I learned how to code by struggling through projects as a research assistant. Based on that, I built a two-day intro to R class designed for students to do the same. The version posted here was used as a part of Booth's math camp. You can download the instructions here: 

Learn R project

You'll be given a set of instructions that mimic a research project. You'll download data, clean it, create dates, run basic empirical models, and work with simulations using loops. Basic syntax hints are given but the idea is to try and figure it out by doing it. You can use your own data if you want but the publicly available data used in the sample project is avaiable for download here:

Project data (all publicly available)

The final solution code which implements the project is available from me upon request (incentives!)