ERIC Number: ED202259
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Classroom Observation Techniques. IDEA Paper No. 4.
Acheson, Keith A.
Techniques for observing the classroom behavior of teachers and students are examined. These techniques provide a framework for analyzing and understanding classroom interaction, for making decisions about what should be happening, and for changing instructional behavior when it is necessary. The observation methods allow collection, analysis, and presentation of accurate, objective, useful, and persuasive data. Persuasive data contain no value judgments. One method is the selective verbatim technique, which involves having the observer record what is actually said within the confines of a category previously specified by the teacher. Some common categories for selective verbatim include: teacher questions, teacher responses to student statements, teacher directions and assignments, teacher responses to questions, verbal mannerisms, teacher reward and praise statements, teacher criticism, student responses to teacher questions, student questions, and student initiated statements. Examples are presented as illustration. A seating chart can be the basis for several types of informal records about the teachers' and students' classroom behavior. It is primarily used to measure nonverbal behavior, but it is sometimes useful for measuring verbal behavior. The basic element is a diagram, examples of which are included. Seating charts are useful for analyzing "at task" behavior: data indicating whether or not individual students were engaged in the task or tasks the teacher indicated were appropriate. A verbal flow chart is one way of analyzing how classroom procedures inhibit, encourage, or allow students to participate in classroom interactions. A list of common teaching activities and a technique for recording them for analysis is included. (SW)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Observation Techniques, College Instruction, Data Analysis, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Interaction Process Analysis, Nonverbal Communication, Student Behavior, Student Participation, Student Teacher Relationship, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Verbal Communication
Kansas State University, Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, 1627 Anderson Ave., Box 3000, Manhattan, KS 66502.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development in Higher Education.
Note: Not available in paper copy due to small print.