Record of Work Limited
Thursday 4 October 2018
Concurrent Session 4B
Record Of Work For Carpentry Apprentices
Record of work has used existing app, database and cloud technology to solve two problems facing carpentry apprenticeships. The first problem has been apprentices keeping on top of their notes and being able to share those notes with assessors. Traditionally this has been hit and miss as practical minded apprentices who are working full time have struggled to record and research their notes. The ROW app allows apprentices to easily select their required competencies with pre-loaded notes, dates and location settings and add unlimited photos for evidence of their work. The app is able to work offline and provide fast access to past entries with search functionality. Apprentices can also view their assessors feedback through he app and make contact with assessors if need be.
The second problem faced has been by assessors who may have also struggled to keep track of apprentice’s progress and found themselves spending a lot of time commuting to job sites only to find apprentices had not completed entries in the diaries. The ROW admin panel allows assessors to view apprentice entries in real time remotely. Assessors can also make entries as being completed or offer feedback on further requirements. The admin panel also allows assessors to organise and search apprentices and their notes in a more efficient manner.
We (Otago Polytechnic) have been using the Record of Work (ROW) app in our carpentry apprenticeship scheme for one year. Previously the apprentices used a paper based diary that was written in on a daily basis. Although the diary is still a good way to record learnings, the diary could not be seen unless a visit was made to the apprentice, feedback could only be made after seeing it and the diary was also lost and or damaged during construction site operations.
The ROW gives the apprentices the ability to record the evidence that they need for assessment purposes of various practical competencies. The evidence is gathered live as they record in video, photo and text to create a portfolio assessors require for matching capabilities to learning outcomes.
The ROW allows employers to view the apprentices work to verify the accuracy of work and also to watch their knowledge growth and personal development.
Assessors can view evidence as its saved to the cloud based CRM and can give feedback to the apprentices each week to help guide them and ask relevant questions if the information is missing.
Feedback from employers and apprentices has been very constructive and has guided our our improvements
The idea of developing a digital work diary for apprentices first came to me in 2006 and was in the form of a website. Having no background in IT and being computer based I didn’t feel the idea would take off. With the invention and adoption of the smart phone and apps I felt it would only be a matter of time before someone created this fairly obvious solution but still nothing happened. In 2015 I met with a developer who believed they could build something for me for a fixed price and without a client or any consultation I designed and funded ROW’s development. After initially releasing the app as a free version and seeing that it being picked up by over 2000 carpentry apprentices I began to pitch the idea of customised ROW’s for individual organizations, Unitec was the first paying client in late 2016.
The app was initially created solely with apprentices in mind, but after selling licenses to polytechnics I realised the admin panel, which was fairly basic at the time, would need to be made more useful. The majority of the last 18 months have been building a CRM (client relationship management system) that benefits assessors and creates value to the polytechnics. Ideas for this have come from working closely with the institutions and researching mainly corporate sales software. I always saw ROW as a way of helping cliché disorganised carpentry apprentices as keeping better notes, but what I’ve instead created is a way for learning institutions and their assessors to more efficiently track their apprentices progress and soon to be revealed the ROW system will also be assessment tool.
Quite simply we took app and cloud computing and applied them to carpentry apprenticeships. There is an element of disruption in that we are replacing the old paper based model of note keeping and shifting it online in way that works for apprentices and assessors.
Matt Thompson, Principal Lecturer and Apprentice Manager in Carpentry at Otago Polytechnic. I have been using ePortfolios for assessment and reflective practice with carpentry learners since 2007. I have used ePortfolios extensively with all of my learners since then embedding it as part of all one year and now four year apprenticeships.
Josh Galuszka, Founder and Owner of the Record of Work Ltd. After working in construction recruitment and employing apprentices over the past 14 years I saw a hole in the market for a digital replacement to the traditional paper work evidence diary so set about developing a solution.
Leni Fifita, I have been working for Unitec for 10 years with a carpentry, project management & carpentry background. Currently I’m the Unitec/ITaBs apprenticeship manager for the Auckland region. I have a passion for apprenticeships and developments and evolution on apps and the use of technology in our industry