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Observation as a Method

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Observation is the process of watching someone carry out a task or series of actions in order to gather data about specific aspects of behaviour, content, processes or interactions. It can be used to better understand individuals or groups in any setting that is relevant to the research topics, for example, observing students in a learning environment such as classroom. 10

“Observation can often reveal characteristics of groups or individuals that would have been impossible to discover by other means.” The distinctive topics for applying the case study method arise from four main situations. Firstly, when the researcher are trying to understand an ongoing process or situation. Through observation they can monitor or watch a process or situation that they are evaluating as it occurs. Secondly, when researcher are gathering data on individual behaviors or interactions between people. Observation allows them to watch peoples’ behaviors and interactions directly, or watch for the results of behaviors or interactions. Thirdly, when researcher need to know about a physical setting. Seeing the place or environment where something takes place can help increase researcher’s understanding of the event, activity, or situation you are evaluating. For example, they can observe whether a classroom or training facility is conducive to learning. And lastly, when data collection from individuals is not a realistic option. If respondents are unwilling or unable to provide data through questionnaires or interviews, observation is a method that requires little from the individuals for whom you need data. -21

Depends on different situation and research aims, observation can be structured or unstructured, participant or non-participant. For the researcher who have a clear idea of the purpose of the observation but not be so clear about the detail, they may decide to adopt an...

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