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S U B M I T T E D B Y –
L A R A S A H U
1 9
B . S C . B . E D . 6 T H S E M
PC I
PHYSICAL SCIENCE II
TOPIC
USE OF OBSERVATION TECHNIQUES
FOR ASSESMENT
Observational Techniques
Observational techniques are the specific or
well defined approaches in which an
individual adopts typically by using his/her
senses to collect data on a phenomenon,
behaviour or subject.
The Approaches to Conduct Observation
Mentioned here are three ways of conducting
observations and given as follows:
 1. The first is descriptive observation, in which one
observes anything and everything, assuming that
he/she knows nothing; the disadvantage of this type
is that it can lead to the collection of minutiae that
may or may not be relevant to the study.
 2. The second type, focused observation, emphasizes
observation supported by interviews, in which the
participants' insights guide the researcher's decisions
about what to observe.
 3. The third type of observation is considered the
most systematic and selective type of observation, in
which focuses on different types of activities to help
delineate the differences in those activities
The need to use Observation
 Observation as a means of collecting data has
received much recognition by many researchers in
the field of academia especially in the scientific
methods of inquiry. Researchers notes that the way
people move, dress, interact and use space is very
much a part of how particular social settings are
constructed. Observation is a key method for
collecting data about such matters. Realizing the
importance of observation, observation can be
conducted on nearly any subject matter, and the
kinds of observations to be conducted by a
researcher depend on the research questions.
 According to many, observations enable the researcher to
describe existing situations using the five senses,
providing a written photograph of the situation under
study. Again, observation methods provide researchers
with ways to check for nonverbal expression of feelings,
determine who interacts with whom, grasp how
participants communicate with each other, and check for
how much time is spent on various activities. As already
mentioned in the background of the study, Aristotle,
Charles Darwin and Auguste Comte all used observation
to collect data and based on the data obtained, proposed
their theories. Comte specifically mentioned observation
as one of his method of inquiries and that every theory
must be based upon observed facts.
Observation Techniques In Education
 In order to obtain data that will serve as feedback for
assessment to improve students’ academic
performance, educators have developed several
instruments that can be employed to obtain the
needed data. These instruments may include written
tests, questionnaires, observation and the uses of
checklists and rating scales.
1. Student Assessment
 Tests, examinations and continuous assessment can
provide valuable data for action research. For your
teaching course, you have to set up a method of student
assessment and your students have to be assessed.
 You should, however, be clear about the nature of the
information you can obtain from examination results or
assessment grades. Comparison of one set of results with
another often has limited validity as assignments,
examinations, markers. In addition most assessment is
norm referenced rather than criterion referenced.
2. Closed Ended Questionnaires
 Closed questionnaires are ones which constrain the
responses to a limited number chosen by the researcher;
essentially it is a multiple choice format. Usually
respondents are asked the extent to which they agree or
disagree with a given statement. Responses are recorded
on a Likert scale in which the answer ranges from
'definitely agree' to 'definitely disagree'.
 Questions should be carefully constructed so the
meaning is clear and unambiguous. It is a good idea to
trial the questionnaire on a limited number of students
before giving it to a whole group.
3. Diary / Journal
Everyone involved in an action learning project should
keep a diary or journal in which they record:
 their initial reflections on the topic of concern
 the plans that were made
 a record of actions which were taken
 observation of the effects of the actions
 impressions and personal opinions about the action
taken and reactions to them
 results obtained from other observation techniques
 references for, and notes on, any relevant literature or
supporting documents which are discovered.
 Research reports are often very impersonal documents
but this should not be the case for an action learning
journal - quite the contrary! It should contain a record of
both what you did and what you thought. In it you should
regularly and systematically reflect critically on the
effects of your project and how it is progressing.
 Journals act as the starting points for critical reflection at
the regular meetings of the project team. By sharing
observations and reflections it is possible to fine-tune the
innovation. Sympathetic but critical discussion can also
heighten awareness and contribute to changing
perspectives.
4. Interaction Schedules
 Interaction schedules are methods for analyzing and
recording what takes place during a class. A common
approach is to note down at regular intervals (say every
minute) who is talking, and to categorise what they were
saying or doing. An alternative to time sampling is event
sampling in which behaviour is noted every time a
particular event occurs. Examples of categories could be;
tutor asking question, tutor giving explanation, tutor
giving instruction, student answering question or student
asking question. The analysis can be made by an observer
at the class or can be made subsequently from a tape or
video recording.
5. Interviews
 Interviews can provide even more opportunity for
respondents to raise their own issues and concerns, but are
correspondingly more time-consuming and can raise
difficulties in the collation and interpretation of information.
The format can be on a spectrum from completely open
discussion to tightly structured questions. Semi-structured
interviews have a small schedule of questions to point the
interviewee towards an area of interest to the researcher, but
then allow interviewees to raise any items they like within the
general topic area. Since interviews give an opportunity for
students to raise their own agenda they are useful when issues
are open, or at an exploratory stage. A small number of
interviews can be useful to define issues for subsequent more
tightly structured questionnaires.
6. Tape Recording
 Making tape recordings is a way of collecting a complete,
accurate and detailed record of discussions in class,
conversations in interviews or arguments and decisions
at meetings. It is easy to obtain the recording; you simply
take along cassettes and a portable recorder, and switch
it on. However, the presence of a tape recorder can
inhibit discussion or influence people's behaviour.
 There are a number of ethical issues which need to be
addressed over the use of tape recordings. The group
being taped should establish the purpose of making the
recording and the way in which the tapes will be used. If
any quotations are made in subsequent reports it is
customary to maintain the anonymity of the source.
 Observational assessment is often deemed
the most appropriate method of assessment
for practical skills; by watching someone
complete a set task, they can demonstrate
their competence by performance.
THANK YOU

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Uses of observational techniques.

  • 1. S U B M I T T E D B Y – L A R A S A H U 1 9 B . S C . B . E D . 6 T H S E M PC I PHYSICAL SCIENCE II
  • 2. TOPIC USE OF OBSERVATION TECHNIQUES FOR ASSESMENT
  • 3. Observational Techniques Observational techniques are the specific or well defined approaches in which an individual adopts typically by using his/her senses to collect data on a phenomenon, behaviour or subject.
  • 4. The Approaches to Conduct Observation Mentioned here are three ways of conducting observations and given as follows:  1. The first is descriptive observation, in which one observes anything and everything, assuming that he/she knows nothing; the disadvantage of this type is that it can lead to the collection of minutiae that may or may not be relevant to the study.
  • 5.  2. The second type, focused observation, emphasizes observation supported by interviews, in which the participants' insights guide the researcher's decisions about what to observe.  3. The third type of observation is considered the most systematic and selective type of observation, in which focuses on different types of activities to help delineate the differences in those activities
  • 6. The need to use Observation  Observation as a means of collecting data has received much recognition by many researchers in the field of academia especially in the scientific methods of inquiry. Researchers notes that the way people move, dress, interact and use space is very much a part of how particular social settings are constructed. Observation is a key method for collecting data about such matters. Realizing the importance of observation, observation can be conducted on nearly any subject matter, and the kinds of observations to be conducted by a researcher depend on the research questions.
  • 7.  According to many, observations enable the researcher to describe existing situations using the five senses, providing a written photograph of the situation under study. Again, observation methods provide researchers with ways to check for nonverbal expression of feelings, determine who interacts with whom, grasp how participants communicate with each other, and check for how much time is spent on various activities. As already mentioned in the background of the study, Aristotle, Charles Darwin and Auguste Comte all used observation to collect data and based on the data obtained, proposed their theories. Comte specifically mentioned observation as one of his method of inquiries and that every theory must be based upon observed facts.
  • 8. Observation Techniques In Education  In order to obtain data that will serve as feedback for assessment to improve students’ academic performance, educators have developed several instruments that can be employed to obtain the needed data. These instruments may include written tests, questionnaires, observation and the uses of checklists and rating scales.
  • 9. 1. Student Assessment  Tests, examinations and continuous assessment can provide valuable data for action research. For your teaching course, you have to set up a method of student assessment and your students have to be assessed.  You should, however, be clear about the nature of the information you can obtain from examination results or assessment grades. Comparison of one set of results with another often has limited validity as assignments, examinations, markers. In addition most assessment is norm referenced rather than criterion referenced.
  • 10. 2. Closed Ended Questionnaires  Closed questionnaires are ones which constrain the responses to a limited number chosen by the researcher; essentially it is a multiple choice format. Usually respondents are asked the extent to which they agree or disagree with a given statement. Responses are recorded on a Likert scale in which the answer ranges from 'definitely agree' to 'definitely disagree'.  Questions should be carefully constructed so the meaning is clear and unambiguous. It is a good idea to trial the questionnaire on a limited number of students before giving it to a whole group.
  • 11. 3. Diary / Journal Everyone involved in an action learning project should keep a diary or journal in which they record:  their initial reflections on the topic of concern  the plans that were made  a record of actions which were taken  observation of the effects of the actions  impressions and personal opinions about the action taken and reactions to them  results obtained from other observation techniques  references for, and notes on, any relevant literature or supporting documents which are discovered.
  • 12.  Research reports are often very impersonal documents but this should not be the case for an action learning journal - quite the contrary! It should contain a record of both what you did and what you thought. In it you should regularly and systematically reflect critically on the effects of your project and how it is progressing.  Journals act as the starting points for critical reflection at the regular meetings of the project team. By sharing observations and reflections it is possible to fine-tune the innovation. Sympathetic but critical discussion can also heighten awareness and contribute to changing perspectives.
  • 13. 4. Interaction Schedules  Interaction schedules are methods for analyzing and recording what takes place during a class. A common approach is to note down at regular intervals (say every minute) who is talking, and to categorise what they were saying or doing. An alternative to time sampling is event sampling in which behaviour is noted every time a particular event occurs. Examples of categories could be; tutor asking question, tutor giving explanation, tutor giving instruction, student answering question or student asking question. The analysis can be made by an observer at the class or can be made subsequently from a tape or video recording.
  • 14. 5. Interviews  Interviews can provide even more opportunity for respondents to raise their own issues and concerns, but are correspondingly more time-consuming and can raise difficulties in the collation and interpretation of information. The format can be on a spectrum from completely open discussion to tightly structured questions. Semi-structured interviews have a small schedule of questions to point the interviewee towards an area of interest to the researcher, but then allow interviewees to raise any items they like within the general topic area. Since interviews give an opportunity for students to raise their own agenda they are useful when issues are open, or at an exploratory stage. A small number of interviews can be useful to define issues for subsequent more tightly structured questionnaires.
  • 15. 6. Tape Recording  Making tape recordings is a way of collecting a complete, accurate and detailed record of discussions in class, conversations in interviews or arguments and decisions at meetings. It is easy to obtain the recording; you simply take along cassettes and a portable recorder, and switch it on. However, the presence of a tape recorder can inhibit discussion or influence people's behaviour.  There are a number of ethical issues which need to be addressed over the use of tape recordings. The group being taped should establish the purpose of making the recording and the way in which the tapes will be used. If any quotations are made in subsequent reports it is customary to maintain the anonymity of the source.
  • 16.  Observational assessment is often deemed the most appropriate method of assessment for practical skills; by watching someone complete a set task, they can demonstrate their competence by performance.