Duration recording documents how long a student engages in a target behavior. This type of data collection is appropriate for target behaviors that have a clear beginning and ending or for behaviors that occur at very high rates.



Duration recording is useful when you are interested in how long a behavior lasts. Use duration recording when a behavior occurs at a high rate and tends to include behaviors that are more difficult to measure the frequency of such as pencil tapping, screaming, or interacting with peers.



  1. Determine definitions for when a target behavior starts and when it ends.

  2. Start the stopwatch when the behavior begins or record the time on the clock when the behavior begins.

  3. Record or note the current activity the student was engaging in or what occurred right before the behavior began.

  4. Stop the stopwatch or record the time on the clock when the behavior ends.

  5. Record the total duration of the instance of behavior.

  6. Note any additional information in the comments column (what the behavior looked like, magnitude of the behavior, etc.).

  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the end of the predetermined observation period.

  8. Calculate the total duration by adding the duration of each episode during the observation period and record the total duration in the “Sum Duration” box.

  9. Total the number of episodes for the “Number of Opportunities” box.