Integrated Statistics Learning Environment

Combining educational platform development with researching the "science of data science".

What is ISLE?

A browser-based interactive statistics & data analysis platform.

Easy-to-use Data Explorer

Students can perform the entire data analysis workflow without any coding


Comes with tools for use in class and out of class


Instructor can pose surveys and questions during class/lab

Remote Video

Broadcast video to students with real-time captions and a generated transcript

Sketchpad Functionality

Instructors and students can take notes on lecture slides and upload them with a single mouse click

Action Logs

Storage of reproducible analysis steps for students/instructors

Response Visualizers

Instructors can summarize/visualize student responses for mediation, discussion, etc. in real-time

Real-Time Communication

Chat allows students to communicate with each other; instructors can gather and answer questions

Collaborative Data Analyses & Peer Review

Student-driven case study data analyses with peer review and collaboration

Data Analysis Reports

Students can create data analysis reports and presentations (oral/posters) directly in ISLE

Everyone is a Data Scientist

Rebecca Nugent on ISLE and democratizing data science at the Carnegie Mellon Future Summit:

Remote Instruction

ISLE comes with various features for remote instruction, including real-time monitoring, video broadcasting, and a Q&A queue.

Data Explorers

Allows students to explore data sets via visualizations and summary statistics and comes with functionality to run hypothesis tests and fit basic statistical models. An integrated right-text editor with Markdown support allows students to practice writing data analysis reports.

Collaborative Data Analysis

ISLE makes it easy for users to collaboratively work together on data analyses and reports without having to rely on any external tools.


A drawing sketchpad for note taking on lecture slides or an empty canvas. Drawings can be automatically synced between the instructor and the students or among groups. All other ISLE components can be overlaid onto the sketchpad for interactive lectures.


ISLE contains pre-built widgets on topics such as hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, CLT, statistical distributions to text mining and image analysis.

Real-Time Communication

Facilitation of communication between students through chats, peer review, and group work tools.

ISLE Dashboard

An online dashboard for students and instructors. Instructors can deploy, organize and monitor ISLE lessons, whereas students can keep track of their progress as they advance through a course.

ISLE Editor

A desktop-application that can be used to author ISLE lessons and deploy them online. Comes with a point-and-click interface to reuse existing components but also allows full customizability via HTML, CSS, and JS.

Talks and Events

Upcoming Events

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the ISLE system or to join forces on behavioral data science research. You can also run into us at the below places:


Recordings of past ISLE presentations

Podcasts / Interviews

Past Events

Papers and Grants involving ISLE

  • Philipp Burckhardt, Rebecca Nugent & Christopher R. Genovese (2020) Teaching Statistical Concepts and Modern Data Analysis with a Computing-Integrated Learning Environment, Journal of Statistics Education, DOI: 10.1080/10691898.2020.1854637
  • Integrating a Statistical Learning Environment into the Writing Classroom. ProSEED/Simon Initiative Seed Grant. Submitted. David West Brown (Co-PI), Rebecca Nugent (Co-PI), Philipp Burckhardt (Co-PI)
  • Data Analysis Think-Alouds: Investigating Student Engagement and Workflow on an Online Interactive Statistical Analysis Tool. ProSEED/Simon Initiative Seed Grant. Awarded May 2018. Rebecca Nugent (PI) and Philipp Burckhardt (Investigator)
  • Using Interactive Lab Activities To Improve Statistics Education. ProSEED/Simon Initiative Seed Grant. Awarded April 2016. Alexandra Chouldechova (PI), Christopher R. Genovese (PI) and Philipp Burckhardt (Investigator).

Building the Data Science Laboratory -
A Web-Based Framework for Modern Statistics

PhD Thesis by Philipp Burckhardt

This thesis analyzes the impact of the digital revolution on pedagogy and distills opportunities of a blended-learning approach. It then discusses the principles of an interactive e-learning environment geared towards a contemporary statistics curriculum focused on the understanding of concepts and data analysis rather than mere number crunching.

The Integrated Statistics Learning Environment is a practical open-source implementation of the distilled principles. ISLE is a framework for e-learning instruction both inside and outside of the classroom.

Open PDF


Faculty, students, and staff are welcome to join and work on projects when available; the below includes current, regular members doing research with ISLE and/or using it in their classes.

  • Rebecca Nugent, Associate Dept Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Statistics & Data Science
  • Philipp Burckhardt, Postdoctoral Researcher, Statistics & Data Science
  • Christopher Genovese, Dept Head, Statistics & Data Science
  • Ciaran Evans, PhD student, Statistics & Data Science
  • Ron Yurko, PhD student, Statistics & Data Science
  • Francis R. Kovacs, Masters in Statistical Practice Student, Statistics & Data Science
  • Gordon Weinberg, Instructor, Statistics & Data Science
  • Mikael Kuusela, Assistant Professor, Statistics & Data Science
  • David West Brown, Associate Teaching Professor of English, Associate Director of First-Year Writing for Research and Assessment

Where has ISLE been used?

At Carnegie Mellon University

  • Department of Statistics & Data Science
    • 36-200: Reasoning with Data
    • 36-218: Probability Theory for Computer Scientists
    • 36-219: Probability Theory and Random Processes
    • 36-247: Statistics for Lab Sciences
    • 36-618: Time Series and Experimental Design
  • Dietrich College Interdisciplinary
    • 66-122: DC Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: Beyond Earth
  • English Department
    • 76-107: Writing about Data
    • 76-380 / 76-780: Methods in Humanities Analytics
  • Heinz College
    • 94-842: Programming in R for Analytics
    • Quantitative Skills Summer Program (QSSP)

At Other Universities

The following faculty at other institutions have used ISLE in their classes or are working together with us on projects involving it:

  • Jerzy A. Wieczorek, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Colby College
  • Marian Frazier, Assistant Professor - Statistical & Data Sciences, The College of Wooster

Executive Education

  • Global Health-Care Delivery and Operations Company
  • Financial Services Industry (upcoming)

Interactive Supplementary Materials for Journal Articles

The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles is offering supplementary ISLE materials for articles published in its statistics column starting with their April 2020 issue (Vol 8 No 34).

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you have questions, please get in touch.
Answers to common questions are collected in our FAQ.