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By- Nidhi Shukla
• Characteristics of anecdotal records
• Guidelines for making anecdotal records
• Items in anecdotal records
• Advantages of anecdotal records
• Disadvantages of anecdotal records
• Uses of anecdotal records
• ANECDOTAL RECORDS
An anecdotal record is
an observation that is
written like a short
story. They are
incidents or events that
are important to the
Anecdotal records are
short, objective and as
accurate as possible
• Anecdotal records is a record of some significant item of
conduct, a record of an episode in the life of students, a word
picture of the student in action, a word snapshot at the
moment of the incident, any narration of events in which may
be significant about his personality.
• Informal device used by the teacher to record behavior of
students as observed by him from time to time.
• It provides a lasting record of behavior which may be useful
later in contributing to a judgment about a student.
Characteristics of anecdotal records
• Anecdotal records must possess certain characteristics as
• They should contain a factual descriptions of what happened,
when it happened, and under what circumstances the
• The interpretations and recommended action should be
noted separately from the description.
• Each anecdotal record should contain a record of a single
• The incident recorded should be that is considered to be
significant to the students growth and development of
• Simple reports of behavior
• Result of direct observation.
• Accurate and specific
• Gives context of child's behavior
• Records typical or unusual behaviors
• To furnish the multiplicity of evidence needed for good
• To substitute for vague generalizations about students specific
exact description of behaviour.
• To stimulate teachers to look for information i.e pertinent in
helping each student realize good self- adjustment.
• To understand individual’s basic personality pattern and his
reactions in different situations.
• The teacher is able to understand her pupil in a realistic
• It provides an opportunity for healthy pupil- teacher
• It can be maintained in the areas of behaviour that cannot be
evaluated by other systematic method.
• Helps the students to improve their behavior, as it is a direct
feedback of an entire observed incident, the student can
analyze his behaviour better.
• Can be used by students for self-appraisal and peer
GUIDELINES FOR MAKING ANECDOTAL
• Keep a notebook handy to make brief notes to remind you of
incidents you wish to include in the record. Also include the
name, time and setting in your notes.
• Write the record as soon as possible after the event. The
longer you leave it to write your anecdotal record, the
more subjective and vague the observation will become.
• In your anecdotal record identify the time, child, date and
• Describe the actions and what was said.
• Include the responses of other people if they relate to the
• Describe the event in the sequence that it occurred.
• Record should be complete.
• They should be compiled and filed.
• They should be emphasized as an educational resource.
• The teacher should have practice and training in making
observations and writing records.
ITEMS IN ANECDOTAL RECORDS
• To relate the incident correctly for drawing inferences the
following items to be incorporated.
• The first part of an anecdotal record should be factual, simple
• Name of the students
• Unit/ ward/ department
• Date and time
• Brief report of what happened.
• The second part of an anecdotal record may include
additional comments, analysis and conclusions based on
interpretations and judgments.
• Descriptive reports- The instructor writes a brief report on
student nurses performance over a given period. These
reports are quite useful if instructor highlights student’s
strength and weaknesses in a systematic way.
• Instructor decides what to include in a report and she may
quite inconsistent unless she is guided by some kind of a
structure. Otherwise these type of reports turn out to be
ADVANTAGES OF ANECDOTAL
• Supplements and validates of other structured instruments.
• Provision of insight into total behavioral incidents.
• Needs no special training.
• Use of formative feedback.
• Economical and easy to develop.
• Open ended and can catch unexpected events.
• Can select behaviors' or events of interest and ignore others,
or can sample a wide range of behaviors' (different times,
environments and people).
DISADVANTAGES OF ANECDOTAL RECORDS
• If carelessly recorded, the purpose will not be fulfilled.
• Only records events of interest to the person doing the
• Quality of the record depends on the memory of the person
doing the observing.
• Incidents can be taken out of context.
• Lack of standardization.
• Difficulty in scoring.
• Time consuming.
• May miss out on recording specific types of behaviour.
• Limited application.
Uses of anecdotal records
• Record unusual events, such as accidents.
• Record children's behavior, skills and interests for planning
• Record how an individual is progressing in a specific area of
• It provides a means of communication between the members
of the health care team and facilitates coordinated planning
and continuity of care. It acts as a medium for data exchange
between the health care team.
• Clear, complete, accurate and factual documentation
provides a reliable, permanent record of patient care.