Help EDR725 : The Class : Participant Observation : Participant Observation

Module 3: Essentials of Participant Observation

We'll start by looking at the "delicate balance" implied in the participant observation method of data collection. Next, we'll identify some relative advantages of this method. In topic 2 of this module we will proceed to examine a rather classic diagram of the five dimensions along which participant observation may vary. (It may surprise you to see just how much "leeway" there is in the method!) We'll also identify some of the objects or end goals of observation: what are we observing, exactly, when we do participant observation? Finally, we'll take a look at recording "good" field notes. All of these excellent tips come to us courtesy of Michael Quinn Patton - to many, a true founding father of qualitative research procedures. His examples come from the special subfield of designs known as evaluation research. However, users of his work have successfully applied these principles to all sorts of qualitative investigations - no matter the design.

Let's go!!!


This module is divided into 2 topics. To complete this Module successfully, please complete the topics in the order shown below:

  1. Participant and Observer
  2. The Five Dimensions of Participant Observation

Once you have completed this module you should:

Go on to Module 4: Interviewing in Qualitative Research
Go back to Qualitative Research

E-mail M. Dereshiwsky at statcatmd@aol.com
Call M. Dereshiwsky at (520) 523-1892


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