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Conduct research

Reporting observation results

STEP 7. Analyze the data

Analyze the observational data by reviewing the completed observation form and any written comments. You should also have a face-to-face debriefing discussion with all observers if you did not conduct all observations yourself. This will give the observers an opportunity to explain the data and provide additional feedback. Begin reviewing the data after the first observation. Look for patterns in the data using the research questions or hypotheses of your study to focus analysis. Other questions or issues may emerge as you discuss and review the information. [more]

STEP 8. Determine findings

Summarize findings based on your analysis and in relation to your research questions and previous research findings. Verify that findings are grounded in what was observed. [more]

STEP 9. Report results

How you report your findings depends on the types of observations you used.  If you used qualitative observations (e.g., narrative comments), present repeating ideas that lead to major themes that, in turn, inform conclusions and implications.  Provide one or two examples of a repeating idea. You may also want to note an exception to a trend in order to highlight a noteworthy idea.

For quantitative observations (e.g., rating scales), present the statistical findings graphically and with the level of detail useful to the audience.

For all observation types, make sure to discuss what practical or theoretical implications can be drawn for the findings, any major shortcomings or limitations of the methodology used, and directions or suggestions for future research. [more]

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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