As discussed in the previous lesson, one of the problems associated with observing and evaluating student behavior is the accuracy of the results. In order to be accurate the observation procedure must be established so that it remains consistent from from one observation time to another and from one observer to another. A key element in making the observations consistent is the definition of the exact behaviors being observed. The accuracy of the observation is improved if the behaviors being observed are defined so that they are observable and measurable. This allows the observer to accurately count the number of times a behavior occurs or determine when a behavior begins and ends. Without specifying exactly the behavior being observed it is difficult to be consistent and the meaning of the observation may vary.
Even though the teacher may be interested in complex behavior problems or in students' feelings or attitudes, such as anger or sadness, these concepts are difficult to define and measure. By identifying specific observable and measurable behaviors associated with feelings, the teacher can more easily and accurately measure and record progress.
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