Sudoku experiment – notes for teachers

In this activity, students help design and then conduct an experiment to investigate the effect of puzzle type on time taken to complete a Sudoku puzzle.

This is based on the work of Brophy & Hahn (see full reference below) and we recommend you read their paper first. The resources provided here are intended to support instructors to run the activity in a tutorial and lab setting.

Set up

To set up the activity, you will need to create a Google Form for students to record their data. We suggest the following structure for the form:

Next, use a URL shortener such as or tinyurl to produce a short, typable web address for your form’s submission page. Also create a short address for the form’s results spreadsheet. Paste these into the highlighted places in the Lab activity sheet. Now print out sufficient copies of the activity sheet, with the instructions (page 1) on the front and one of the puzzles 1-4 on the back. Use different colour paper for each puzzle.

Refer to the Notes for tutors for a suggested programme for running the activity over a tutorial and lab class.

Here is a sample lab sheet for students to record their answers and conclusions from the activity.


Caroline Brophy & Lukas Hahn (2014). Engaging Students in a Large Lecture: An Experiment using Sudoku Puzzles. Journal of Statistics Education 22(1)