Essay Instructions: Observation Cycle Instructions
Identify a teacher who has five years of experience or less in his current position. Gain administrative and teacher permission to implement an observation cycle that includes a pre-observation conference, one observation, and a post-observation conference. You may also use a Sunday school teacher. If you do not have access to either of these options, you can do a mock pre- and post-conference and utilize the video of the teacher in the additional materials section of this course.
The focus of the initial observation should be identified in the pre-observation conference. The post observation conference should summarize the data and outcomes of each of the sessions. The cycle should follow a sequence such as the one depicted in the table below:
Cycle Step Outcomes Follow-up
Pre-Observation Conference Articulation of the purpose and function of the observation cycle.
Identification of the focus of the first observation.
Timeline for completion of the complete cycle First observation
Observation Data collection Analysis and interpretation of the data
Post observation conference Articulation of the outcomes of the third observation and a review of the previous outcomes.
Discussion of the implications of the data.
Articulation of instructional recommendations by both the teacher and the observer.
Identification of the focus of the second observation Generation of a written report describing each step of the cycle, a prescription for instructional improvement, and the teacher’s perspective of the cycle.
The documentation submitted for the purpose of course completion should include a timeline of events, the supervisor’s reflections on the process, and the challenges encountered with implementing the cycle.
Protocols implemented for the observation may be secured from the course module or from other professional resources. A school’s annual evaluation instrument is not an acceptable protocol. Each protocol/observation used should focus on a very limited set or a single teaching behavior. The teacher is to be given a written copy of the observation report and an opportunity to respond to or challenge the outcomes.
Course submissions should be written in APA format. Please use a fictitious name for the teacher for privacy purposes.
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Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: 1. Title page: On your title page, in addition to your name, e-mail address, course title and number, and title of your observation, name the site of the observation.
2. Goals: In this section, list two to three goals for your observation. You might want to view social behaviors between genders; examine social behaviors among ethnic/racial groups; or determine age related social behaviors in a group. Useful terms include investigate, discover, reveal, (one page).
3. Research question: For this observation , you must have a specific question or set of questions that you are trying to answer. You might explore, for example, whether participants in your setting have any characteristic behaviors which are observable. In this section, state the question you are trying to answer. Your question must be detailed and specific. For example, are there distinguishable behaviors that lead a man to ask a woman to dance in a bar setting?; What are the specific behaviors of people who are paying attention in church?; Do older people influence the behavior of younger people?
4. Populations: Are there specific typologies that can be formed based on the social behaviors observed? For example, ?Cautious Carl? is the driver who has both hands on the wheel, drives no faster than the speed limit, and maintains a serious look on his face. ?Smiling Samantha? is the woman who talks to all the people she passes in the supermarket aisle.
5. Abstracts: Locate five abstracts from social psychological literature relating to your observation. Attach the abstracts to your paper and explain how the research helps form the research question for your observation.
6. Introduction (the setting): In this section, discuss the setting in which your observation will occur. Include sufficient detail so that it is clear how the setting might have affected behaviors discussed throughout the paper.
7. Observational sessions: In this section, detail the behaviors which occurred during your observation. You should have between 1 to 3 sessions in your setting.
8. Results: In this section, state the results you observed related to your research question. Also, explain why you drew the conclusions you drew based on the behaviors. Include theories from social psychology that point to these results. Discuss the influence of your own experiences on your observation results.
9. References: In this section, list the references you quoted in your paper. Add a bibliography of books, articles, and Web sites that you recommend regarding your observation.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Please number and answer these question in essay form....
1) Identify three characteristics of scientific observation that distinguish it from our everyday observation.
2) Explain why researchers use sampling in observational studies, and describe what the proper use of sampling is intended to accomplish.
3) Identify three factors in participant observation that researchers need to consider to determine the extent of the observer's influence on the behavior being observed.
4) Structured observation represents a compromise between naturalistic observation and laboratory experiments. What are the primary advantage and potential cost of this compromise?
5) Give an example using each of the four measurement scales of how a researcher could measure eye contact between pairs of people in conversation with each other.
6) What two types of information do you gain by knowing the sign and the numerical value of a correlation coefficient?
7) Identify the measurement scales that require a correlation coefficient to assess interobservater reliability, and , explain what a negative correlation would indicate in this situation.
8) Discribe two ways in which observer bias (expectancy effects) can occur in psychlogical research.
9) what is the best procedure to reduce observer bias?
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Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Naturalistic Observation has been a basic research method in Social Psychology and other scientific domains of investigation for a very long time. Careful, objective observation and recording of events and phenomena can provide important insights into meaningful patterns that exist in the natural world, without intruding into that world. If the subjects are aware of the observation, their behavior will be altered, and the observer will impact the events being observed.
Thus, when a researcher utilizes the naturalistic observation method, it is imperative that s/he impact the observed situation as little as possible. The researcher should be careful to observe and listen without straining to hear - just record tonalities of voices, speed of speech, and words when it is possible to hear them without having to actually "eavesdrop" (i.e., if words are whispered, the researcher should not be able to record what was said!) The researcher doesn't want the people s/he is observing to feel observed or eavesdropped-upon. The researcher should try to remain inconspicuous, or become a part of the scene to the point where s/he is completely accepted as part of the social landscape. For example, Dr. Jane Goodall, in her naturalistic observations of chimpanzee behavior, became accepted by the chimpanzee community to such an extent that they behaved normally in her presence. It is challenging for the amateur researcher to observe people without them becoming aware of the observer’s presence, but it can be done.
This assignment involves two separate periods of observation, 20 minutes each. During the first observation, the student will take notes. The setting, date, and time of the observation should be described with enough detail that a reader can reconstruct the observation in his/her imagination, and will understand the description of the
subject/s’ behavior. While observing, however, the researcher may need to take “shorthand” notes, and later construct full sentences when writing up the report. Do not record your opinions about behaviors or conversations, only record direct observations of behaviors and actual speech.
Your submission for Project 1 should be 750 words in length and must follow APA guidelines for style
During the first 10 minute period, record only non-verbal behavior.
During the second 10 minute period, record only verbal behavior.
After the first 20 minute period, take a break, while you think about what you have seen. Are there any patterns of interaction which seem prominent? Using ideas about social interaction which you have read about in your book, construct a simple hypothesis about the behavior you are observing, and be able to explain why you decided on that hypothesis. The hypothesis should be simple enough to test in the setting in which you have chosen to conduct your observation.
For example, if you are observing a conversational interaction between two people, you might hypothesize that one individual will speak more frequently than the other, based on what you observed in the first 20 minutes of the observation, based on the relevant social psychology findings in the text.
In the second 20 minute period of observation, you will collect the data specifically relevant to your hypothesis. To continue with the above-mentioned example, you would simply count the verbal behaviors of the two subjects. If your hypothesis predicts that Subject A will speak more frequently than subject B, you count the verbal behaviors of both subjects, and then consider whether your hypothesis has been supported by the behavior of your subjects (Did subject A actually speak more frequently than subject B?) Use whatever data collection is most appropriate to your specific hypothesis.
After collecting your data, prepare a report on your observation. In preparing your written narrative, be sure to use complete sentences. You will begin the narrative with a description of the observation, including physical description of the subjects and the setting of the observation, and day of the week, month and time of day of the observation. If relevant, also include a brief description of the weather. You may include a diagram of the physical setting, if you feel that it will make your account more precise and easy to understand.
The behavior of the subject or subjects should be described with objective,non-judgmental language. If you make any interpretive comments, you need to back up those comments with factual data. Be sure to include the hypothesis you developed after the first period of observation, and the reasons you decided to choose that hypothesis. Be sure to use proper citation if you use words that are the same as or close to those of the textbook. If the Naturalistic hypothesis you developed after the first period of observation requires a count of specific behaviors, be sure to include that count in your final report.
After completing your narrative account, and reporting your findings, you will need to write a paragraph about your own experience with the naturalistic observation. Was it challenging for you? What insight have you gained from performing this exercise?
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