Campus Observation

Business Finance

Conducting Observations

Time: 30 minutes or more Location: Dominican Campus

This observation should be done somewhere on campus. Try to choose a place where people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds gather and interact. You are observing to see how they engage in intercultural communication and interaction. You are looking to see if certain ethnic or cultural groups tend to sit and interact together, are there people of different cultures or ethnic backgrounds sitting near one another but not interacting to communicating.

Conducting an effective observation requires the special skill of paying close attention to details. Unlike interviewing people, much of data gained through observation is subjected to your preconceived beliefs or ideas. Below are a few steps for conducting an observation:

  • Select a site to be observed. Try to stay in the back ground. Unless you have obtained permission to observe a particular person or group, try not to make it obvious you are observing a particular group or person.
  • Design an observation protocol as a method for recording notes. Include descriptive and reflective notes (for examples: note about their relationships, hunches, and experiences.)
  • Record the observation as if it is a portrait. Include details of the physical setting, interactive activity, facial expression and gestures during conversations and interactions, ethnicity or race of the participants, (this will be speculative since you should have a conversation with them.
  • After your observation, you should write up your reflection as to what you observed and include you comments and a comparison as to what was happening, and what could or should have been happening in an inclusive multicultural environment and intercultural communication encounter.

You should write up part of your observation as a first person narrative. (l paragraph). The rest of your observation (one to three paragraphs) should be reflective.

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