2.2 The trial

A trial was run in order to determine whether Python's use as the principal undergraduate teaching language was both feasible and preferable to other languages.

The format of the trial was exactly the same as the first-year programming course. The first day was spent going through the handbook, learning the language and environment, and completing the exercises. The second was spent on one of the more substantial problems CO11 to CO16. In practice, many students took less than a day to complete the handbook and move on to the exercise.

From an initial group of seventy-four who expressed an interest in taking part, thirty-three completed the trial.

Several other demonstrators were present to assist me on the busier days. As well as the statistical information produced by the questionnaire, a great deal of anecdotal evidence was provided by talking to the students during the trial and helping them with their problems. These experiences are discussed in Chapter 4, ``Discussion''.