Observation, Documentation & Assessment

Course Number: ECE 221
Transcript Title: Observation, Document & Assess
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 11, 2020
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


RD 90, WR 90 or equivalent placement test scores


Prerequisite/Concurrent: ECE 130B, ECE 134

Course Description

Examines techniques for observing and recording behavior and keeping records as used in the care and education of children birth to age eight. Focuses on observation and guidance techniques for children and groups of children in addressing challenging behaviors and issues in early childhood environments, families and their community.  Covers the teacher’s role and caregiver's role in using observation to promote development, including self-development. Prerequisites: RD 90, WR 90 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended prerequisite/concurrent: ECE 130B, ECE 134. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify (individually and collaboratively) appropriate guidance techniques for groups of children based on proven theory and practices.
  2. Recognize environmental, developmental, and cultural factors that impact children’s behaviors.
  3. Make accurate observations of groups of children based on child development principles. 
  4. Understand the connection between observations and appropriate guidance, management, and planning for groups of children.
  5. Identify and apply standard assessment tools commonly used in the field of early childhood education. 
  6. Discuss the role of observation in communicating with parents and professionals.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessments may include: attendance, group discussions, written observations, journal reflections, child case studies, community environment tours and interviews, portfolio work collection, group project, final exam and written assignments.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Students will acquire skills and abilities through practice relating to:

  • Event samples, checklists, and rating scales.
  • Record keeping and portfolio building.
  • Group management techniques.
  • Indirect guidance and the relationship between children’s behavior and the environment.
  • Communication of information derived from observations and portfolios to parents, staff, and community members.
  • Relationships between personal belief systems, children’s behavior, and use of guidance techniques.
  • Integration of observations techniques into the Observe, Plan, Do, Reflect, Revise process.

Department Notes

NAEYC standards that relate are Standard #3 - Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

Core Knowledge categories – Observation and Assessment (O & A)