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Within Totara you can create evidence to associate with various features such as learning plans (Totara Learn). You might use an evidence item for the upload of an externally obtained certificate, or to upload photo evidence, for example a photo demonstrating the user of appropriate safety equipment. You might also upload video evidence of a technique being implemented correctly. 

Evidence bank

The evidence items attributed to each user can be found in their evidence bank. Within the evidence bank you can search a filter for specific items of evidence.

You can also see a list of evidence attributed to that user with details on the name of the evidence, the evidence type it was created from, when it was created and who created it. You can also see if the evidence is In use, which means that is is being used by a learning plan. If an evidence item is 'in use' then it cannot be edited. Otherwise evidence can be edited and deleted in the Action column by the evidence item's creator or any user with the Manage any evidence on others (totara/evidence:manageanyevidenceonothers) capability. As a Site Administrator you can assign various capabilities which allow users to manage or view evidence on others, any evidence on themselves, or their own evidence on themselves or others.

Additionally, from the evidence bank you can export a list of all evidence items for that particular user. 

Accessing evidence

Accessing your own evidence

You can view your evidence bank by navigating to Develop > Evidence bank from the top navigation bar.

You can also access your own evidence bank from the Record of learning in Totara Learn.

In the evidence bank you will see the evidence that has been attributed to you. This may be through learning plans or other methods. 

Accessing someone else's evidence

Site Administrators, Managers and anyone else with the correct capability assigned can access evidence for other users. In the case of Managers they can access the evidence banks of their direct reports. Site Administrators can access any user's evidence bank. 

To access another user's evidence bank follow these steps:

  1. Go to their profile by clicking their name either in the Browse list of users report or in the Team members report. 
  2. When you are viewing their profile, select Evidence bank under the Learning section.

Alternatively, when viewing the Team members report you can click on the Evidence link. 

You will now be presented with all of the evidence that has been attributed to that user. This may be through learning plans or other methods. 

Viewing evidence in a report

Within Totara it is possible to create custom reports using the report builder. It's possible to create a report (i.e. user report) using the Evidence or Evidence types sources.

These reports can then be shared with users who wouldn't ordinarily have permission to see others' evidence. For example, a user viewing a report of all evidence in the system will be able to see other users' evidence items (unless explicit content restrictions are put in place by the report creator).

The other user's evidence item title appears as a link which leads to an error message saying if you don't have permission to view the evidence. Evidence view permissions don't automatically extend to reporting (in terms of visibility, i.e. being able to see that the evidence item exists). So if you're given access to a report containing evidence items without content restrictions, you'll be able to see the evidence items (no matter what the visibility settings are on those evidence items). However, regardless of what you can see in the report you will only be able to access and manage evidence from the report if you have permissions on those evidence items. 

Managing evidence types

As a Site Administrator you can create, edit, and delete the various evidence types used for evidence items across the site. 

Adding evidence types

If you are a Site Administrator you can add new evidence types to the system.

  1. From the Site administration menu select Evidence.
  2. Select the Add evidence type button located in the top right. 
  3. Complete the General settings.
  4. Select Save and continue
  5. You may now add whichever Custom fields you wish this evidence type to have. 

When adding custom fields you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose the custom field type from the dropdown menu. 
  2. Complete the settings for that custom field.
  3. Select Save changes

Managing evidence types

You can manage any of the evidence items created on your site by going to Site administration menu > Evidence.

Here you can edit (), hide/show (/) or delete () evidence types you've added, provided they are not in use. Once an evidence type is being used for an evidence item it cannot be edited or deleted.

There is a legacy evidence type (Legacy completion import) for either certification or courses imported from the Totara Learn 12 system that cannot be edited or deleted (for data integrity purposes).

Another legacy type is for Unspecified type (if there was any evidence pre-upgrade that didn't have a type) - however unlike the other legacy evidence types the Unspecified type can be deleted, if all the evidence items using it are deleted. 

Within Totara Perform 13 there are also a number of system types, which cannot be modified. These are: 

  • Course completion import
  • Certification completion import

It is no longer possible to upload custom fields for the course completion import evidence type. 

Evidence type settings 

There are only a few settings for evidence types, as most of the content of the evidence type is controlled by the custom fields added. 

SettingDescriptionNotes
Type nameThe name of the evidence type. This should be descriptive. This is a required field.
Type ID numberA unique ID number for the evidence type. -
Type descriptionA description of the evidence type - this can be used to guide other users when selecting it. -

Custom field types 

There are a number of different types of custom fields to choose from. 

Field type

Description

CheckboxPresents a checkbox that can be ticked. 
Date/timeEnables users to enter a date and time. 
FileEnables users to add a file.
LocationEnables users to configure and display a location. 
Menu of choicesPresents a dropdown menu of options. 
Multi-selectPresents a number of options with checkboxes and icons (you can choose multiple options).
Text areaAllows the user to enter text and other content (such as images, hyperlinks, and attachments). 
Text inputAllows the user to enter text. 
URLAllows the user to enter a URL.

Custom field settings 

When creating a custom field you can configure the following settings.

Setting

Description

Notes

Full nameThe full name of the custom field - this should be descriptive. The name entered here will be presented to the user when entering data.-
Short name (must be unique)This must be unique.-
Description of the fieldThis is for your own reference. -
Is this field required

This option specifies whether this is a mandatory or optional field. 

-
Is this field locked?

This option determines whether once information is populated in this field, it cannot be edited by the user.

-
Should the data be unique?If you need the information populated in your field to be unique across the system (such as an ID number) select Yes for this option and a validation check will be performed on the data entered.Does not appear for File or URL custom field types. 
Hidden on the settings page?

When set to Yes the custom field will not be visible on the settings page or elsewhere where it would have been shown. When No is selected the custom field will be visible.

-
Checked by default

When set to Yes the Custom field checkbox will be checked by default. When set to No the Custom field checkbox will not be checked by default. (Checkbox)

Checkbox custom field type only. 
Start yearSet the start year to be used in the date field. Date/time custom field type only.
End yearSet the end year to be used in the date field. Date/time custom field type only.
Include time?Check the box to include time as well as date. Date/time custom field type only.
Default addressEnter a default address or leave this blank. Location custom field type only.
Default map size

Choose the default display size for the map from either small, medium, or large.

Location custom field type only.
Default map view

Decide the default view of the map. Choose from:

  • Map
  • Satellite
  • Map & satellite (hybrid)
Location custom field type only.
Default display

Decide what you want to be displayed for the location field. Choose from:

  • Map & address
  • Map
  • Address
Location custom field type only.
Set map location

You can set the map location using the address entered into Default address (if provided) or search for an address, town, or city.

If you want to refine the location of the pin, you can do so by clicking on it while holding the mouse button, moving the pin and then releasing the mouse button.

Location custom field type only.

Please check that your site adheres to the Google Maps JavaScript API Terms Of Service before changing the view to include a map. We strongly recommend you get a Google Maps JavaScript API Key or Client ID and set it within Totara.

Menu options (one per line)

Enter the menu options that will appear in the dropdown box. Only enter one option per line.

Menu of choices custom field type only.
Default value

Set the default value that will appear in the dropdown box. The default value must appear in the menu options above. Leave blank if there is no default entry required.

Menu of choices custom field type only.
Menu options (and icons)

Enter the multi-select options (and icons) that will appear in the dropdown box.

There is a text box to enter the options, alongside this you can then select the Choose icon link to browse for image with file picker. For each option you can also select Make selected by default to select that option as default (the user would have to unselect it if they do not want to select it) and a Delete link if you want to remove that option. 

Underneath the list of options there is an Add another option link so you can add additional menu options.

Multi-select custom field type only.
Default value

Enter any text you want to appear in the text area by default. This could be instructions e.g. 'Enter your text here...' or a default answer value. Leave this field blank if no default text is required.

Text area custom field type only. 
Columns

Columns sets the width of text area custom field. If a text editor plug-in is applied to the text area, the width will be determined by the plugin and changing this value may have no effect.

Text area custom field type only.
Rows

Rows sets the height of the text area custom field (the number of lines). If a text editor plugin is applied to the text area, the height will be determined by the plugin and changing this value may have no effect.

Text area custom field type only.
Default value

Enter any text you want to appear in the text input by default. This could be instructions e.g. 'Enter your text here...' or a default answer value. Leave this field blank if no default text is required.

Text input custom field type only.
Display size

Display size sets the number of characters that will be displayed in the text field.

Text input custom field type only.
Maximum lengthMaximum length sets the maximum number of characters the text field will accept.Text input custom field type only.
Regular expression validation

A regular expression that will be used to ensure entered text is in the expected format. For example /^[0-9]{3}$/ will ensure the text consists of exactly three numbers.

This validation is performed only when submitting forms with custom fields, current data is not affected after validation is changed.

For more information on regular expressions please refer to the PHP PCRE regular expression documentation.

Text input custom field type only.
Description of regular expression validation formatAdd description message explaining required format to users.Text input custom field type only.
Default URLEnter a default URL to be used or leave this field blank. URL custom field type only. 
Default textDefault link text to be displayed. If empty the URL will be used.URL custom field type only. 
Open in a new windowCheck the box to open the URL in a new window.URL custom field type only. 

Adding evidence items

Learners can add new evidence items to their own evidence banks. In addition to adding their own evidence, Managers can also add to those of their direct reports, using the existing list of evidence types the Site Administrator has created. To add evidence to the evidence bank follow these steps:

  1. From the Record of learning select Evidence bank from the sidebar.
  2. Select Add evidence.
  3. If there are evidence types you can select a type or category for this piece of evidence. Click Use this type after selecting an Evidence type from the dropdown list.
  4. Complete the required fields and upload any relevant files (e.g. a PDF copy of a certificate).
  5. Click Save evidence item.


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