An Observation Checklist allows you to create a checklist for an assessor. It is usually used when an assessor is observing a student undertaking practical skills. Items included in an Observation Checklist type assessment are not designed to be visible to the student.
Each item in the assessment allows you to enter assessment criteria, additional information for the assessor, and a binary marking scale for example, 'Satisfactory' and 'Not Satisfactory.' Students can be enrolled in an Observation Checklist Assessment as part of a Learning Plan, or rarely, as a standalone assessment.
You may choose to configure an assessment this way if:
- A student’s practical performance needs to be assessed in the workplace or a simulated workplace
- A student needs to be observed completing steps in a process
- A student needs to be observed responding to a workplace scenario, for example, an emergency or a difficult customer
- There is a requirement to observe a student’s skills, for example, using tools safely
- A trainer needs to assess an oral presentation
- There is a need to assess video or photographic evidence of a student performing a practical task
If this methodology sounds similar to how you design some of your assessments, read on to see how this can be configured in aXcelerate.
Configuring the Assessment Type
Before creating an Observation Checklist Assessment Task, you will first need to ensure that you have set up an Assessment Type.
- Click the Add New Assessment Type button
- Enter a Name for the Assessment Type. Try to follow a standard naming convention so that the Assessment Type is easy to locate and identify
- (Optional) Enter a Description explaining the purpose of the Assessment Type
- Select the Base Type: Observation Checklist
- Select any other settings you require
- Click Submit
When you have created your Assessment Type, it will appear in the Assessments Type List. You will see the Name of the Assessment Type, the Description (if you have entered information in this field) and the Base Type.
For more information on how to set up an Assessment Type, please refer to our Assessment Types help article.
Tip: Within Observation Checklist assessments, only the trainer will see individual questions. However, if the "Allow File Upload" checkbox is selected at the Assessment Type, the student can upload evidence against the whole assessment task.
Warning: You cannot change the Base Type of the Assessment Type after you have created it, so we recommend checking that you have selected the correct one before you click Submit.
Creating the Observation Checklist Task
Now that you have created an Assessment Type, you can start to build the assessment task!
It is a good idea to have the files and information you need ready before you start. This may include:
- Adding any images you want to use as the thumbnail for this Assessment to the aXcelerate Images Library, or to your organisation’s online filing system
- Knowing your RTO’s Assessment Policies regarding the number of times a student can attempt (resit) an assessment task
- Have the relevant Training and Assessment Strategy available so you can name assessment tasks as listed by your RTO documentation
- You may even have the observation items or criteria pre-prepared, so you can paste them in
After clicking the + Add New Assessment button on the Assessment Management page in aXcelerate, you’ll need to go through and address several fields:
- Enter your Assessment Task Name. Try to follow a standard naming convention so that the Assessment Task is easy to locate and identify, for example, “Unit Code Assessment Number: Assessment Name.” Your RTO may have a compliance requirement that the Assessment Task name matches the name listed in the Course Training and Assessment Strategy. Assessment task names must not exceed 100 Characters.
- Select the Assessment Type from the drop-down list. You are looking for the name you created when you configured the Assessment Type earlier.
- (Optional) Drag and drop an image to be the thumbnail for this Assessment when viewed in the Learner Portal or add a URL for the thumbnail image. (Accepted formats: JPG, PNG, GIF)
- Enter the default Max Attempts as per your RTO Assessment Policy.
- Enter your default Passing Percentage.
- (Optional) You can select Default Assessors from the drop-down list of Assessor names if you have regular assessors who mark this assessment task. Default Assessors are added to newly created instances of the selected assessment. If the Assessors change regularly you do not have to make a selection at this point. Assessors can still be managed and customised for each instance and enrolment of the assessment later on.
- Enter an Overview of the Assessment. This is information about the assessment that is typically provided to students when they view an observation task via the Learner Portal. For example, you could provide an overview of the task/scenario the students will be observed undertaking. Alternatively, if it is acceptable for students to have all details of an assessment task immediately, you could provide the detailed requirements in this section.
- Enter information to the Assessor. This information is not visible to the student and is only shown to Assessors when they are marking the assessment. You may choose to type information for the Assessor/s, or add a link to a marking guide.
- (Optional) Enter additional student information if required. Student information is displayed to the student at the time you give them access to start the assessment. If you want the students to have access to the finer details of an assessment task from a particular date (for example, 3 weeks after the Unit Start date) add them here.
- Click the Create Assessment button
Creating the assessment task will automatically take you through to the authoring area for that specific task.
Tip: To add a hyperlink in your assessment to allow your students to download documents, first highlight the text that you want to link to, click the Link icon in the toolbar of any text editors, and then paste the URL into the URL field.
Authoring the Observation Checklist Task
After creating the initial assessment task, you will subsequently need to author it and fill it with observation items.
- Click the + Add New Question or Content button The only question type available is Observation Item.
- Enter the observation item text and (if required) additional information for the assessor.
- After creating each question, click on the Save Question button.
- When you have created all of your questions you can drag and drop them into a different order. You can also add Sections to organise the assessment task.
- Click on the Save Changes button before you exit the assessment authoring area.
- When you have finished creating the assessment task, click the Publish button.
- After authoring your assessment task you will need to map the task to the relevant Unit/s of Competency.
For further detail on how to author an assessment task, please refer to our Assessment Authoring help article. For more information on how to map an assessment task as described in Step 7 above, please refer to our Assessment Mapping help article
Note: If you are pasting from another document, it is important that you paste the text without any hidden HTML formatting code.
To paste for Windows use Control+Shift+V.
To paste for Mac use Command+Shift+V.
Note: The Preview button will display the assessment for you, however, it is not in the format that will be displayed to the Assessor when they are marking the task.
Note: Any items included in an Observation Checklist type assessment will not be shown to the student. The student will simply see the Overview and Student information set at the assessment task level.
Warning: The screenshots included in this Help Article are intended to demonstrate the process of authoring an assessment. The screenshots do not show a real assessment task and are not intended to demonstrate assessment compliance.
Enrolling Students in an Assessment Task
We recommend that you use Learning Plans to assign assessments to your students, even for assessments that don't require a submission (such as an Observation Checklist). Learning Plans help structure content and assessments to manage the student’s progression through the materials. Even if you are not delivering content in a complex order/sequence, Learning Plans simplify the management and access for your courses, including ensuring any assessment mapping you’ve completed will automatically link activities to Units of Competency.
Rarely, you may need to issue an assessment to a student as a Standalone assessment task, for example, if a particular student needs to perform an extra observation that is not normally part of a preset Learning Plan.
For more information about how to add an Assessment Task to a Learning Plan, please refer to our Learning Plans help article.
For more information on how to enrol a student in a Standalone Assessment Instance, please refer to our Assessment Management help article.
How Will Students View the Observation Checklist?
After logging in to the Learner Portal the Student will see an Assessments button. Clicking on this button will take the students to any assessments tasks that are open for them to complete. Alternatively, if the Assessment is inside a Learning Plan, the student can also click into a relevant Module of the Plan and view their assessment task from there.
When the Student selects the Observation Checklist assessment task in the Learner Portal they will only see the Overview and (if available) Student information for the assessment task. The student will not be able to see the items in the observation checklist.
How Will Assessors View and Mark the Observation Checklist?
We recommend that Assessors use the Trainer/Assessor mobile app to mark the Observation Checklist assessment.
An assessor can take a tablet or mobile device into the field and observe a student, grade observation criteria, and add feedback with attached evidence (including video or photographs) that can be captured by the device. When grading, the assessor can bulk mark all criteria in an Observation Checklist assessment for an individual student. They can also bulk mark individual items for all students enrolled.
The app can be used out of internet range (offline). When the trainer/assessor is back in range and logged on, any observation evidence or grades changed in the field will be updated.
To begin, the Assessor must:
- Log in to the Trainer App
- Click Assess
- Select an Assessment
Following this, individual learners can be marked with the following steps:
- Click Students
- Select a Student
- Click Start Assessing (this will create their first assessment attempt)
- At this point you can mark items one by one, adding assessment evidence and feedback as required, or you can bulk mark all items in the task
- Click Submit
- Click Finalise
Alternatively, to bulk mark an item for all learners enrolled, the following steps will need to be taken:
- Click Items
- Select an Item
- Click Mark All
- Select the grade (for example, All Satisfactory or All unsatisfactory) that will apply to all students
- Select Save Responses
- Click Finalise
For more information using the Trainer App, please refer to our Trainer App help article.
Tip: You can only bulk mark all Items with a single result options, e.g. setting all items to be "Satisfactory".
Note: The Details tab provides information about the assessment. The Student tab provides a list of enrolled students and their assessment status, attempts and results. The Items tab provides a list of assessment items in the task.
Warning: You need to have the relevant permissions, and be the assigned trainer, to mark assessments via the Trainer App.