ANECDOTAL RECORD FORM
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a Microsoft Word Rich Text Format (rtf) version of the Anecdotal
Instructions For Use
- Within the context of any instructional
product evaluation, you and others will observe incidents or
listen to reports of incidents which relate to the evaluation
of the product. It is important that this kind of anecdotal information
be systematically recorded so that the rich stories about the
product when it is being developed or used can be captured for
the evaluation. You should complete an Anecdotal Record Form
whenever you witness or hear of a significant incident relating
to the progress and implementation of product. You should also
get others involved with the product, such as instructional designers
or teachers, to complete these forms whenever they witness a
- An anecdotal record is a verbal account
which exhibits these characteristics:
- Each anecdote should be limited to a single
- It should contain a factual, non-inferential
description of the observed or reported incident. (For example,
"The trainees said 'I've never enjoyed using a computer
before.' " instead of "The trainee expressed satisfaction
with the multimedia system.")
- It should include a description of the
situation in which the incident occurs so that the meaning of
the behavior can be understood.
- It should be written as soon as possible
after witnessing or hearing about the incident so that all important
details can be included.
- It should include a separate section describing
your interpretation of or feelings about the anecdote. Your personal
evaluation is important because your judgments about the project
are valued highly.
Sample Anecdotal Record Form
DATE: July 23, 1998
PLACE: Beta Site 2
NAME OF OBSERVER: Lucy Schweitzer
Description of the incident: About two hours into the
course, one of the trainees suddenly got up and left the class.
I followed him out into the hall and asked if anything was wrong.
He replied: "I can't waste my time sitting in the class because
I don't intend to use the new system." I asked him why and
he answered: "Computers don't work for me. As soon as I touch
one, the program blows up. You'll be glad I won't use your system
because it would just fall apart if I did. It's nothing against
you or your course, I just know it won't work."
I tried to talk to him more, but he indicated that he had to
make some phone calls and left.
Interpretation: The "HYPERLEARN" multimedia
course training is innovative and user-friendly in the eyes of
its designers, but in the eyes of a person with high anxiety about
technology, it is just another threatening computer program. I
suspect that this person strongly fears computers and that he
has an unusually strong degree of "learned helplessness"
with respect to them. It may be worthwhile to conduct some sort
of a pre-assessment with respect to "techno-phobia"
and makes special efforts to help those who express high anxiety.
Also, this person indicated before the beginning of the course
that he was only there because his boss insisted that he attend.
We may need to clarify the enrollment procedures for this and