Volume 34, Issue 4 (2005)
Systematic Direct Observational Assessment of Student Behavior: Its Use and Interpretation in Multiple Settings: An Introduction to the Miniseries
Robert J. Volpe, Stephanie H. McConaughy
Direct observation of student behavior is among the most common assessment methodologies used by school psychologists. In a 1991–1992 survey of members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP),Wilson and Reschly (1996) found that “structured observations” of student behavior in classrooms was the most frequently utilized of 26 different assessment categories, including ability and achievement testing, behavior rating scales, and projective tests. “Structured observations” included in that survey included a variety of different methods. Upon closer examination, however, the data showed that school psychologists relied more often on anecdotal observations (observations with no predetermined behaviors in mind) than on systematic direct observations (precise recording of specific operationally defined behaviors under standardized procedures).
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