How do I set up Observations?

Arbor's Observations feature allows you to record and analyse observation outcomes for a variety of different types of observations. You have the freedom to define the observation types (such as a formal lesson observation, a learning walk or workbook scrutiny) and Grade Sets.

To be able to record observations, you must first set up:

  • Observation Types, including the Grade Set (This is optional and you can use a predefined Grade Set if you prefer)
  • An Observation Template including Themes and Strands

 

Step 1 - Set up an Observation Type

Go to School > All Staff > Staff Development > Observations > Observation : Setup > Observation types.

Click the green Create observation type button.

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On the next page, you can see a section to add a Grade Set and the name of your Observation Type. Click +Add to add a Grade Set.

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In the pop-up box, select which kind of Grade Set you would like to use.

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Click Use an existing gradeset to select a predefined Grade set, such as RAG.

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Alternatively, you can select to add a new Grade Set. Add a grade name and Grade Value to each Grade Name. See the section below for what Grade values to assign to each grade, as this will affect your results.

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You will then see the Grade Set you have set up. You can also click it to edit the Grade Set. 

Please note, you can only edit or delete a Grade Set if no observations have been recorded using the Grade Set.

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Next, decide on a name for your Observation Type. then click the green Next button.

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What Grade Set should I use?

The Grade Set you choose to use determines how Analysis averages are calculated.

Ofsted and Rag Grade Sets are set up so that results will be averaged to round down to produce the 'best' possible score. For these grade sets, a lower number corresponds to a better score.

For example using the Rag Grade set, two grades of Green (given the numerical value of 1) and Amber ((given the numerical value of 2) will average to get 1.5. This grade will then be rounded down to give an overall score of 1 and therefore given the grade green.

 

The 1-10 Grade Set is set up so that results will be rounded up to produce the average score. For this grade set, a higher number corresponds to a better score.

For example, two grades of 5 and 6 will average to get 5.5. This grade will then be rounded up to give an overall grade of 6.

 

Custom Grade Sets will automatically round grades up, similar to the 1-10 grade set. During the setup, you can choose to either:

  • Assign your worst score to the lowest number to produce the 'best' average. For example 1=bad and 5=good. Two scores of 1 and 2 will average out to 1.5 and be rounded up to 2, producing the best average for your grade scale.
  • Assign your best score to the lowest number to produce the 'worst' average. For example 1=good and 5=bad. Two scores of 1 and 2 will average out to 1.5 and be rounded up to 2, producing the worst average for your grade scale.

 

 

Step 2 - Set up an Observation Template

Once you have set up an Observation Type, you will be taken to a page where you can define the Observation Template. You can also return to this page by going to Go to School > All Staff > Staff Development > Observations > Observation: Setup > Observation types.

 

You can add a template to one or multiple Observation Types by ticking the boxes next to the observation names, then clicking the blue pencil icon and selecting Add template.

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You can then add themes and strands and decide on the name of your Observation Template. A theme is a broad area that will be observed, and strands show how the theme will be observed.

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To add a theme, type your theme name into the New theme box, then click the green Add theme button.

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You can then add the strands of your theme. You can add as many themes as you like by clicking the +Add button.

You can delete a strand by clicking the bin icon, or you can delete the whole theme by clicking the red button.

For each strand, you can choose whether to assess it by a comment, grade or both 

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For each strand, you can choose whether to assess it by a comment, grade or both by clicking in the field and ticking or unticking the box.

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When you are happy with your settings, click the green Save button.

Add all the themes and strands you require, then add a Template name and click Save Changes to complete the setup.

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Editing and Deleting Observation Types and Templates

Templates

You can delete a template by going to School > All Staff > Staff Development > Observations > Observation: Setup > Observation Templates. Tick the box next to the template and click the blue pencil icon. You can also click the Delete Template button.

Any templates that have been used in an observation will not be deleted.

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You can edit the template by clicking on its name.

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If an observation has already been recorded using the template, you will only be able to edit the name.

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Types

In Observation Types, you can delete a Type by ticking the box next to it and clicking the blue pencil icon. You can also click the Delete Type button.

Any templates that have been used in an observation will not be deleted.

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You can edit a Type by clicking on its name. You can add a new gradeset to replace the existing one and rename the type.

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If an observation has already been recorded using the Type, you will only be able to edit the name.

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Adding more Templates to a Type

Go to School > All Staff > Staff Development > Observations > Observation: Setup > Observation Types.

Select the tick box next to the Type name, and click the blue pencil icon or click the Add Template button.

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You will then be taken to the Add Observation Template page, where you can set up the new template.

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If you would like to remove a template from a type, you can delete the template in the Templates section. If you have added the template to multiple Types and would like to remove a template from one, contact Arbor Customer Support. 

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