Observation Report

Students should locate natural settings for these observations (e.g., friend or family homes, child care settings, backyards, playgrounds, malls, senior centers, restaurants, etc.) in which there exists a strong potential for interaction partners to be observed. You are free to use relatives and/or friends! Students should observe each set of interaction partners for a minimum of three hours (all at once or in multiple time frames), focusing on verbal and nonverbal communication for each person for each assignment, and then complete a written summary.

Students must follow this format for each written summary of their observations:


I. Introduction:

o This section must include a detailed description of what research and theory explain are the typical interaction patterns, communication skills and abilities and/or language skills one would expect to see in the age groups of each interaction partner. For example, if you are observing a child and an adult, you must explain what the research/theory says are the typical interaction patterns, communication skills and abilities of BOTH the adult AND the child. If you only discuss one or the other, points will be deducted.

o This entire section must be grounded in communication research and theory using only scholarly, academic sources – websites are NOT acceptable sources for any assignment in this class.

o This section should be a minimum of approximately 2-3 pages in length

II. Narrative:

o This section must contain rich, detailed descriptions of the specific behaviors and interactions of BOTH partners that you observe during your time observing the interaction partners.

o This section must accurately reflect the amount of time you spent observing the interaction partners. Brief, cursory descriptions are not enough.

o This section must also include as many details as possible in order to accurately describe the skills and abilities of each interaction partner exhibited during your observations.

o This section should be a minimum of approximately 3-4 pages in length

III. Assessment:

o This section must include your assessment of whether the interactive partners are communicating the way research and theory says they should be communicating. You must explain if both partners are interacting in ways research/theory say they should be interacting.

o Your assessment must be based upon your observations in comparison with what one would expect to see while watching the interactive partners communicate.

o Each statement of assessment must include evidence from your observations and from the communication research and theory.

o This section is where you combine your introduction information and observation information to “prove” your assessment is accurate. Yes, ideally you will be repeating information from the introduction, narrative and including more outside empirical evidence to fully support your assessment of the interactive partners.

o Again, this section must be ground in communication research and theory combined with evidence from your observations.

o As stated previously, websites are NOT acceptable sources for any assignment in this class.

o This section should be a minimum of approximately 3-4 pages in length

IV. Complete APA-style Reference List

o All source materials must be listed and properly documented throughout each assignment.

v All work must be: typed using a 12pt, Times New Roman font, with 1inch margins, double-spaced.

v Bullet points/lists of any kind cannot be used in these assignments

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