Scanning technique

The Leuven Scales have been developed to assess well-being and involvement. They are available in two variants, depending on their purpose and the procedure following it.

What is scanning?

The scanning technique gives a record of the level of well-being and involvement at a particular moment of the day. In this scanning technique, data are collected through the observation of a sample of children from a group during consecutive two‐minute episodes per child. A score on the well‐being and involvement scale is assigned during each episode. A scanning cycle takes about 25 minutes for 10 observed children. The scanning technique is described in the Self-evaluation Instrument for Care Settings (SiCs).

Purposes of scanning

It is particularly useful for:
• training purposes, where a trainer with two or three trainees can jointly make scanning rounds in a group and share their scores after each cycle;
• research, where a few scanning cycles per group as a sample provide a view on the quality. Fitting into a pre‐ and a posttest design, it is particularly useful in the context of intervention studies;
• self‐evaluation of quality by the settings. The latter was standardised in the Self‐evaluation Instrument for Care Settings (SiCs).

Possible users

• Practitioners training themselves in the Leuven Scales;
• Researchers;
• Coaches, setting managers, lead practitioners, directors

Main advantages of scanning

• it is cost‐effective to obtain a view of the well‐being and involvement in several groups;
• it rates well‐being and involvement in the context where the practitioner is interacting with the group and;
• the reliability of the data can be monitored because an external person (from the staff, a coach or a researcher) performs the observations.

Research using the scanning technique

Scanning is used in the MeMoQ study (Early Childhood), Village-at-School (primary schools) and the project “Every child is happy in its own skin” (primary school), the Procrustes study (Secondary schools) and several intervention studies such as in Milton Keynes.