Conducting an Observational Study

 The observation assignment has multiple components and is based upon an observational study. You need to spend approximately 2 hours observing some form of social interaction in a public location. A public site is one that people would reasonably expect that their actions will be observed. If you want to observe people that you know, or if your observation will somehow be noticed or affect the interactions you observe, you should disclose your role as a researcher to the subjects. Please contact me if you are unsure about disclosure for your subject(s). DO NOT STUDY ANYTHING ILLEGAL! You may not observe a location that has a primary focus upon children (such as a playground or school classroom). Children are defined as anyone under the age of 18. Assignment requirements: Write a one paragraph description of the site that you plan to observe. Make sure that you include the reason why you selected that site and the time of day/week that you plan to do your observation. You will need to receive permission from your instructor prior to your observation. Submit your site description for my review and approval using the assignment page that follows this forum. When you conduct your observation, bring something (pen and paper, laptop computer) so that you can record very detailed notes on everything that you observe. Feel free to also draw maps and diagrams. When you have completed your observations, type your field notes using complete sentences. Then post your notes in this forum. NOTE: field notes should not be an analysis of patterns you see, just observations which include description of events, interactions, conversations, and the physical layout. When you are finished posting your field notes, review and substantively comment on a minimum of two of your classmates’ field notes.

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