A good example of an assessment that utilizes the full capabilities of decision trees is an observational based inspection. This style of assessment can be a more complex construction of a standard inspection. An example of an observational inspection could be a house inspection. A survey like this may consist of several general questions to start such as electrical system, plumbing, and life safety equipment. When you select one of these it would then take you to another inquiry based on a decision tree and this would continue until the desired information is recorded. This structure allows for multiple answer records to be recorded to a single question. So if there was a missing light bulb in one room it could be recorded, and if there was another missing light bulb in another room it could be recorded as well under the same question by clicking through the question again and noting the deficiency.
The first step in making an observational inspection is creating the assessment template, you must navigate to the assessment tab, In the top right corner of the page there is an app picker drop-down menu. Click on it and select the ExAM application
Now that you are on the ExAM home page you are going to Click on the Assessment Template tab. This will bring you to the Assessment template home page.
Once you are on the Assessment Template home page you are going to click the New button.
Clicking the New button will take you to the template that is displayed below and this is where you will start to form your first survey/inspection/assessment. For the purpose of creating your first survey and understanding how it works, you should name this something along the lines of “Observational Inspection Example” or something that will be easily identified as what it is.
In order to officially create a new assessment template, there are not many fields that are required. You can just enter the desired template name, a description to identify it if desired. At this point, you can click Save and the new assessment template will be made.
Now that you have saved the template you will be directed to the assessment template that has been generated. Here you will find the information on this template as well as areas where you can create new sections, public assessment, accounts, and assignment managers.
From this point, you will want to start to provide some structure to your survey. This structure can be created by generating different section templates inside of the assessment template. To create a new section template you will scroll down the page till you see the New Section Template and click it.
You will then be directed to New Section Template editing page. Here you can fill in the fields.
For the purpose of this step-by-step instruction an example of something you might name a section is “Inspectable Item”, with an Order Number of 10 (by not starting with 1 this gives you room to go in and adjust the order without having to change every order number throughout sections). You would also give a description if necessary. At this point, you can click Save, or Save & New if you want to create more sections.
At this point, a section template will have been generated displaying the information of that section. It will look like the below image:
Now that you have successfully created a section template you will want to generate question inside of this section. To do this you will scroll down on the section template screen until you see the New Question Template button and you will click on it.
You will now be on a New Question Template Editing screen, which will have many fields where you can edit and customize your question to meet your needs.
You will want to create all the questions that are related to this section at this time. After that is complete we will focus on linking these through a decision tree in order to provide a better user experience as well as allow for multiple answer records.
It is important that you plan out your questions and answer and what questions those answers will lead to in order to build a proper decision tree. Creating a visual to help process your ideas is a tool that can help you determine all the questions that must be present in the survey.
For an example, let’s say the two main systems that you are inspecting is the electrical equipment and the Safety equipment present in a house. You would determine all the required questions that would stem from each of those sections and create the questions through new question templates. For this example, we will focus on a simple electrical system question decision tree.
Sometimes it helps to create a visualization by either drawing a chart of the flow or creating an excel to keep the questions in order. Below is a chart of the entire questions we will use.
Now that you have created the required question templates to build out the decision tree we will start to do that.
First, you start by selecting the question template of the first question in the decision tree (This is where proper planning will help with the process). Then you will link it to the following question by typing the Question Template ID into the Next Question are as shown below.
You will then navigate to the next questions question template where you will add answer option to this question (adding answer options can be done at this point or when first creating the question template). Once you are on the question template you will scroll down until you see the New Answer Option button and you will select it. It will open up a display that looks like what is below and you will fill out the fields.
When creating that Answer option you can put the Question Template ID of the next question you would like to be brought up when that answer option is selected. If you have more than one answer option to add at this point you would click the Save & New button and repeat the steps appropriately
Once your answer options are created and the next questions are configured it should look like this
You will continue to repeat the steps of going to the next question and adding in answer options as well as next questions dependent on those answer options. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary to build out the desired decision tree that meets your criteria
A popular question type that is used to end a long chain of the decision tree is a Results question. This allows you to display a page that is configured to record the desired information, such as a picture of the deficiency, comment, and priority.
The results style question will only work if you have configured your results page for that specific assessment template. In order to do this, you will navigate to the Assessment Template Detail page and scroll down until you see Result Page Configuration and you will click on it.
Then on this page, you will check the boxes of the field that you want displayed when a Results question is reached in your survey. Then you will click Save.
Once you have completed all these steps you will have created an assessment that utilizes decision tree logic to collect information in relation to an inspection.