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Human Services/ Research Methods

1. Prepare for the field:
• Read Babbie’s guidelines for recording field observations (Chapter 10) (Babbie, E. (2017). The basics of
social research (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage)
• Select a setting (park, your house, or anywhere that can ensure your safety)
• If you decide to go out to a park for an observation, make sure you wear a mask, and keep at least
6 feet social distancing from people.
• Review the guidelines for protection of human subjects before completing the observation.
2. Conduct and record the observation:
• Date and Time: Record date, time, and duration of the observation
• Describe the setting:
o Describe the setting and your reasons for choosing it for your observation
o Discuss any problems you experienced in gaining access to the site
• Record your observations:
o Observe and record. Take scant notes while you observe.
o Expand on your notes as soon as possible after the observation.
o Be explicit and clear in your description of the behaviors and interactions you observed.
3. Identity inferences and reflect
• Read your field observation report.
• Underline any inferences (what you think really happened and what you think you heard).
• Reflect on your personal thoughts and feelings about one of the inferences you underlined.
4. Evaluation: Summarize what you learned from this assignment