The development and feasibility of a data gathering instrument for classroom use
This study was undertaken during the 1986-1987 school year to develop and test the feasibility of a data gathering instrument that would be used during classroom observations. As a result, the Classroom Observation Guide (COG) was created. Training materials were developed to teach observers how to effectively use COG. COG consisted of two forms. One form was a seating chart used by the participants to record when students were observed to be off task. Participants also used the seating chart to record the movements of the teacher. The second form organized the observers' notes. A system of indentations and spacings for each entry helped structure the observers' notes. While taking notes, the subjects drew and numbered a line every five minutes, then scanned the room to observe and make a notation indicating students who were off task. With two hours of practice, most observers were comfortable using the forms;The 58 subjects of this study were pretested, trained to use COG, and then posttested to see if COG made a difference in their data gathering skills. Two 45-minute videotapes were developed for the pre- and posttesting. The results indicated that participants were able to use COG to collect classroom data: (1) without making judgments; (2) free of inaccuracies; (3) with at least eight pages of notes; (4) accounting for the way time was used in the classroom; (5) recording examples of what students said and did, teacher movement, and effective teaching behaviors;Experienced subjects had superior scores on the observation pretest. The differences were not significant following training. Participants were able to raise their average scores by at least eight points using COG. These observation score gains were highly significant (p <.01).