Creating & Managing Observation Checklists

Discover how to create and manage observation checklists

Last Updated

July 2nd, 2019

Reading Time

9 min

User Level

Introduction

Learners and their managers often find it difficult to perform simple task monitoring in their working environments. Observation Checklists are an easy-to-use tool integrated in your learning platform, enabling you to observe and document how your learners and team members perform their tasks in a quick-to-configure checklist format.

You as a Superadmin can easily create observation checklists in multiple formats (e.g. single choice, multiple choice, dropdown, and other response types) for users to complete for themselves or for managers to complete for their team members. This tool gives you an at-a-glance view of the status of users progress related to certain tasks (inside or outside of the platform) across a specified period of time and enables you to monitor users compliance with certain requirements that you may have in your everyday on-the-job processes. Checklists can be triggered by specific events (such as course completion) or can be scheduled.

Use Cases

The Observation Checklists feature opens various opportunities, such as:

  • Monitoring and ensuring that users work in compliance with requirements or processes.
  • Quickly checking on how users perform specific work tasks.
  • Monitoring the status of user progress related to certain tasks inside or outside of the learning platform.
  • Ensuring that your learners are following what they’ve learned beyond formal training.

Providing Feedback with the DoceLab Beta Version

DoceLab, Docebo’s innovative Beta program, allows you to test out the new Observation Checklists feature and then provide feedback about your experience. Remember that the Observation Checklists feature will continuously be improved over time, so your feedback helps Docebo understand what should be improved next!

Whenever you want to provide feedback to us about the feature, press the Give Feedback item on the Observation Checklists (Beta) page. You will be redirected to an external (but secure) form where you will be asked to leave your feedback. Please note that the survey is completely anonymous.

Observation Checklists Language in the Localization Tool

Observation checklists are a very flexible tool, adapting to various use cases. This is why you are free to change the labels to best suit your needs using Docebo’s localization tool. For example, your checklist is originally composed of “items”, but perhaps you want them to be composed of “questions”. You as the Superadmin have the ability to customize the language of your checklist to meet your needs. The following table lists the keys that you can change:

Observation Checklists language localization tool

Creating an Observation Checklist

As a Superadmin, begin by accessing the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner of your platform to create an observation checklist. Then, select the Observation Checklists (Beta) option in the E-Learning section. On the Observation Checklists (Beta) page, you can create and manage your checklists.

Please Note: Power Users with granted permissions can create and manage their own checklists and manage the checklists created by the users assigned to them. For more info, refer to the list of Power Users permissions in this article.

If you haven’t created any checklists yet, you’ll find an empty page without any checklists displayed. If you have already created one or more checklists, you’ll find them listed on the Observation Checklists (Beta) page, where you can view the checklists details, edit them or delete the checklists. To edit or delete a checklist, click the ellipsis icon on the right side of the checklist, then select the corresponding option.

creating a checklist

To create a new checklist, press the plus icon (New Checklist) in the top right corner of the page. The Create New Observation Checklist right panel will open. In the Details section, insert a code, a name, and a description for your checklist. The only mandatory field is Name.

If you want to add an area for free notes at the end of each item of the checklist, select the corresponding checkbox in the Options section below. Additionally, if you want the observer (the person who fills out the checklist) to review the checklist responses in order to close it, select the acceptance review flag in the Options section. By enabling this option, at the end of the checklist, the observer will do an acceptance review of the completed checklist.

In order to close and send the checklist, the observer must select the thumbs up if he/she accepts the checklist responses, or the thumbs down if he/she doesn’t accept them.

Please note: The checklist will be completed regardless of the observer’s response, thumbs up and thumbs down.

When finished configuring the checklist properties, press Create and Edit.

Viewing and Editing Observation Checklists’ Properties

The page that will open after having selected Create and Edit is composed of four tabs relating to your checklist: Properties, Items, Preview and Schedule. In the Properties tab, you’ll find the info that you have just inserted in the Create New Observation Checklist right panel and you are free to edit it if you need to do so.

Adding Items to an Observation Checklist

Reach the Items tab on your checklist’s page to add new groups of items and new items inside each of the groups you just created. Here, you will view the structure of your checklist. You can create groups of items if you want to gather them by theme, subject, or if you need to group the items of your checklist depending on when each item is checked (for example, tasks to be performed before starting an activity, tasks to be performed during the activity, and tasks to be performed after having completed it).

items checklist

Press the plus icon (new groups of items) to add a new group. A right panel will open, where you can configure the details of the newly created group of items. Fill in the Group Name (it is the only mandatory field) and the Description/Instructions text fields. Then, if you don’t want to show the group name in the checklist, flag the corresponding option. Otherwise, the group name is shown by default. When finished, select Create. Repeat this process to create new groups. Please note that there is not a limit to the number of groups that you can create.

Now, press the plus icon (new item) to add a new item to the group you have created, then insert the name of the item in the Item field, and choose a response type (short answer, paragraph, single choice, multiple choice, dropdown, date picker, or time picker). According to the response type you have chosen, the corresponding response fields will appear below the item.

To edit, delete or duplicate a group of items or to delete or duplicate a single item inside of a group, click the ellipsis icon in the right part of the group section or of the item section, then select the corresponding option. You can organize the order of the items or the groups in your checklist by dragging and dropping them. To do so, hover your mouse over the item’s or the group’s row on the far left until the icon appears, then drag and drop the item or the group.

Please note: If you edit your checklist’s groups of items after the start date you set for your checklist in the Schedule tab (meaning that your users or managers may have already completed that checklist), a new version of the checklist will be created. If your checklist is repeated every x days, weeks or months, the users and managers who complete it will display the new version the first time they fill out the checklist after your changes. On the Observation Checklist (Beta) page, you’ll always view the last saved version. For more info about scheduling options, read the Scheduling and Selecting Users for a Checklist section.

Viewing Your Observation Checklist’s Preview

In the Preview tab on your checklist’s page you will see a preview of the checklist that you as the Superadmin created and then configured in the Properties and the Items tabs. Any changes you make (and save) in the Properties and Items tabs will be reflected in the checklist’s preview.

The preview shows the checklist as it will be viewed by the user or manager that will complete it. If you want to know in advance how your users’ experience will be, you can also complete the checklist shown in the Preview tab.

Scheduling and Selecting Users for a Checklist

On your checklist’s page, move to the Schedule tab, where you can configure and schedule the observation checklist that you are creating or manage the schedule of an existing checklist. If you haven’t scheduled the checklist yet, you’ll find an empty page without any schedules for that checklist. If you have already scheduled that checklist, you’ll find all of the schedules for that checklist in table in the Schedule tab.

schedule and select users for the checklist

To schedule your checklist, press the clock icon (schedule checklist) in the top right corner of the page. The Schedule Checklist right panel will open. This area is divided into three steps:

First Step: Select the Users to Check

In the first step, decide the users who will be checked. You as the Superadmin can choose users assigned to a group or users associated with a branch. Then, select the group(s) or the branch(es) from the corresponding table at the bottom of the Schedule Checklist panel.

Refer to this article for further information about groups and to this article for more information about branches. When you have completed this step, select Next to go to the second step.

Second Step: Choose the Checklist Observer

In this step, you can decide who will fill out the checklist (the observer). You can set if the checklist will be completed by a manager or by a user. If you choose the manager option, the managers of the users selected in the first step (learners who are part of the group(s) or branch(es) you selected) have to complete the observation checklist.

When you choose the manager option, you must also select the manager type from the dropdown list. Managers who have to fill out the checklist will receive a notification in the platform’s Notification area, and then manage their checklists in their My Team page. Refer to this article for more information about how managers can complete and manage observation checklists for their teams.

If you choose the user option, the users that you selected in the first step will fill out the checklist on their own. Users who have to complete the checklist will receive a notification in the platform’s Notification area, and then fill out the checklists assigned to them in their My Checklists built-in page. You must add the My Checklist page to the users’ main menu in order for them to quickly and easily access that page. Remember to add this page for your users, because it is not enabled by default. For more info about how users can fill out and manage their observation checklists, refer to this article.

Remember that users and managers will only receive notifications about their checklists if the Notification feature is active in your platform and if you as the Superadmin have properly set up the New Manager Observation Checklists to Complete and the New User Observation Checklists to Complete notifications. Read the Notifications section of this article for more info about the notifications relating to the checklist functionality.

Once again, when you have completed this step, select Next to go to the following step.

Third Step: Schedule a Time Frame for Your Checklist

In the Time Frame step, you can set when the observation checklist is activated. If you choose the Anytime option and set the start date, the checklist is always available (starting from the date you set). Users can complete the checklist as many times as they want and their checklist is always available, also after they complete it (it is available immediately after completion).

When you select the Schedule a time frame option, the checklist will be available in the time frame defined by the start and end dates you set. If you want your checklist to be repeated, set the repetition from the Repeats dropdown menu. Remember that you can also set the current date as the start date of your checklist.

If you need your users or managers to complete a checklist in conjunction with a specific event (when they complete a course), select the Based on course completion option and then type the course name in the text field below. Once finished, press Confirm. Now, a message at the bottom of the page will inform you that your checklist has been successfully scheduled.

Please note: Your checklist may be available up to three hours after you schedule it.

Once finished scheduling your checklist, it will appear in your checklist’s schedules table shown in the Schedule tab. Here, you can edit or delete the schedules if you need it. To do so, click the ellipsis icon at the end of the checklist row that you want to edit or delete and select the corresponding option from the dropdown menu.

When a checklist is scheduled to be filled out upon course completion, and the user is unenrolled from the course linked to the checklist either by a Superadmin or a Power User (with granted permissions), or because the user is renewing the certification linked to the course, the checklist will be automatically re-scheduled and re-sent when the user re-completes the course.

Notifications

If you want your users and managers to immediately know when they have a checklist to be completed, make sure that the Notifications feature is active in your platform, and that you have correctly created and configured the New Manager Observation Checklists to Complete and the New User Observation Checklists to Complete notifications. In this case, when you as the Superadmin configure an observation checklist that should be completed by a manager or by a user, the managers or the users involved will receive a notification informing them that they have to complete a new observation checklist respectively for their team or for themselves.

Please note: Users and managers will only receive notifications about their checklists if the Notification feature is active and if you as the Superadmin have properly set up the New Manager Observation Checklists to Complete and the New User Observation Checklists to Complete notifications.

Refer to this article for more information on creating and managing notifications.

Viewing Checklists Info in the Observation Checklists Dashboard

In the Observation Checklists Dashboard you can view various data related to the observation checklists defined in your platform and the users (observers) who completed the checklists. Refer to this article for more info about how to view and navigate your way around the Observation Checklists Dashboard.