After completing a website to house the Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning initiative, the team partnered with our application developers to create an intuitive workflow system that allows businesses, teachers, and students to efficiently work together.
The app’s primary purpose is to facilitate communication and workflow between the teachers, students, and businesses participating in the work-based learning initiative. To accomplish this, the app needed to allow for the following:
- Businesses submit project opportunities that students can participate in
- Teachers can browse open opportunities and connect their students to a fitting project
- Students can browse listings and email teachers with preferred opportunities ______
- Department of Education can serve as an administrator to the system
- App should have a flexible base framework that allows for new features to be added
Access From the Website Front End
A user-friendly application needs to first and foremost be easily accessible. This began with ensuring the application integrates well with the website. From clearinghouse.futurereadyiowa.gov, users can access the contact directory and view the project board.
How the App is Used
The Clearinghouse app allows Iowa businesses to register, post project listings, and manage applicants within the interface. However, not every business wants to handle their student opportunities in the same way. To accommodate for this, our team developed the app so that each business can set up their listings to their own preference.
Some project listings are set up for unlimited students to simply complete the project and submit it, whereas other listings require a teacher to apply on behalf of the class/student and then undergo a selection process. Once a ‘winner’ is selected, that teacher/students can work with the business in a mentoring situation. They may invite students to be at their worksite, or go to the school on specific days, or maybe do it all virtually.
The Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning app was made keeping teachers and their needs in mind. Once registered, teachers may login and search for opportunities that work with the courses they are teaching.
Teachers login and search for opportunities that work with the courses. The app is flexible in how teachers may search for opportunities; teachers that know what they are looking for can use the search feature, but the app also allows teachers to simply browse open postings.
After the conclusion of a work-based learning project, teachers can submit completed work so the Clearinghouse team can see what students and businesses have been working on together.
Students cannot login, but they can browse listings and email their teachers with projects that spark their interests.This functionality simplifies communication between businesses and the teachers/students they are working with by channeling all messages through the teacher.
The Webspec application development team enjoyed working with the State of Iowa to see this project through. Ultimately, the Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning app initiates connections between students and real-world work opportunities. We were happy to be a part of such an important aspect of Iowa education!