The assignment: Observation Instrument and Observer Instructions
PRESUME that you will be performing a research project on your topic and problem. You need accurate, valid, and reliable observations from a sample obtained from multiple sites by many co-investigators.
You will need to craft an ‘instrument’ or ‘tool’ to facilitate the observations of most interest to your study, and an accompanying training program for those surrogate /co-investigator.
Your goal is to assure inter-observer reliability, as well as overall reliability and validity of the observations.
Craft your instrument and instructions, and submit them.
Disaster related research is still relatively new, and understanding what really occurs in impact, response, recovery is critical to planning mitigation and preparation as well. Often, events unfold in such a manner as to defy total recall.
Surveys can be constructed to get a subject’s response (truthful or not) to a question or attempt to establish their state of knowledge; how do you record behavior (what they DO)? The answer comes as field research. Moving into the field and recording ‘observations’. A hallmark of qualitative research methods.
Decide on a set of representative behaviors you wish to observe. Craft a ‘check sheet’ or ‘behavior recording tool’ for use by your colleagues, with “exemplar’s” of what you mean by each behavioral attribute.
Finally, establish how YOU as the Principal Investigator (PI) will ‘code’ the behaviors in a such a way as to derive meaning from the observations.
Recommended Readings in the attachments and also this link