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  1. 1. Observation Research Method Group Project Leslie Lopez Penelope Pereboom Sam Sirichoke
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>Observation is studying and gathering information on an activity: what happens, what your object of study does or how it behaves. </li></ul><ul><li>Observation is visual: can be seen firsthand or recorded for later viewing. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Types of Observational Research Observation without intervention <ul><li>Naturalistic Observation: Researchers unobtrusively observe behaviors in their natural setting by: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Desensitization - the researcher gradually moves closer to the participantion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Habituation - the researcher appears in the setting numerous times until his or her presence no longer appears to effect the participants' behavior. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Types of Observational Research Observation with Intervention <ul><li>Participant observation: researcher is active participant in one of two ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>undisguised participant studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>disguised participant studies </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Types of Observational Research Observation with Intervention <ul><li>Structured observation: researcher intervenes in order to cause an event to occur or to set up a situation so that events can be more easily recorded than they would be without intervention </li></ul>
  6. 6. Types of Observational Research Observation with Intervention <ul><li>Field experiments: controlled studies that occur in a natural setting which can provide a greater external validity than is obtained in laboratory experiments. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Types of Qualitative Observational Research <ul><li>Ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Short Term Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnomethodology </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenology </li></ul><ul><li>Kinesics </li></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Data Collected <ul><li>Qualitative - Narrative records </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative - Checklist ( check off behavior that is assigned a number) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Techniques for Data Collection <ul><li>Sampling Techniques: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time Sampling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event Sampling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Situation Sampling </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Interpreting the Data <ul><li>Descriptive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>requires no inference making on the part of the researcher. You write down what you see. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inferential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires researcher to make inferences about what is observed and the underlying emotion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>requires researcher to make an inference and a judgment about the behavior </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Pros and Cons <ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><li>Most observational studies are correlation studies </li></ul><ul><li>Observational studies have two primary sources of &quot;confounds&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Influence of the observer on behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biased observation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable for sensitive social issues which people might not feel comfortable answer questions about </li></ul><ul><li>Great way to start the research </li></ul>
  12. 12. Why it is useful for Educational Technology <ul><li>Adds depth of knowledge about individual and group interactions rather than just looking out the outcomes.  </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on the PROCESS OUTCOME.   This is critical for educational rather than the technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Used in Instructional Design, in small group evaluation, and field trial evaluation to find some errors in a prototype or invention. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Observation Method Example #1 A school-based project in five kindergartens: the case of teacher development and school development Yuen Ling Li School of Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education
  14. 14. Background <ul><li>Basis: Kindergarten teachers were not putting child-initiated learning theory into practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs of the children not the major consideration of their classroom practice. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Project <ul><li>60 Teachers engaged in collaborative investigation of school curriculum and pedagogical innovations. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: to determine merits of peer coaching, mentoring, and collaborative teamwork. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Methodology <ul><li>Classroom observations </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>videotaped teaching episodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>feedback </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Triangulation <ul><li>Application and combination of several research methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit: reduces chance of biases. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a variety of collected data, observers theories, methodologies or any combination of varieties </li></ul>
  18. 18. Triangulation Example <ul><li>Variety of Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60 teachers, different settings, time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Variety of Methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semi-structured Interviews </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What was observed <ul><li>Classrooms were observed before the project commenced and again after the teachers participated in a collaborative project with their peers </li></ul>
  20. 20. What was observed? <ul><li>Teachers were asked to participate in a project where they were to collaboratively produce teaching videos </li></ul><ul><li>Formed teams and selected themes (art, music, math, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Taped classroom teaching for a month and chose best episodes to share </li></ul>
  21. 21. How and where? <ul><li>Teachers were taped </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As they participated in sharing sessions where they observed each other’s teaching videos and gave each other feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In their classroom twice during the data collection period of 2 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In evaluation meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During interviews </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Excerpt from ECLC Website <ul><li>Learning and Teaching Observation Facilities The ECLC is equipped with video-taking facilities for non-intrusive observation and analysis of children's activities. These facilities allow staff to improve children's learning, and demonstrate learning and teaching approaches to visitors, parents and student teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Support the Professional Development of Early Childhood Teachers The ECLC provides field experience opportunities for pre-service and in-service student teachers that support their professional development through class observations, attachments, supervised teaching practice and internships. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Observation Method Example #2 Ethnomethodology/ Conversation Analysis Mazur, J. M. (2004). Conversation analysis for educational technologists: Theoretical and methodological issues for researching the structures, processes, and meaning of on-line talk. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications & Technologies (pp. 1138-1178). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  24. 24. Ethnomethodology <ul><li>…the empirical study of methods that individuals use to give sense to and to accomplish their daily actions: communicating, making decisions, and reasoning </li></ul>
  25. 25. Discourse Analysis <ul><li>&quot;A discourse analysis moves beyond this ordinary sense of language use and includes additional elements of interest -who uses the language, how, why, and when.&quot; 1074 </li></ul>
  26. 26. Written Discourse <ul><li>&quot;Written discourse is multimodal (semiotic landscape). Chat rooms, threaded discussions and instant messaging have created a new hybrid language or written speech with evolving semiotics.&quot; 1075 </li></ul>
  27. 27. Elements to consider in Discourse Analysis <ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul>
  28. 28. Elements to consider in Discourse Analysis <ul><li>Social Discourse Analysis : discourse encompassed by social institutions, roles and practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Discourse Analysis : explicit articulation of the political or social posture of the analyst as he/she engages in the process of understanding talk or text.  </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;the critical discourse analyst argues for moral-social dimension in research and works to make public findings regarding how discourse can oppress, silence, dominate, or prejudice.&quot; 1077 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Elements to consider in Discourse Analysis <ul><li>Select a sequence of a transcript - arbitrarily or purposefully </li></ul><ul><li>Characterize the sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Rights, Obligations, and Expectations Constituted in the Talk (inferences or assumptions) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Ethical Considerations <ul><li>Public On-Line Forum - maintain ethical posture </li></ul><ul><li>Public forums (no passwords) do not require informed consent </li></ul>
  31. 31. Case Study of Conversation Analysis <ul><li>Obtain required permissions to observe or participate in on-line forum </li></ul><ul><li>Compile record of on-line chat </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare the transcript </li></ul><ul><li>Read the transcript </li></ul><ul><li>Define sample specimen </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze specimen with CA elements </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptualize the CA Theoretically </li></ul>
  32. 32. Observation Method Example #3 Production in a Fifth Grade Classroom Composing Across Multiple Media: A Case Study of Digital Video
  33. 33. The Purpose <ul><li>Quantitative case study of two students' composing processes as they developed a documentary video about the Dominican Republic - How did the students use digital video production in connection with other media as part of their overall composing process? What various resources did they draw from digital video and the other media? How were these resources interwoven? </li></ul>
  34. 34. The Observer <ul><li>Researcher posed as a co-instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Visited the two-hour class once or twice a week over 7 months </li></ul><ul><li>Spoke to the students and instructor occasionally </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged the students sometimes </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Data <ul><li>Gathered qualitative data in several forms including descriptive and analytic field notes </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote down conversations between students and described their on going processes </li></ul><ul><li>Gathered copies of students' notes and  screen shots while they are planning, searching for info, and editing video. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Activity
  37. 37. Bibliography <ul><li>Brown, L., Observational Field Research, retrieved April 3, 2008 from http://www. socialresearchmethods . net/tutorial/Brown/lauratp . htm </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado State University Writing Guides: Conducting Observational Research </li></ul><ul><li>Hong Kong Institute of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Hong Kong Institute of Education Early Childhood Learning Center http://www. ied . edu . hk/sece/eclc/e/centre . htm </li></ul><ul><li>Mazur, J. M. (2004). Conversation analysis for educational technologists: Theoretical and methodological issues for researching the structures, processes, and meaning of on-line talk. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications & Technologies (pp. 1138-1178). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. </li></ul><ul><li>li, Yuen Ling (2004). A school-based project in five kindergartens: the case of teacher development and school development. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12 (2), 143-155. Retrieved April 1, 2008, from </li></ul><ul><li>Ranker, Jason (2008).Composing across multiple media: a case study of digital video production in a fifth grade classroom. Written Communication. 25 , 196-234 </li></ul>