Instructions How to Write

Observation Project

STEP 1: GET SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
•Readthe notes/chapters on unobtrusive and observation Research, especiallyObservation Field Report Notes

STEP 2:MAKE A PLAN•Make a research guide/plan on how you will record your data. This involves some anticipation of the kinds of things you will observe. See the above list of signs to get you started. Remember you want to go into your research with some kind of plan or guide even if you don’t know exactly what you will see. •For example, you may want to have two columns, one for signs of nervousness and one for signs of confidence. You will probablywant to have a short handalready worked out for things like eye blinking, fidgeting, smiling, calm demeanor, looking at the floor, etc. (you can always add other short hand notations during your observationif something pops up). •NOTE:While you’re making notes, it’s a good idea to find a couple of really good examples to use in your final write up. This can add some additional texture. Just remember, you aren’t going to use any real names of who you observe. Give them a numeric or alphabetic alias or just write “One of the participants...”

STEP 3:MAKE TIME•Set aside at least 45 minutes to complete the observation(watch the observation video and go over your notes)•To make this as close to actual field research as possible, watchthe observation video in one sitting without stopping and startingand don’t re-watch any or all of the video. •If for some reason(personal or technical reasons), you can’t watch continuously or in one sitting, you don’t have to let me know. But to get the most out of this experience, you want to try your bestto do itstraight through.

STEP 4: OBSERVATION AND DATA COLLECTION•Watch30 minutes of the observation video (posted in the Module). •You do not have to start at the beginning of the video. You can choose whatever 30 minutes you like.•Take notes as you watchand listen. This is your DATA COLLECTION. You will want to write down what you see in terms of nervousness and confidence. Use your guide butadd things to it as you go along. •I’m not looking for something specificexcept for you to observe and record signs of nervousness and confidence. This is yourobservationprojectand it should reflect what you think is important and relevant. •Your final write-up mayinclude a count of different signs you observed, but I also want qualitative details so don’t just count the signs, give me some textureto at least some of your observations. •FOLLOW UP: After you are done watching for 30 minutes, immediatelytake anadditional 10-15 minutes to clean up your notationsand make additional commentsand notes while they are still fresh in your mind. This includes general impressionsand any difficultiesor things that went well.

STEP 5: TAKE A PICTURE OR SCAN OF YOUR NOTES AND SUBMIT THEM•Take a picture or a scan of your notes.

STEP 6:WRITE UP YOUR OBSERVATIONS•Complete a write-up of your observation research. Your write-up will be 3-4 paragraphs long•You are NOT doing a full field report as outlines in the Observation Field Report Notes•Paragraph 1 and 2 is where you will discuss your observations of nervousness and confidence among the participants. Here is where you are going to “tell the story” of what you observed.oI wantdetails. It’s not enough to just tell me how many participants fidgeted or how many participants were confident. I don’t even need hard numbers (although you can include them if you want). I want you to tell me the signs you saw, what they looked like, when and how they happened, etc. oI also don’t need to know details about everything. What do you think is important and note-worthy? List all the signs you see but then go into more details about the things you want to talk more about (maybe some things were obvious or maybe you want to talk about the things that were more subtle). oProvide some texture. You can talk about certain individuals (without using their names) or about certain conditions (maybe a sign of nervousness that you saw a lot and can describe in more detail or give the different ways it appeared). One of the great thingsabout observation research is that it gives you the chance to paint a picture for your audience.•Your last paragraph will be an overall discussion/conclusionoWhat did you observe?What were your general impressions?Ex., were the kids generally confident? Were they generally nervous? What were the biggest signs you saw? Were there anything you were surprised you didn’t see?oHow you observed it?What worked for you, what didn’t work? any difficulties you experiencedoAnd a final statement about what you learnedeither the signs of nervousness/confidence in public speaking and competition based on your observations.

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