YRM-65000 Observation Techniques


Credits 1.50

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. JV Meijering
Lecturer(s)dr. JV Meijering
Examiner(s)dr. JV Meijering

Language of instruction:



In this course 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:
- understand (participant) observation as a scientific method of data gathering;
- understand the goals, the strengths and weaknesses of different types of observation;
- devise an observation schedule;
- carry out a basic (participant) observation;
- make a condensed account based on descriptive observations;
- make 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.