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Observation tools and recording devices

Ø     Observation guides
Ø  Recording sheets or checklist
Ø        Schedule
Ø  Field observation log
Ø  Mechanical devices

·        Observation guides : These are printed forms that provide space for recording observations. They are particularly useful when several observers are involved or when you wish to obtain comparable information from several sites/ observation points or observations of many people. The more structured the guide, the easier it will be to tally the results.
·        Recording sheets or checklist : These forms are used to record observations as in YES/NO option (present – not present) or on a rating scale to indicate extent or quality of something. Checklists are used when there are specific, observable items, actions or attributes to be observed.
·        Schedule : The data requirements are identified by analyzing the core of the problem, the objectives of the study, the investigative questions, hypothesis and the operational definition of concepts and out of the data requirements, items of data to be collected through observation are identified.  A schedule is then constructed, covering those items of data.
·        Field observation log : This may take the form of a diary or cards. Each item of observation is recorded under appropriate subheading.
            At the time of observation , rough noting may be made, and at the end of the day, fully log may be made. The card system is flexible and facilitates arrangement and re-arrangement of items in any desired order.
  Mechanical Devices : These may include cameras, tape recorders, videotape and electronic devices. Still, motion , sound, colour  and time  interval cameras give a permanent record of events. Microscopic and telescopic lens may be used in cameras. Eye cameras are common in advertising and package research. The camera makes a record that can be analyzed later and may be used to illustrate your evaluation report.

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