link Link
Git Link Link Link

See the issues section below for common setup problems.

GitHub registration

If you don’t already have one, you’ll also need to sign up for a free GitHub account if they haven’t already. You should sign up using your University of Florida email address and request an education discount. Both processes are easy, and the second gives you access to free private repositories.


Throughout the class, we’ll use RStudio to interact with git/GitHub. But there are many ways to use git / GitHub, some of which you may like better. On one extreme, you can interact with git using the terminal prompt (Windows users need a slightly modified setup):

# pull from remote
$ git pull

# add/commit/push changes to remote
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "fixing coding error in clean_data.r"
$ git push -u origin master

There are many other GUI (point and click) applications that you can use as well. Here are a couple you might try:



Some students get errors when first using git with RStudio relating to user.email and user.name. If you get this error, do the following in RStudio.

  1. In the Terminal (not the Console but the tab next to it — the prompt should have a $ and not >), type
    $ git config --list --show-origin

    If you see nothing related to your GitHub user ID or email or the information is incorrect, continue to the next step.

  2. One at a time, type
    $ git config --global user.name "JohnDoe"
    $ git config --global user.email "johndoe@example.com"

    replacing your GitHub ID and email within the quotes

  3. Type
    $ git config --list --show-origin

    again to confirm that information is now stored (it should print to the Terminal output).

  4. Use Git to confirm it has worked.