Using computerised observation as a tool for capturing classroom interaction

F Smith, F Hardman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the Past few years, the authors have developed a computerised system that records interaction between teachers and pupils in the primary classroom. Our Classroom Interaction System (CIS) is able to log the frequency and duration of several different types of discourse. The CIS represents a move away from the paper and pencil techniques, and labour-intensive video transcription traditionally used in this field. The system is mobile, easy to internalise, adaptable, and allows the researcher to capture interaction between teachers and pupils real-time. This paper will outline these advantages.

Along with these benefits, however, there are complexities and dilemmas. This paper will discuss a number of methodological issues that represent real obstacles in the quest for a valid and reliable tool for quantifying interaction in the classroom. We will also discuss the potential for this system in a wider range of educational contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003

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