ERIC Number: EJ899001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
Using Observational Methods to Research the Student Experience
Cotton, Debby R. E.; Stokes, Alison; Cotton, Peter A.
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v34 n3 p463-473 Aug 2010
Much pedagogic research undertaken in geography and other disciplines relies on post-hoc methods such as surveys or interviews to investigate the student experience of higher education (often based on self-reports of behaviour). However, observation of students provides a far more direct route to obtain information about their behaviour, and there are many situations where observational data--collected by a researcher or by students themselves using video, audio or written diaries--may provide a deeper insight into their experience. This paper outlines some basic methods of observation, describes the potential advantages and disadvantages of collecting observational data, and provides examples of relevant research which draws on these methods. We conclude with a recommendation that observational methods should be used more widely in pedagogic research.
Descriptors: Educational Research, Observation, Student Experience, Evaluation Methods, Case Studies, Research Methodology, Interaction, Interaction Process Analysis, Field Studies, Video Technology, Barriers, Geography Instruction, Foreign Countries, Diaries
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom