Observation (Education)

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  • A method of data collection that can take place in a laboratory or in naturalistic settings. In the former, the researcher creates the standardized setting for observation; in the latter, observation is done in real-world, natural settings. In participant observation, researchers record their direct experiences in their field notes. Observation requires intense concentration and attention to detail. Data collected through observation may be captured through audio or video recording, handwritten field notes, or more standardized approaches such as recording the time and frequency of occurrence of predetermined categories. Things a researcher may focus on in observation include the context and physical environment, the kinds of participants present, the activities engaged in, the kinds of interactions, conversations, nonverbal communi cations, and the researcher's own behavior.


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