Observation Techniques




Time Sampling


Observations of children are recorded at fixed regular intervals of time to note what is happening at that moment.

Now we know what time samples are

repeated short focused snapshots of child development used to collect precise data over a long period of time.

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

Click for a demonstration of a time sampling technique

Points to remember when using a time sampling technique technique


  1. You will need to concentrate on observing what happens at regular intervals
  2. Ask advice from placement supervisors about when and where to try a time sampling technique
  3. Have a clear specific aim to focus your work
  4. Plan a simple chart to record your data
  5. Do this before you start to observe
  6. Keep a careful watch on the time it is easy to be side-tracked
  7. STOP observing if a child needs you

Before you go off somewhere else check your understanding!

1. What exactly is time sampling?

Choose an option.

Is this a way to observe a group of children?
Is this observing a child for an exact period of time?
Is this repeated short focused snapshots of child development used to collect precise data over a long period of time?

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

Choose an option.

To observe a baby's interaction with an older sibling.
To observe an individual's emotional development over two days.
To observe children's gross motor skills during outdoor play.

Find out more about different observation techniques

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


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