I'd just like to endorse the suggestion that you regard this study
as a pilot study. Last year I did an experiment on code reading
(three programs presented in three different styles). It turned
out that the dominant effects were
- a number of students complaining that a 30-page manual for
the programming language used in the task was an outrageous
amount to ask them to read (they had _weeks_ to read it)
- a large number of students who claimed to be unable to read
code on paper, needing machine assistance with syntax
colouring and searching (the programs were all a little
under two pages long)
- a number of students who claimed to be unable to read code
without running test cases.
The skill I wanted to investigate ("desk checking") was, it turned
out, a skill most of the students did not possess at all.
You can expect your pilot study to surprise you.
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