Captus: a design idea for knowledge creation and sharing

CAPTUS is a design idea (see the other 4 design ideas of Layers here) for a knowledge sharing and networking tool that facilitates the creation and sharing of learning materials among various actors to enhance  informal learning in construction clusters. CAPTUS builds on three aspects that are key in enhancing informal learning in the workplace. These are the aggregation of both formal and informal learning materials, the situations where these materials are created and used, and the sharing of these materials in a network comprised of actors with different expertises and interests.

We consider bringing together formal and informal materials to be  meaningful as it allows workers to access both formal materials and informal materials. Formal materials in the construction sector may include information such as instruction manuals by material suppliers or policies provided by authorities. Informal materials can be supplementary to formal materials such as good / bad examples of using specific materials, problems and solutions, that have been produced by workers and hobbyists. Captus profile-content

Figure 1. Preliminary CAPTUS wireframe mockup.

Finding information that is helpful to a work situation requires meaningful structuring and search filters. To achieve this, CAPTUS uses the worker’s and the work situation’s descriptions. A worker’s description may include their areas of expertise and interest while the work situation’s description may include aspects such as location, weather condition and time where the materials can be used. For instance, for a straw wall builder whose interests are straw walls, heating, insulation and ecological building, and who has opted to see region, weather conditions and time where materials may be used, searching or reading a smart tag on an industrial glue, results to information that is specifically targeted to their expertise and interests as well as to their location, weather and time conditions where the glue can be used.

Having the worker’s and work situation’s descriptions in the CAPTUS app enables the filtering to happen automatically when a search is done. The descriptions are also attached to learning materials that a worker may create so that it is also easy for others to find.

A CAPTUS learning network comprised of workers in construction clusters enables a worker to find and connect with workers who may be of help to them. The sharing of formal and informal materials in the network enhances informal learning as workers are able to find and use those materials that are most related to their work situations.