The aim of this article is to guide you through all the necessary steps to complete the set up of Sisra Observe. Click the links to the full articles for more information on each step (which opens them in a separate tab), as well as additional optional features that you can set up to get even more functionality from Observe.
We have also included a PDF checklist at the very end of this article, which you can click to download. This can be handy to tick off each step as you work through.
Step 1 / Structure
To start, you will need to set up your Structure which involves creating your departments and teams, to replicate your team structure. These are used to control the reports, records, staff and permissions. For more information, check out this guide - What is the Structure / Curriculum section?
- Structure - Create your departments and teams via Admin > Data > Structure > Structure List.
- Excel Add-In - Our Excel Add-in is really useful for preparing class and staff data to import to Observe.
- Class Data - This is an optional feature, where you can set up Class Contexts to be able to import class data and have this available when completing records.
Step 2 / Staff
Once you have set up your Structure, you're ready to import your staff data. Staff data populates Observe with the names and details of the members of staff at your school, and is required before you can create any records. For more information, check out this guide - What is Staff data?
- Define Staff Filters - Observe needs certain staff information to be able to work, such as Title, Name, etc. However you also have the option of creating additional staff filters, which you can use to filter your reports by (e.g. Role etc.)
- Prepare Staff Data - You can use the Excel Add-in, or manually prepare your staff data ready to import in to Observe.
Step 3 / Settings
Now that you have imported your staff data, you can move on to the Settings section. This section allows you to define your school/academic year, create student groups, and select your account preferences.
- Define School Years - You can set up your school/academic year via Admin > Settings > School Year. This allows you to define the start and finish dates for each, which will determine which academic year each of your records is displayed in, based on the date entered on the record.
- Create Report Windows - You also have the option of creating report windows via Admin > Settings > School Year > Report Window List, to define periods of time within a school year, e.g. terms, months. You can then use these to filter your reports and view trends over time.
- Create Student Groups - Student Groups can be used to define which Year Groups or Focus Groups you would like to be available when creating records or when filtering your reports.
Step 4 / Templates
Now you're ready to build a template. Templates contain a combination of fields and focus areas, and are used by your staff to create records in your school. They are organised by Template Type, to help make it easy for you to organise your records and reports into the type of record that they relate to, such as Quality Assurance, CPD, etc. For more information, check out this guide - What are Templates? (Admin)
- Template Types - By default, Observe provides 3 active template types (Quality Assurance, Appraisal and CPD), which can be renamed to reflect your chosen template types. You can also activate an additional template type if needed, via Admin > Templates > Template Types.
- Categories - Categories play an important role in defining who can create and access certain records. They can be assigned to multiple templates if you want to. A category must be selected when you create a template.
- Create Outcome Sets - Outcome sets are used in conjunction with focus areas, and define the analysis available in your reports. Outcome sets, when linked to a focus area, appear as dropdown boxes when completing the record, so you and your staff can select the appropriate 'outcome' for that focus area. Then each outcome set will become a table in the reports, listing the focus areas that have been associated with it and the count/percentage of each outcome.
- Create Focus Areas - Focus Areas can be used to evaluate specific areas of teaching or other areas within a record. They can be linked with outcome sets to provide a way of analysing performance in that area, or alternatively not linked to an outcome set and be used as a comment box. Any comments entered on a focus area can be pulled through to the reports for analysis.
- Create Fields - Fields can be added to a template to record information that is relevant to individual records, but not to overall analysis. Information captured using fields will NOT pull through to the
reports. Any information required in reports should be created as Focus Areas.
- Create Templates - Once you have created all of these elements to form your template, you can begin adding them to your first template via Admin > Templates > Template.
Step 5 / Users
Now you are ready to set up your Users. This section is important, not only for setting up your staff with access to Observe, but this is also where you can define their individual permissions, so you can make sure each staff member can see exactly what they need to.
- Create User Groups - User Groups control access levels and affect permissions, allowing you
to control which records can be created and viewed by the users within that group. For
example, you may have user groups for HoD, SLT, NQT, etc.
- Create Users - You can either manually create your users via Admin > Users > User > User List, or alternatively prepare and import a CSV file to create them all at once.
- Define Permissions - If a user requires access to view other staff member’s records or reports
(e.g. a head of department), this must be set up on an individual user basis. By default, users can only view their own records.
And that's it, you've completed the setup! Well done! Below we've provided links to useful articles for further reading, which will expand on the other aspects of Observe, such as creating records, adding evidence & actions, and analysing the reports, which may be handy for staff who will be responsible for this.
As a Sisra Administrator however, if you ever have any questions, the Support team are here to help. You can reach us in Observe by clicking the purple Support button to start a chat in real time with one of the team. This is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm (UK time). Outside of these hours, you can click to leave us a message, and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible. For more information on contacting the Support team, see our article - ADMINS - How to Contact Customer Support (Live Chat).
- Creating & Managing Records
- Navigating the Reports
- User Basics - This is a useful article to pass to your staff, as it contains a downloadable PDF that guides them through navigating around Observe from a users perspective.
Thanks for reading!