Electronic Engineering Notebooks

Hey folks,

Has VEX or the REC foundation released anything official regarding paper vs electronic notebooks? Specifically, I would like to know if it’s permitted for an event partner to require that all participants submit their notebooks electronically. Obviously, this made sense during the pandemic, but now that the worst seems to be behind us, I’m not sure if we should be requiring this from all teams. Also, I would imagine that a lot of teams aren’t comfortable with the entire contents of their notebooks going into a PDF file that might not stay confidential.

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For the Delmarva Regional Championship I’m requiring that all the notebooks to be submitted electronically by the Tuesday before the event. While the “worst” may be behind us, I have lots of judges that are willing to do notebooks from home, but not come in person.

We do delete the PDF’s at the end of the event. Because we are also doing a number of sub awards (Build, Amaze, Innovate, Judges), at inspection we will be taking a front and side view picture of your robot. In the judges room that gives us a way to refer back to your robot in the discussions. With 48 robots at the event it’s been the easiest way to have the discussion. They get deleted too.

But if you are concerned about your PDF and pictures, you can always decline to submit them.


Please check the current judges guide for this season. I’m pretty sure your answer will be found there.

Also if you are really insecure about your pdf not being confidential just submit a link and change the snaring permissions post-event. For the event you are most likely talking about, I have no reason to believe the judges will be malicious here, as the host school has not participated in VRC for a couple of years.


I appreciate the replies. However, you’re not answering my question. What I’m trying to find out is if requiring electronic-format notebooks is sanctioned by VEX/REC Foundation. I was wondering if anyone had read anything regarding this in any official publications put out either by VEX or REC.

Also, the Design Award rubric awards 5 points if the notebook is bound. So imagine that your team has been doing everything they can to earn the most points according to that rubric, including having a bound notebook. If an event partner decides to require only electronic notebooks, then those are five points that you don’t get; five points that might have given you an edge over a team that didn’t have a bound notebook.

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Yes, as said above it is in the judges guide. EP’s may choose all physical or all digital submissions of notebooks. With all submissions for VEX Worlds being digital, I imagine many EPs and Championship events requiring digital submissions.

The design award rubric was updated to reflect this change in judging. Notebooks are no longer required to be bound but show “evidence that the documentation was done in sequence with the design process”. A bound notebook is just one way to demonstrate this. https://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2020/06/engineering-notebook-and-team-interview-rubric.pdf/


I believe I have answered your question. The following section from the Judges Guide should answer your question.


Thanks to all for the replies. Good info - very helpful. I appreciate it!!

There’s also a thing that was added to RobotEvents recently under the registered teams tab:


No idea how it works or if it’ll see any use by anyone this season but it’s there.


Teams submit a link through that form. On the EP side there is a “Download digital engineering notebook report” at the top of the registered teams page what comes out is a .csv file that looks like this:


Blockquote Yes, as said above it is in the judges guide. EP’s may choose all physical or all digital submissions of notebooks. With all submissions for VEX Worlds being digital, I imagine many EPs and Championship events requiring digital submissions.

So, EP’s can choose to accept only physical or only digital submissions of notebooks?
Does this mean that if you have created a physical notebook, but an EP decides to accept/choose only digital submissions, then your notebook will not be read and is automatically forfeit from any awards pertaining to the notebook? And vice versa?

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If you have a physical notebook and you go to an event with digital notebook submissions, you scan your physical notebook to a PDF (or equivalent) and submit that.

If you have a digital notebook and you go to an event with physical notebook submissions, you print out the digital notebook and submit it on paper.


This makes sense. You just need to remember to scan/print out all the pages of your notebook before the competition.

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And the type of judging must be posted on robotevents. If an EP changes formats they must give enough time for teams to adjust. It’s all in the judges guide and easy to see from @RoboCatz post above.


North Florida is using the RE function.

I have NO inside information, but I would bet that this is how you will submit your notebooks for WORLDS!


I’m quite disappointed with this decision as well. I now have to drop everything I’m doing tomorrow to scan our whole notebook with 3 days’ notice… I emailed the recf rep earlier this year to inquire about it and we were assured it would be all in-person. Not to mention I don’t think a single team has a natively online notebook this year in our region so it literally is just making teams jump through extra hoops for no reason.


I’m pretty sure the recent RECF Town Hall announced that Worlds is using hybrid judging, with digital notebooks. Most judging will be remote, but some is still in person at Worlds.


I’m sure that the notebooks will be judged ahead of time, and then the interviews are in person. Given their turnaround time, I think it’s a GREAT idea. They will be able to start the interviews as soon as the matches start.


It was announced in the Town Hall meeting that all notebooks would be submitted electronically, and that all teams would have their first interviews on Zoom (or whatever platform they choose). Only follow up interviews for specific awards will be done in-person.


Thanks. I missed portions of the TH and haven’t gone back to watch it… yet…

Do let me add: As an event partner, I cannot express how much easier it has been for my events to have the notebooks electronically. Ultimately, this results in better judging because it gives the judges a lot more time to figure out the awards and get to know the teams and their projects.

And, I haven’t had to chase down a team that left their notebook behind!


RECF typically uses Google Meet for their daily operations. I would suspect that is what will be used for Worlds.