Posted at 04.10.2018
Collecting data is an integral word in any research paper. The way the researcher gathers his data brings about a successful research or a non successful one. To collect data, thee is accessible several tools or devices. It's up to the researcher to choose the best tool for his research in relation to the type of his research and its objectives, as well as the availability of the data. The last mentioned should be gathered in highly planned methods. The grade of any research is determined by the quality of the data collection. Valid data causes valid results and conclusions. Thus, the researcher should be very attentive, careful and selective when collecting information about his topic. Observation is one of data collection tools. In lifestyle we are observers, however a researcher's observation differs from the others.
Observation is way of gathering data by watching behavior, incidents, or noting physical characteristics in their natural setting.
In this kind of observation, people know they are found. Here just a little problem can show up. Knowing they may be watched may cause the change of their natural habit.
people ignore they are watched. The main problem with unobtrusive options is ethical. Issues involving educated consent and invasion of privacy are paramount.
1. Determine the emphasis: The researcher must decide on a question he wants to answer via observation. Thus, he should concentrate on a specific portion of research
2. Design a system for data collection: You will discover thee main ways of collecting data using observation.
Recording bed linens and checklists are the most standardized way of collecting observation data you need to include both preset questions and reactions.
Observation manuals list the connections, processes, or conducts to be viewed with space to track record open-ended narrative data.
Field notes will be the least standardized way of collecting observation data, nor include preset questions or responses. Field records are open-ended narrative data that can be written or dictated onto a tape recorder.
3. Choose the sites. Choose an adequate amount of sites to help ensure they are representative of the bigger population and will provide an understanding of the situation you are watching.
4. Choose the observers. The researcher may choose to be the only observer or he may want to add others in executing observations.
5. Coach the observers. It is important that the observers are well trained in your data collection process to ensure high quality and consistent data. The level of training will vary predicated on the difficulty of the info collection and the average person capabilities of the observers.
6. Time your observations properly: It is critical that a schedule should prepare yourself so that to see the the different parts of the activity that will answer question. This requires move forward planning.
There are a variety of approaches to observational research. One important difference is between more-structured (sometimes known as 'systematic') observation and less-structured (sometimes referred to as 'ethnographic' or 'unstructured').
More-structured Observation The roots of more-structured observation are in the positivist tradition in social science, where the target has been to emulate, to one degree or another, the strategies and types of procedures of the natural sciences.
The aim of more-structured observation, then, is to produce accurate quantitative
data on particular pre-specified observable behaviours or habits of conversation.
The essential attribute of more-structured observation is usually that the purposes of the observation, the categories of behaviour to be observed and the methods by which cases of behaviour should be assigned to categories, are exercised, and clearly described, before the data collection commences.
Less-structured observation aspires to produce comprehensive, qualitative descriptions of human behavior that illuminate social meanings and shared culture. These data are combined with information from interactions, interviews and, where appropriate, documentary sources to create an in-depth and curved picture of the culture of the group, which places the perspectives of group people at its heart and soul and reflects the richness and difficulty of their communal world. Less-structured observation is seen as a flexibility and a minimum of pre-structuring. This does not mean that the observer begins data collection without aims no idea of what things to observe, but there's a commitment to deal with observation with a comparatively open mind, to minimize the impact of the observer's preconceptions also to avoid imposing existing preconceived categories. It is not uncommon, therefore, for the focus
First, information about the physical environment and about human being behavior can be saved directly by the researcher without having to rely on the retrospective or anticipatory accounts of others
Secondly, the observer may be able to 'see' what participants cannot. Many
important top features of the environment and behavior are overlooked by participants and may therefore be difficult for them to describe.
A final advantages is that data from observation can be considered a useful check on, and product to, information extracted from other options. So, for example, the info distributed by people about their own behavior in interviews can be weighed against observation of samples of their actual behaviour.
So the benefits of observation are:
Collect data where and when an event or activity is occurring.
Does not rely on people's willingness or ability to provide information.
Allows someone to directly see what folks do alternatively than counting on what folks say they do.
There are also restrictions to observation as a research method. The surroundings, event or behaviour appealing may be inaccessible and observation may simply be impossible (or at least very hard).
A second restriction is that folks may, consciously or unconsciously, change the way they behave because they're being observed, and for that reason observational accounts of their behavior may be inaccurate representations of how they react 'normally'.
A third limitation is that observations are undoubtedly filtered through the interpretive zoom lens of the observer. It must therefore be emphasized that observations can't ever provide us with a primary representation of simple fact.
Finally, it is worth emphasizing that observational research is very time-consuming, and for that reason costly, when compared with other methods of data collection.
So the weaknesses of observation are:
Susceptible to observer bias.
Susceptible to the "hawthorn effect, " that is, people usually perform better when they know they can be being noticed, although indirect observation may reduce this problem.
Can be costly and time-consuming compared to other data collection methods.
Does not boost your knowledge of why people behave as they are doing.
An example of a set up observation system used to track record aspects of professor- pupil discussion in classrooms are available in Flanders' interaction analysis categories, as given in Box 3. 1. The behaviour, noticed at 3-second intervals, is coded into one of 10 categories. The plan can provide useful data on the percentage of school time taken up by different kinds of activity.
1. Accepts feeling. Accepts and clarifies an attitude or the feeling tone
of a pupil in a non-threatening manner. Emotions may maintain positivity or
negative. Predicting and recalling emotions are included.
2. Praises or encourages. Praises or encourages pupil action or behavior. Jokes that release tension, however, not at the trouble of another
individual; nodding brain, or declaring 'Um hm?' or 'go on' are included.
3. Accepts or uses ideas of pupils. Clarifying, building or developing
ideas suggested by the pupil. Educator extensions of pupil ideas are
included but as the professor brings more of his/her own ideas into
4. Asks questions. Requesting a question about content or process, based
on professor ideas, with the intention that a pupil will answer.
5. Lecturing. Providing facts or views about content or types of procedures;
expressing his/her own ideas, presenting his/her own explanation or citing
an authority other than a pupil.
6. Giving directions. Directions, orders or purchases to which a pupil is
expected to comply.
7. Criticizing or justifying authority. Statements intended to change
pupil behavior from non-acceptable to suitable pattern; bawling
someone out; stating why the teacher is doing what he/she does;
8. Discussion by pupils in response to instructor. Professor initiates the contact or
solicits pupil assertion or structures the problem. Freedom to
express own ideas is bound.
9. Converse by pupils which they start. Expressing own ideas; initiating a
new topic; liberty to develop ideas and a type of thought, like
asking thoughtful questions; heading beyond the prevailing structure.
10. Silence or distress. Pauses, short durations of silence and periods of confusion in which communication can't be known by the observer.
There is not a scale implied through these amounts. Each amount is
classificatory; it designates a specific kind of communication event. To
write these amounts down during observation is to enumerate, not to
judge a position on a level.
Source: Flanders, 1970, p. 34
Observations can be used to gather information for clinical tests and data examination. The observations should be made by qualified people with controlled objectives for every set of observations. The observations should be produced in settings that won't influence the do of the observations or contaminate the observations in any way. Discussions with a particular group of individuals provides valuable data to research workers.