ERIC Number: EJ1146239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
How Many Classroom Observations Are Sufficient? Empirical Findings in the Context of a Longitudinal Study
Shih, Jeffrey C.; Ing, Marsha; Tarr, James E.
Middle Grades Research Journal, v8 n2 p41-49 2013
One method to investigate classroom quality is for a person to observe what is happening in the classroom. However, this method raises practical and technical concerns such as how many observations to collect, when to collect these observations and who should collect these observations. The purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence to address these concerns using a particular middle school mathematics classroom observation tool. Data included multiple ratings of mathematics classrooms from 69 middle school teachers within 11 districts that were analyzed using generalizability theory. Findings suggest that raters trained to use this particular measure required 3 observations to consistently capture habitual classroom environments. Implications for investigating classroom quality using this and other classroom observation tools should be guided by decisions about the specific purpose of the observation tool, as well as budget and practical considerations.
Descriptors: Observation, Longitudinal Studies, Mathematics, Middle School Teachers, Generalizability Theory, Classroom Observation Techniques, Reliability, Comparative Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A