YRM-65000 Observation Techniques


Credits 1.50

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. V Torres van Grinsven
Lecturer(s)dr. V Torres van Grinsven
Examiner(s)dr. V Torres van Grinsven

Language of instruction:



In this module observation is discussed and practiced as a scientific method of data gathering. Various types of observation are discussed, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of observation in different research settings. Students get acquainted with methodological aspects of observation (sampling, access to sites, observation schedules, field notes) and learn to draw conclusions from the materials. In successive assignments students bring together theoretical knowledge and practical observation skills.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- be familiar with (participant) observation as a scientific method of data gathering;
- have insight in the goals, the strengths and weaknesses of different types of observation;
- be able to devise an observation schedule;
- be skilled to carry out a basic (participant) observation;
- be capable of making a condensed account based on descriptive observations;
- be capable of making a first analysis of the collected data.


Workshops in which both lecturing and interactive learning take place. During the meetings students obtain feedback on their assignments, participate in course work and discuss each-others work. In addition to the workshops students carry out substantive outdoor observation tasks that end up in a final paper. In the paper students discuss their findings, relate them to the literature and defend their conclusions.


Final paper.


Hand out articles during the workshops.