CHLD 154: Observing and Recording Behavior

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: CHLD 110 or PSY 206; CHLD 112.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This course focuses on the appropriate use of assessment and observation strategies to document development, growth, curriculum and activities in early childhood. Emphasizes use of findings to inform and plan learning environments and experiences. Recording strategies, rating systems, portfolios, and multiple assessment tools will be explored, along with strategies for collaboration with families and professionals. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Identify the purpose, value and use of formal and informal observation and assessment strategies.
  • Describe the major characteristics, strengths and limitations of selected assessment tools.
  • Complete systematic observations using a variety of methods of data collection to assess the impact of the environment, interactions and curriculum on children’s development and behavior.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of parent-conferencing techniques.
  • Apply knowledge of development to interpret observations and assessments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use observation and assessment in decision making for instruction, referral, and intervention.
  • Describe legal and ethical responsibilities in relationship to observation, documentation, and record keeping.

Major Course Content

  1. Observation within the Preschool Environment
    1. Legal and ethical responsibilities and confidentiality
    2. Using child development theory for the basis of understanding behavior
    3. The linkage between child development theory and research to observation and assessment
    4. Role of National and State Standards for learning & assessment
    5. Differentiation between subjective and objective data collection
    6. Impact of situational factors on assessment data
      1. Related to the child
      2. Related to the environment
      3. Related to the observer
    7. Collaboration with families and professionals to ensure accurate observations and meaningful assessments
  2. Evaluation Techniques (Tools) of Observation:  Appropriate methods of child observation, documentation, portfolio collection, and record keeping
    1. Anecdotal records
    2. Case studies
    3. Time sampling
    4. Event sampling
    5. Running records
    6. Checklists and rating scales
  3. Organizing and Using the Data
    1. Reports and evaluations using State and National standards such as NAEYC
    2. Lesson planning based on observation of student need
    3. Development of Portfolios for assessment
    4. Utilization of observation and assessment data to create appropriate curricula and environments
    5. Identification of personal biases and expectations
    6. Referrals and intervention
    7. On-going cycle of curriculum development
  4. Answering specific questions
    1. Dual-language learners
    2. Children at risk
    3. Children with special needs

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Relevant journal articles such as Young Children

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

1. Child portfolios which demonstrate the student's ability to effectively collect data on groups of children and apply theories of development.
2. Exams demonstrating student's ability to interpret various ideas and theories presented in the course.
3. Written observation paper(s) which demonstrate the student's ability to use a variety of assessment tools to collect and interpret data.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Observe a child in order to gather information about general development in physical, cognitive, and psychosocial domains. Use this information to write a case study paper or individual portfolio identifying and describing the areas and levels of development. Include appropriate discussion of theories and developmental milestones.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture