Jinsi ya kuandika Field report
Jinsi Ya Kuandika Field Report,The purpose of field reports is to describe an observed person, place, or event and to analyze that observation data in order to identify and categorize common themes in relation to the research problem(s) underpinning the study. The data is often in the form of notes taken during the observation but it can also include any form of data gathering, such as, photography, illustrations, or audio recordings.
How to Begin
Field reports are most often assigned in the applied social sciences [e.g., social work, anthropology, gerontology, criminal justice, education, law, and the health care professions], where it is essential to build a bridge of relevancy between the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom and the practice of actually doing the work you are being taught to do. Field reports are also standard in specific science and technology disciplines [e.g., geology], but these reports are organized differently and for different purposes than what is described below.
Professors will assign a field report to improve your understanding of key theoretical concepts through careful and structured observation and reflection on actual life practice. Field reports facilitate the development of data collection techniques and observation skills and allow you to understand how theory applies to real-world situations. Field reports are also an opportunity to obtain evidence through observing a professional practice that challenges or refines existing theories.
We are all observers of people, their interactions, places, and events; however, your responsibility when writing a field report is to create a research study based on data generated by the act of observation, a synthesis of key findings, and an interpretation of their meaning. When writing a field report, you need to:
- Systematically observe and accurately record the varying aspects of a situation. Always approach your field study with a detailed plan about what you will observe, where you should conduct your observations, and how you will collect and record your data.
- Continuously analyze your observations. Always look for the meaning underlying the actions you observe. Ask yourself: What’s going on here? What does this observed activity mean? What else does this relate to? Note that this is an ongoing process of reflection and analysis for the duration of your field research.
- Keep the report’s aims in mind while you are observing. Recording what you observe should not be done randomly or haphazardly; you must be focused and pay attention to details. Enter the field with a clear plan about what you intend to observe and record while, at the same time, being prepared to adapt to changing circumstances as they may arise.
- Consciously observe, record, and analyze what you hear and see in a theoretical framework. This is what separates data gathering from simple reporting. The theoretical framework guiding your field research should determine what, when, and how you observe and act as the foundation from which you interpret your findings.
Techniques to Record Your Observations
This is the most commonly used and easiest method of recording your observations. Tips for taking notes include: organizing some shorthand symbols beforehand so that RecordingRecording basic or repeated actions do not impede your ability to observe, using many small paragraphs, which reflect changes in activities, who is talking, etc., and leaving space on the page so you can write down additional thoughts and ideas about what’s being observed, any theoretical insights, and notes to yourself about may require further investigation. See the drop-down tab for additional information about note-taking.
Video and Audio Recordings
Video or audio recording of your observations positively gives you an unfiltered record of the observation event. It also facilitates repeated analysis of your observations. However, these techniques have the negative effect of increasing how intrusive you are as an observer and will often not be practical or even allowed under certain circumstances [e.g., the interaction between a doctor and a patient] and in specific organizational settings [e.g., a courtroom].
This is not an artistic endeavor but refers to the possible need, for example, to draw a map of the observation setting or illustrate objects in relation to people’s behavior. This can also take the form of rough tables or graphs documenting the frequency and type of activities observed. When writing your field report, these can be placed in a more readable format.
Examples of Things to Document While Observing
- Physical setting. The characteristics of an occupied space and the human use of the place where the observation(s) are being conducted.
- Objects and material culture. The presence, placement, and arrangement of objects that impact the behavior or actions of those being observed. If applicable, describe the cultural artifacts representing the beliefs–values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions–used by the individuals you observe.
- Use of language. Don’t just observe but listen to what is being said, how it is being said, and the tone of conversation among participants.
- Behavior cycles. This refers to documenting when and who performs what behavior or task and how often they occur. A record at which stage this behavior occurs within the setting.
- The order in which events unfold. Note sequential behavior patterns or the moment when actions or events occur and their significance.
- Physical characteristics of subjects. If relevant, note the age, gender, clothing, etc., of individuals.
- Expressive body movements. This would include things like body posture or facial expressions. It may be relevant to assess whether expressive body movements support or contradict the use of language.
Brief notes about these examples contextualize your observations; however, your observations will be guided primarily by your theoretical framework, keeping in mind that your observations will feed into and potentially modify or alter these frameworks.
Sampling is the process used to select a portion of the population for study. Qualitative research, one method of observation, is generally based on non-probability and purposive Sampling rather than probability or random approaches characteristic of quantitatively-driven studies. Sampling in observational research is flexible and often continues until no new themes emerge from the data, a point referred to as data saturation.
All sampling decisions are made for the explicit purpose of obtaining the richest possible source of information to answer the research questions. Decisions about Sampling assume you know what you want to observe, what behaviors are important to record, and what research problem you are addressing before you begin the study. These questions determine what sampling technique you should use, so be sure you adequately answer them before selecting a sampling method.
Ways to sample when conducting an observation include:
Ad Libitum Sampling — this approach is not that different from what people do at the zoo–observing whatever seems interesting. There is no organized system recording the observations; you note whatever seems relevant at the time. The advantage of this method is that you can often observe relatively rare or unusual behaviors that might be missed by more deliberate sampling methods. This method is also helpful for obtaining preliminary observations that can be used to develop your final field study. Problems using this method include the possibility of inherent bias toward conspicuous behaviors or individuals and that you may miss brief interactions in social settings.
Behavior Sampling involves watching the entire group of subjects and recording each occurrence of a specific behavior of particular interest and with reference to which individuals were involved. The method helps record rare behaviors missed by other sampling methods and is often used in conjunction with focal or scan methods. However, Sampling can be biased towards particular conspicuous behaviors.
Continuous RecordingRecording — provides an accurate behavior record, including frequencies, durations, and latencies [the time that elapses between a stimulus and its response]. This is very demanding because you are trying to record everything within the setting; thus, measuring reliability may be sacrificed. In addition, durations and latencies are only reliable if subjects remain present throughout data collection. However, this method facilitates analyzing sequences of behaviors and ensures obtaining a wealth of data about the observation site and the people within it. The use of audio or video recording is most helpful with this type of Sampling.
Focal Sampling involves observing one individual for a specified amount of time and recording all instances of that individual’s behavior. Usually, you have a set of predetermined categories or behaviors that you are interested in observing [e.g., when a teacher walks around the classroom], and you keep track of the duration of those behaviors. This approach doesn’t tend to bias one behavior over another and provides considerable detail about an individual’s behavior. However, with this method, you likely have to conduct a lot of focal samples before you have a good idea about how group members interact. It can also be difficult within specific settings to keep one individual in sight for the entire observation period.
Instantaneous Sampling is where observation sessions are divided into short intervals divided by sample points. At each sample point, the observer records if predetermined behaviors of interest occur. This method is not practical for recording discrete events of short duration, and frequently, observers will want to record novel behaviors that occur slightly before or after the point of Sampling, creating a sampling error. Though not exact, this method does give you an idea of durations and is relatively easy to do. It is also suitable for recording behavior patterns occurring at a specific instant, such as movement or body positions.
One-Zero Sampling is very similar to instantaneous Sampling; only the observer records if the behaviors of interest have occurred at any time during an interval instead of at the instant of the sampling point. The method helps capture data on behavior patterns that start and stop repeatedly and rapidly but last only for a brief period. The disadvantage of this approach is that you get a dimensionless score for an entire recording session, so you only get one data point for each recording session.
Scan Sampling — this method involves taking a census of the experimental group at predetermined periods and recording what each individual is doing. This is useful for obtaining group behavioral data and allows for data evenly representative across individuals and periods. On the other hand, this method may be biased towards more conspicuous behaviors, and you may miss much of what is going on between observations, especially rare or unusual behaviors.