How to Use the oTree Python Framework: An Essential Guide for Scientific Researchers

Designing and running online experiments can be a daunting task for many scientific researchers. Complexity increases exponentially when they involve fields like behavioral experiments and cognitive experiment. However, leveraging the power of programming languages, frameworks, and libraries, such as oTree in Python, can make life much easier.

Familiarizing Yourself with oTree

Python's oTree framework is primarily used for building interactive, web-based experiments. Its rising popularity in the field of psychological research and cognitive tasks signifies its versatility and efficiency. The first step for every new user is to familiarize themselves with the basics. That involves understanding the fundamental concepts of oTree, such as their model-view-form structure, learning how to download, install, and run oTree, and even creating a simple "Hello, World!" experiment.

Where to Find Help

The Internet is filled with various resources that can assist you in your journey of mastering oTree. Here are some of the best places to look for help:

How to Ask Questions

When you run into a problem, knowing how to ask questions effectively is crucial. A well-structured question, complete with context and relevant code snippets, will more likely get helpful responses from the community. Websites like Stack Overflow and the oTree Google group are suitable platforms for posting your queries.

Where to Find Courses

Self-study might not be enough for everyone. For a more structured learning experience, you might want to consider enrolling in a course. Udemy provides a great selection of online courses addressing various aspects of oTree, from basics to more advanced topics.

Finding Advanced Topics

Once you've mastered the basics of using oTree, it's time to delve into more complex topics. This could involve learning how to formulate sophisticated behavioral experiments with oTree, using more complex object types and relationships, or integrating oTree with other libraries and frameworks.

How to Connect with the Community

The oTree community is an invaluable reservoir of knowledge, skill, and collaboration. Connecting with other users, whether on the oTree Google Group, GitHub repo, or a dedicated forum like, you can provide significant opportunities for collaborative projects, tool feedback, and peer advice.

Running online experiments doesn’t have to be a challenge. With resources like oTree and a robust online community, you can develop, run, and analyze behavioral and cognitive experiments effectively and efficiently.

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