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Adding an observation


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Please note: If you are completing a complex observation, you should save work regularly and then edit to carry on filling it in. Tapestry login sessions expire after an hour and it is also possible that a network blip could void your login session. If either of these things happen, when you press 'save’ on the observation you will be taken to the login screen and your work since the last save will be lost.

Adding an observation on Tapestry is really quick and easy; in this tutorial we’re going to look at how to do this on the app and browser versions of Tapestry. I’ll start with how to do this on the browser version.


Adding an observation on the browser

When you first login to your Tapestry account on a browser you will automatically be taken to the observations page. If you are already logged in and are on another screen in your account, you just need to click on where it says ‘Observations’ at the top of the page (1).

Once on this page you just need to click on the ‘+Add Observation’ button (2). 

So, you’re now adding an observation! The first thing you will need to here is to add a child or multiple children into the observation. To do this you just need to click on the 'Select Children' button.

Remember that if you add multiple children to an observation, the notes, media and/or assessments you add will apply to all the children. If you are observing a group activity but want to add different notes/media/assessments, you can create a group observation and then split this, which will allow you to add these separately. This tutorial talks you through how to do this. 




On this pop-up the first tab will either be split into your key children and other children or if you haven't got key children set up, it will be a list of all children (1). This tutorial talks you through how to set up key children on your account. 

The other tabs at the top will let you know select children from the groups you have manually created on your account (2) or their children’s cohort year (3). You can also use the search box if you're looking for a specific child (4).

To add a child, you just need to click into the tick box next to their name (5). If you want to add a whole group you just need to click on the 'Select All' button (6). Once you've added the children you want to, you just need to click on the 'Done' button (7). 

Please note that you won't be able to save an observation on Tapestry without adding any children to it. 




After you've added the children you'll see all their names underneath where it says 'Children' (1). You can remove any you didn't mean to add by clicking on the 'X' button by their name (2).

Next you can enter a title for the observation (3), you also need to do this to be able to save the observation. 

In the ‘Options’ section on the right-hand side you can see the current time and date, this will show as when the observation was created. If you want to change either of these things, you just need to click into the ‘Created’ field (4). 

By default, the observation will be set to be added to the child’s journal ‘after manager approval’ but if you are a manager or staff member with permission to change this, you can do so in the ‘Status’ section (5). Managers can check and change who has permission to change the status of an observation by following this tutorial here

If you are given the choice as to when the observation is added to the child’s journal, there are three options you can choose from:

  • Immediately: this saves the observation and adds it to the child's journal straight away. It will therefore be available to any relatives linked to the child on Tapestry and they may be notified depending on their notification settings.
  • After manager approval: this saves the observation to Tapestry, but it will only be visible to staff members. The observation will not be visible to relatives linked to the child/ren included and they will not be notified. We recommended you use this option if you want to be able to edit the observation further before approving it. 
  • Immediately, but only for staff: this saves the observation to Tapestry and adds it to the child's journal but makes the observation viewable only to staff members. Relatives will not be able to view the observation and they will not be notified. You can use this option if there are certain types of observation you do not want to share with parents but want the observation to contribute towards a child's assessment score.

If you are a manager, you also have the ability to change the author of the observation (6). 

In the ‘Notes’ section you can add your actual observation (7).




Underneath the notes section you may have a box called ‘Additional Information’. You can use this to enter further information about the observation or child. It is an optional feature that is not enabled by default. 




To enable or disable this a manager on your account just needs to go to the Control Panel (1), select ‘Settings’ from the left-hand menu (2) and then choose the ‘Observations’ option from that drop-down (3). You then just need to tick or untick the ‘Show Additional Information field’ option (4) and press 'Save' (5).




By default, relatives won’t be able to see this section, but if you do want them to be able to, you just need to change the user permission for this. This tutorial talks you through changing the user permissions for relatives. 

Next you can upload any media (pictures or videos) you want to, by clicking on the ‘Add Files’ button (1). Once you have selected the media file/s you want to include, you just need to click on the ‘Start Upload’ button (2). When the files have finished uploading you will see they will say ‘uploaded’ (3). 

You can also rotate and/or crop any photos you have included by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button (4). 




If you have included any photos you didn’t mean to, you can remove them by clicking on the ‘Delete’ button for that file (1) or if you have several you want to remove you just need to select the tick boxes at the end of the row of the file (2) and then click on the ‘Delete Selected Media’ button (3). You will then get a pop-up box asking you to confirm this and after you do, the selected media will then be deleted.  



Finally, at the bottom of the screen you can add assessments to your observation. Here you will only see assessment frameworks that are enabled on your account so it’s unlikely you will see as many as we have got here! This tutorial talks you through how to enable or disable assessment frameworks on your account. 

If you have 1 or 2 frameworks enabled on your account, you will automatically see these frameworks open. If you have more than 2 frameworks enabled, like we do, you just need to click on the ‘+’ button for the framework you want to assess with. 



You can add as many types of assessments as you like to a single observation by clicking on the button for each one you want to use. For example, you might want to make an EYLF assessment and a DM assessment with the same observation. The assessment pickers will be added one after the other further down the page. 




Underneath the assessments section you will be able to link your observation to any other observations or reflections, to learn more about this feature you can click on the blue 'What's this' button (1). You can then choose the observation or reflection to link from the appropriate button (2). 

The final thing to remember to do is click on the save button to make sure all the hard work you've just done entering the observation is recorded. You are given the choice of saving the observation and starting another or just saving the observation (3).




Remember you can come back and edit your observation at any time, so if you’re done but need to exit Tapestry, just save the observation as ‘not in journal’ and you can come back to it. You can find the option to edit an observation on the main observations page just to the right-hand side of the observation.




Adding an observation on the app

So now that we’ve looked at adding an observation on the browser, we can look at how to do this on the app. For the screenshots, I'm going to be using the new iOS app which does include some features, like being able to filter children by group when adding them to an observation, that the original app doesn't have. To find out more about the new iOS app and how to download it, please see this page and for information about the new Android app, please see this one

Please note, the iOS and Android apps are a little different, so the screens may not look exactly the same. 

Once you’ve logged in on your app, you can add an observation by clicking on the ‘+’ button at the top of the screen.




I'll now talk you through all the options on the add observation screen:

1) You can add a title for your observation here

2) Use this section to add your notes

3) In the 'pictures and videos' section you can add media by taking a photo/video through your device or by choosing media from your device library.

4) You can add children by selecting 'pick children'

5) Assessments can be added by selecting 'pick assessments'

6) If you have permission, here you can change the status of an observation from not in journal to either in journal or staff view only

7) If you want to change the time/date of the observation, you can do that here

8) If you have the additional information field enabled, you will see this at the bottom

9) Tapping on 'cancel' will give you the options of either deleting the whole observation, or saving it as a draft

10) At the top you can see the status of the observation to remind you whether it will be added to a child's journal

11) Once you're done adding your observation, you can click on 'Send' 




When you select the 'Pick children' option to add children to your observation you will then be presented with a list of all children you can see on your account.

At the top you can search for a specific child using the search bar (A) and if you want to select children from a specific group, you can tap where it says 'No filters' which will bring up the group filters you can select children from (B). 

If you want to select all children from within a group, or just all children, you can use the 'Select All' button in the top left-hand corner (C). 

Once you've finished adding children, you just need to click on the 'Done' option (D). 


One helpful new feature you will notice when after you have made an observation on the new app is that in the Children section, you will see children that have been included in a recent observation. If you wanted to add these children to the new observation you are making, you just need to tap on their names. 


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If you slide this line of text to the left, you will then be given the option to delete it or if this was a mistake, to keep it. 


image1 (9).png


Tapping on the 'Pick Assessments' option will then bring up a page where you see a list of all the assessments you have enabled on your account. To assess with one, you just need to select it. 


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Another helpful feature that has been added to the new apps, is the ability to favourite assessments. You can do this by clicking on the star button and this can be done for an assessment framework, area and aspect within this. 


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After you have added your favourites, you'll then see these at the top of the assessments screen whenever you go to add an assessment. 


image1 (10).png


To edit an observation on the app you just need to select the one you want to edit from the list (1) and then tap where it says 'Edit' in the bottom right-hand corner (2).




If you need to delete an observation or restore any that have been accidentally deleted, this tutorial will talk you through how to do this. 


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