z-Tree online course
Welcome to my z-Tree online course!
This is a self-paced, fully online course, teaching you how to program and run experiments using the z-Tree programming environment for economic experiments. The course consists of a series of video chapters, augmented by exercises and other resources. Feel free to watch the entire course, start to finish, or to just pick out the one topic you wish to brush up on. You can download the chapter material from below the video, or the entire material from here.
A word on the exercise and demo treatments provided with some of the videos: for optimal learning success, refrain from opening these treatments until after you have watched the video and followed the programming instructions there. Nothing beats figuring out yourself how to solve a tricky programming problem for anchoring the material in your memory.
Finally, for best viewing experience (including HD quality, chapters, etc.), watch the videos directly on Youtube. You can find the whole list in my playlist "z-Tree online course".
Best of luck,
Please address questions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do also reach out if you want to contribute additional chapters or other material to the course - I would be happy to add further components helpful to beginning experimenters.
z-Tree online course by Stefan Palan is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The Youtube videos may use a different Creative Commons license - please check directly on the video website.
Chapter 0 | Welcome
This chapter welcomes you to the course and tells you where to find the course materials.
Chapter 1 | Introduction to experimentation with z-Tree
This chapter starts by giving an introduction to the typical structure of an economic experiment and then goes on to describe fundamental principles and elements of z-Tree, like the client-server structure, the command line options, or the files created by z-Tree.
Chapter 2 | Public goods game tutorial
In this chapter, we program and run our first experiment in z-tree.
z-Tree exercise treatment: Public goods game
Batch file: Quickly opening multiple z-leafs with pre-defined parameters
Batch file: Safely bulk-deleting files generated by z-Tree
Batch file: One-click tool to close down all instances of the z-tree process
Batch file: One-click tool to close down all instances of the z-leaf process
Batch file: One-click tool to close down all instances of the z-tree and z-leaf processes
Chapter 3 | Basics of z-Tree programming
This chapter discusses basic z-Tree elements (variable types, functions, Background, stages).
Chapter 4 | Screen layout and items
This chapter discusses screen layout in z-Tree, and how to define items to obtain different layouts.
Chapter 5 | Tables and scope
This chapter discusses one of the most crucial topics in z-Tree - tables and scope. After describing z-Tree's default tables, it tackles the interaction of tables and scope. Understanding these concepts is essential to becoming a proficient user of z-Tree. For this reason, the chapter dedicates considerable time to discussing it in theory and to illustrating it using examples.
Chapter 6 | Matching
This chapter lays out z-Tree's tools for matching subjects into groups over time.
Chapter 7 | Box types
This chapter discusses the most important box types available in z-Tree and typical use cases.
Chapter 8 | Subject progression
This chapter describes how z-Tree's settings can be used to let subjects progress through an experiment at different speeds, such that individual subjects can be in different stages or even different "periods".
Chapter 9 | Data import and export
Chapter 10 | Questionnaires
This chapter discusses how questionnaires can be used to elicit information form subjects during an experiment.
Chapter 11 | Managing z-Tree output
This chapter discusses how to best import z-Tree results data into analysis software such as Excel, R, Stata and others.
Excel add-in: zTools
Exercise pdf: Importing and analyzing z-Tree output in R
Chapter 12 | Troubleshooting and ensuring there's no need to
This chapter discusses the worst case - a crash during the experiment - and how to, first, prevent it, and second, deal with it if it occurs despite your best efforts.
Chapter 13 | Graphics teaser
This chapter illustrates some of the things that can be done with graphical elements in z-Tree. Being a teaser, the video just gives you a sneak peek, but it does point you to where you can learn more.
z-Tree demo treatment: colortriangle
z-Tree demo treatment: movepointdemo
z-Tree demo treatment: selectlinkdemo
z-Tree demo treatment: z-draw
z-Tree demo treatment: animatetreedemo
Chapter 14 | Good practice and advice
This video is a mixed bag of notes about good programming or experimental methodology and advice from years of running experiments in z-Tree. Not everything will for you, but something most assuredly will be.