Good Observation Of A Photograph Essay Example
Observations are essential methods used by qualitative researchers to collect data. Thus, an important consideration for the role of context and one’s personal bias should be made. Such factors help to maintain the integrity of the research process. Angrosino (2004) observes that the nature of research is often objective. However, the use of observation establishes the possibility of bias, which arises from the researcher’s unconscious assumptions (Angrosino, 2004). Consequently, this discussion considers the strengths and weaknesses of observation. Moreover, it describes the various features observed in an unoccupied lecture hall.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Observation
The principle benefit of observation is that it offers direct access to the phenomena under consideration. Hence, it avoids the problems linked to self-reports, such as the lack of accurate information. Secondly, observation provides flexibility and diversity, as well as applicability (University of Strathclyde, n. d.). The diversity of observation may include standardized procedures, as well as unstructured and informal approaches. Thirdly, observation often includes the recording of results. Hence, it provides a lasting record of the observed phenomena.
Observation, however, includes various weaknesses. For example, it can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Hence, it decreases its feasibility (University of Strathclyde, n. d.). The method is also vulnerable to observer bias, which undermines the reliability of the collected data.
Photo Observation – The Empty Lecture Hall
Purpose: This observation aims at describing picture one, which shows an empty classroom. Consequently, I seek to observe the room and its features from my vantage point for five minutes. In this activity, I will follow partly the guidelines described by Janesick (2011).
Observation Activity: I am sitting in my study room with my timer set for five minutes. In my front is a laptop showing a broad view of the empty classroom (picture one). The classroom is set up in a theater style –the lectern is in the room’s front with the tables and chairs ordered in semi-circular rows. Moreover, each row is tiered to allow students’ optimal view of the presenter. The projection screen placed on the blackboard shows that the classroom is equipped with audio-visual and presentation equipment. In addition, the screen indicates that the classroom promotes an interactive experience.
My Notes: I see two doors in this classroom –one that seemingly opens outward and another that opens inward. I suspect that one of the doors leads to an office. The second door is likely the in/egress to the classroom. The teaching conducted in such a furnished room seemingly necessitates a variety of teaching techniques. Further, the room appears suitable for different presentations.
The observation experience was very exciting. It increased my understanding of the effect that biases and experiences bring to observations. Further, I learned that an observation is significant because it allows directness, as well as data recording. However, its feasibility may be reduced by its resource intensive nature. In addition, it may be susceptible to observer bias. Nevertheless, observation is essential in qualitative studies.
Angrosino, M. (2004). Observer Bias. In M. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, & T. Liao (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social science research methods. (pp. 758-759). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412950589.n651
Janesick, V.J. (2011). "Stretching" exercises for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). (pp. 25-35, 66-85). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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