Video Use in Social Science Research and Program Evaluation

  • Barbara Rosenstein Freelance Program Evaluator


In light of technological advances in producing, viewing and storing moving images, it is appropriate to survey the literature concerning the use of moving images in research over the past few decades. A review of the literature shows that the use of video technology for research falls into three areas: observation (including data collection and analysis), a mechanism for giving feedback, and a means for distance learning and consulting via videoconferencing. This article addresses the first two areas — observation and feedback. It begins with a survey of the use of video observation as a tool for research and documentation. A section on feedback, divided into three sections: performance, interaction and situational assessment follows. A separate section is devoted to the use of video for Program Evaluation. The article concludes with a discussion of epistemological methodological issues and the ethics involved in such a technologically advanced medium.