Psychology of learning

Essential guidelines for making good observation

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Essential guidelines for making good observation

1. Observe one individual at a time. It is desirable to focus attention on just one individual at a time in order to collect comprehensive data.
2. Have a specific criteria for making observations. The purpose of making observation should be clear to the observe before he or she begins to observe so that the essential characteristics or the behaviour of the person fulfilling the purpose can be noted.
3. Observations should be made over a period of time. To have areal estimate of the true behaviour of a person it should be observed as frequently as possible. A single observation will not be sufficient to tell us that this is the characteristic of the individual.
4. The observations should be made in differing and natural situations in natural settings to increase its validity. For example, a pupil’s behaviour in the classroom may not be typical of him therefore he should be observed in variety of settings to know the behaviour most typical of the person.
5. Observe the pupil in the context of the total situation.
6. The observed facts must be recorded instantly, that is just at the time of their occurrence otherwise the observer may forget some of the facts and the recording may not be accurate.
7. It is better to have two or more observers.
8. Observations should be made under favourable conditions. The observer should be in position to clearly observe what he or she is observing. There should not be any undue distraction or

disturbances. One should also have an attitude free from any biases or prejudices against the individual being observed.

9. Data from observations should be integrated with other data. While arriving at the final conclusion about the individual, one should put together all that we know about the individual from the other sources then we can give an integrated and comprehensive picture of the individual. These precautions must be borne in mind in order to have reliable observations.

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