Duration Recording

What is duration recording?

Duration recording is used to document the amount of time a student spends engaging in a behavior. A behavior that has a clear beginning and ending can be observed using a duration recording method. Examples of behaviors that may be observed using duration recording include crying, reading a book, writing in class, time spent working on a math assignment, or out of seat behavior.

Duration recording requires some way of measuring time. A wall clock, wrist watch, or stopwatches are all instruments that can be used to record duration. Sometimes videotaping or audiotape recording can capture what is happening in the classroom and can be reviewed at a later date.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of duration recording?

Duration recording is really useful when you are interested in how long a behavior lasts, but it can also record frequency since you are writing down every episode that occurs. For instance, duration recording can tell you that before an intervention was implemented that a student cried three times during the day and that each episode was 30 minutes in length. The student may still cry three times a day after an intervention strategy is implemented but now the length has decreased to 5 minutes in duration.

When should duration recording be used?

Use duration recording when a behavior occurs at a high rate and tends to include behaviors that are harder to measure using event recording such as pencil tapping, working on an in-class assignment, interacting with peers, or screaming.

Click here to view duration recording example.

Before creating your own duration recording form click here to view a completed example.

Click here for a printable version of a blank duration recording form.

Click here to print a blank duration recording form that can be used to collect your own data.


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