Introducing the DofE app
The DofE app is the latest development in our journey to engage young people with their programmes and support them through to achievement. App usage has rocketed over the last few years; we needed to respond to this and engage participants in their digital spaces. It’s a significant milestone, enabling young people to record, monitor and complete their DofE through their smartphone, the hub for their lives.
Considering we stopped producing paper record books and moved everything online in 2009 with the launch of eDofE, the app is a leap forward in a short amount of time. Whilst it might not seem so now, eDofE was a big deal, positively disrupting the process of how participants had done their DofE for the previous 50 years.
But getting young people to log on was sometimes a challenge. eDofE has never been able to draw the same gravitational effects that social media platforms have on young people. To try and overcome this, we launched a mobile friendly version of the platform in 2015 but, as you can imagine, it didn’t take off as we’d have liked because access was clunky. So, we invested in an overhaul of the API connections to the eDofE database to allow our first ever DofE app to be created.
Engaging young people regularly with their DofE programmes is fundamental to getting more participants to achieve their Award, so this development is crucial to transforming more young lives.
The app allows participants to record and document their entire programme – they don’t have to go on desktop eDofE if they don’t want to. They can save their log in details and have instant access, and we’ll be initiating push notifications to nudge participants along their journey. The app can pull photos and other files from the smartphone and use its camera to record evidence.
Over the next year we’ll explore other opportunities the app offers, including location services to find the nearest recommended retailer and a digital discount card. We’ll also extend app benefits to Leaders running DofE so they can review and approve programmes on the go.
It’s an exciting and busy time at the DofE, and harnessing app technologies is a great example of how the charity is constantly moving forward.
Chris Armstrong, Operational Systems Manager, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award