Just Sociology

Unseen Observation: Exploring Covert Participant Observation in Research

Research methods have a significant impact on the validity and reliability of research findings. Covert participant observation is a research method that involves the observation of individuals without their knowledge or consent.

This article will examine the methods in context question, which seeks to evaluate the use of covert participant observation in research, particularly with pupils with behavioral difficulties. The article also analyses the strengths and limitations of the covert participant observation research method.

Overview of the Question

The primary purpose of the methods in context question is to evaluate the use of covert participant observation in research and its applicability in a particular context, such as pupils with behavioral difficulties. Covert participant observation is a research method that involves researchers observing individuals without their knowledge or consent.

In research with pupils with behavioral difficulties, covert observation can be used as a means of evaluating behavior patterns that are not typically present in a controlled environment.

Requirements for High-Level Answers

To provide a high-level answer to the methods in context question, the following requirements must be met. First, accuracy must be maintained in providing the necessary detail of concepts that relate to covert participant observation.

Second, the answer should be explicit and relevant to the specific topic. Finally, there should be a clear explanation of the appropriate conclusions that can be drawn from the use of covert participant observation.

Factors to Consider in Covert Participant Observation

Several factors must be considered when using covert participant observation as a research method. The identity of the researched individuals is a crucial factor, as is the research setting.

Sensitivity, vulnerability, and stigmatization must also be considered when choosing this research method. Parental consent is necessary when conducting research on minors, and the reputation of a school is also a factor to consider.

Practical Issues in the Research Process

One of the practical issues of covert participant observation is gaining access to the research setting. The researcher must work their way into the setting naturally without drawing too much attention to themselves.

Data recording is another crucial practical issue. Observations must be recorded without alerting the subjects to the fact of being observed, which can be challenging.

Time and cost are also factors to be considered.

Ethical Issues

Sensitivity to ethical issues is necessary when using covert participant observation. The primary concern is obtaining informed consent from the researched individuals, which can be highly challenging in situations like pupils with behavioral difficulties.

Researchers must also be mindful of the sensitivity of the research topic and choose a setting where they are least likely to elicit adverse reactions from the subjects.

Issues of Validity

Validity is a significant issue in covert participant observation as it is a qualitative research method. Here, Verstehen can be used as a means of understanding the data collected.

It is based on the researcher’s interpretation of data collected, which requires insight and flexibility in understanding the data.

Interpretation and Analysis Problems

Interpretation and analysis problems are applicable to various research methods, including covert participant observation. Researchers must ensure the validity and reliability of their data to produce accurate conclusions.

As with any qualitative data, the potential for misinterpretation is significant. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly analyze and interpret this data.

Small Sample Size and Unrepresentativeness

Covert participant observation studies often have a small sample size, leading to concerns about representativeness. The subjects selected for observation may not be representative of the larger population, leading to questions about the accuracy of the results.

Therefore, this technique should be used in coordination with other research methods for comprehensive findings. Conclusion:

The methods in context question addresses the use of covert participant observation in research, with a focus on pupils with behavioral difficulties.

Researchers considering using covert participant observation should be mindful of practicing accurate, detailed, and explicit explanations while considering specific factors like parental consent, stigmatization, and school reputation. Covert participant observation comes with practical issues such as access, data recording, time, and cost, ethical concerns such as the sensitivity of the research topic and informed consent, validity, and reliability of data.

Additionally, covert participant observation leads to interpretational and analysis problems resulting from the small sample size and unrepresentativeness. Expansion:

Levels of Understanding and Performance

The

Levels of Understanding and Performance refer to the grading system used in academic assessments to evaluate the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills acquired by the learners. Understanding these levels is crucial not only for students but also for educators to assess and improve the educational process’s effectiveness.

In this article’s expansion, we will explore levels 1 through 4 and what they entail regarding accuracy, depth, evaluation, and analysis.

Level 1 (17-20 Marks)

Level 1 requires an accurate, conceptually detailed, specific topic, explicit, relevant, clear explanation, appropriate conclusions. At this level, the learner demonstrates extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, having mastered the key concepts, theories, and principles.

The explanation provided is well structured, logical, and presents arguments clearly and coherently. The learner shows a high level of critical thinking, evaluation, and analysis skill, with clear and appropriate conclusions supported by relevant evidence.

For instance, a student studying the causes and effects of climate change at level 1 will demonstrate an accurate and detailed understanding of the major contributing factors like deforestation, carbon emissions, and rising sea levels. They will also show a clear understanding of the consequences of climate change such as natural disasters, food scarcity, and environmental degradation.

The student can support their arguments with well-researched data and provide a clear explanation of the overall impact climate change has on the ecosystem.

Level 2 (13-16 Marks)

At level 2, the student’s answer is accurate, broad, deep, incomplete, generalised, restricted, specific, undeveloped, and may lack evaluation and analysis. This level requires the students to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject matter while also identifying the underlying key concepts, theories, and principles.

However, at this level, there may be room for improvement in terms of evaluation, analysis, and critical thinking. Therefore, while the explanation offered in a level 2 answer may be broad and deep, it is incomplete, generalised, or underspecific, lacking thorough development.

There could be a potential lack of evidence, analysis, and evaluation. Therefore, the conclusions may not appropriately reflect the material on which they are based.

For example, a student studying World War I at level 2 may show a broader understanding of the causes, consequences, and impact of the war. However, the student’s explanation may lack depth, detail, or focus, resulting in a potentially general or underspecific explanation.

Evaluation and analysis of the material are likely to be limited, with only a shallow understanding of the historical context, leaving potential significant gaps in the learner’s knowledge.

Level 3 (9-12 Marks)

Level 3 requires limited, undeveloped, or insubstantial knowledge-based contributions. Typically, a level 3 answer can be characterised by lack of comparison, unfocused, descriptive, minimal, with minimal to no room for evaluation.

At this level, the student’s response will lack depth and understanding of the key concepts, theories, and principles. There may be a lack of evidence, analysis, and evaluation.

For instance, a student studying Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at level 3 may offer a basic understanding of the novel’s events and characters. The student’s response may be too descriptive, lacking in-depth analysis, and evaluation of the novel.

The student may be able to identify the major characters and key themes, but they lack the ability to make significant comparisons and clear conclusions based upon sound evidence.

Level 4 (0-8 Marks)

At level 4, there may be material recycling or errors and omissions, incoherence and the substantive issue’s failure to address the question’s topic with no reference to study material. At this level, the student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject matter are so limited that it is difficult to extract any significant points or insights from their responses.

There may be a complete lack of evidence, analysis, evaluation, or any other aspects required.

For instance, a student studying calculus at level 4 may offer no explanation, with incorrect formulas and no use or mention of calculus concepts or application.

The student may fail to demonstrate any basic knowledge or understanding of their topic. Conclusion:

In summary, understanding the

Levels of Understanding and Performance grading system is essential for both students and educators to assess and improve the academic process’s effectiveness.

The grading system is essential to the educational process because it helps to determine whether a student has a sufficient grasp of the key concepts, theories, and principles of a subject matter. Students at different academic levels are expected to exhibit varying levels of knowledge, understanding, critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation.

As noted, accuracy, depth, evaluation, and analysis are key components of levels 1 through 3, while Level 4 builds upon the others, necessitating accuracy and more material than a level 3 response. Conclusion:

In conclusion, this article has explored the use of covert participant observation as a research method, analyzing both its strengths and limitations.

We have also discussed the levels of understanding and performance grading system, which is fundamental in assessing an individual’s knowledge and skills in academic contexts. These topics are critical to students and educators as they contribute to improving the educational process’s effectiveness.

Understanding these concepts is essential to conducting accurate and relevant research, helping students to grasp key concepts and principles, evaluate and analyze material critically, and draw appropriate conclusions that are supported by relevant evidence.

FAQs:

1.

What is covert participant observation? Ans: Covert participant observation is a research method that involves the observation of individuals without their knowledge or consent.

2. What are the strengths of covert participant observation?

Ans: Covert participant observation can identify behaviors that may not typically occur in a controlled setting and produce in-depth observations from an observer’s perspective.

3.

What are the limitations of covert participant observation? Ans: Limitations include practical issues like gaining access to the research setting and ethical issues like obtaining informed consent.

4. What are the levels of understanding and performance grading system?

Ans: The grading system is used in assessments to evaluate the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills acquired by learners, ranging from level 1 to level 4.

5.

What is essential to consider when writing a high-level answer? Ans: High-level answers must maintain accuracy, be conceptually detailed, specific, explicit, relevant, have clear explanations, and incorporate appropriate conclusions supported by relevant evidence.

Popular Posts