Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS)

The Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) is an observation-based system for coding classroom behavior. BOSS is also useful for measuring ADHD symptoms as it has been shown to differentiate between children with ADHD and typically developing children. BOSS allows systematic recording of children's behaviors in the following domains: active engaged time, passive engagement time, off-task motor activity, off-task verbal behavior, off-task passive behaviors, and teacher-directed instruction. 


Classroom behavior
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade,
4th Grade,
5th Grade,
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade,
9th Grade,
10th Grade,
11th Grade,
12th Grade

Administration Information

Observations of 20-30 minutes repeated over 2-3 days are recommended

Access and Use

Use in Research

Junod, R. E. V., DuPaul, G. J., Jitendra, A. K., Volpe, R. J., & Cleary, K. S. (2006). Classroom observations of students with and without ADHD: Differences across types of engagement. Journal of School Psychology, 44(2), 87-104.  

Riley, J. L., McKevitt, B. C., Shriver, M. D., & Allen, J. (2011). Increasing on-task behavior using teacher attention delivered on a fixed time schedule. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20, 149-162. 

Steiner, N. J., Sidhu, T., Rene, K., Tomasetti, K., Frenette, E., & Brennan, R. T. (2013). Development and testing of a direct observation code training protocol for elementary aged students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability,


Computer scoring,
Manual scoring
Psychometric References

Shapiro, E. S. (2011). Academic skills problems fourth edition workbook. New York: Guilford Press.

Psychometric Considerations

Psychometrics is the science of psychological assessment. A primary goal of EdInstruments is to provide information on crucial psychometric topics including Validity and Reliability – essential concepts of evaluation, which indicate how well an instrument measures a construct - as well as additional properties that are worthy of consideration when selecting an instrument of measurement.

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