A way to gather data by watching people, events, or noting physical characteristics in their natural setting. Seeks to answer the question: “What is going on here?”. While rooted in ethnographic research it can be applied to other methodologies. Observations may often be supplemented with interviews.
There are three main categories:
Observations may be unstructured, semi-structured or structured. The latter two involve the use of an observation template that includes prompting questions such as: “What are people doing?”; “What are they trying to accomplish?”; How are they doing this?” etc.
What form does observation take?
Field notes; audio and video recordings.