Observation Techniques




Event Sampling


Observations focus on particular events to build up a pattern of a child's behaviour over a period of days or weeks. For example to discover what provokes tantrums, or how a child reacts to leaving their carer at the start of each day in nursery.

Now we know what event samples are

observations focused on particular events to build up a pattern of a child's behaviour over a period of days or weeks.

So the next step is consider an appropriate example of this observation technique.

Click for a demonstration of an event sample technique

Points to remember when using an event sampling technique


  1. Event sampling is writing a diary focused on one child's response to the present situation
  2. State the aim to give a clear focus to your work
  3. Include a title to say what behaviour is observed
  4. Give the context of the observation to explain your aims more fully
  5. Include a antecedent to explain what lead up to the behaviour
  6. Describe the child's behaviour in some detail
  7. Include the consequences to show what happens next.
    This shows strategies that reinforce the behaviour.

Before you go off somewhere else check your understanding!

1. What exactly is event sampling?

Choose an option.

Is this observations focused on particular events to build up a pattern of a child's behaviour over a period of days or weeks.
Is this observing a child completing an activity?
Is this repeated short focused snapshots of child development used to collect precise data over a long period of time?

2. When is event sampling the most appropriate technique to use?

Choose an option.

To observe two children painting a picture.
To observe a child's aggressive behaviour at playtime to judge which strategies are successful in managing this behaviour.
To observe a baby learning to crawl.

Find out more about different observation techniques

Introduction
Anecdotal Schedule Charts and Pictograms
Time Sampling Event Sampling Target Child


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