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Error with Tiger Rank calculation based on CyberChip vs new Preview Adventure

National introduced a few “preview” adventures in the late Spring (of which, we know ScoutBook developers were unaware and caught everyone off guard - there is a separate topic related to this and how the right hand and left hand did not communicate with each other - Protect Yourself Preview Adventure). At any event, we now have a Scout in our unit who completed the preview “Protect Yourself Rules (Tiger) Adventure”. According to National, this completion substitutes for the CyberChip.

That being said, when the preview adventure is marked as completed, it does not appear that ScoutBook can properly calculate that the CyberChip is no longer required for the rank (evidenced by the next screenshot).

I’m not sure if this is a bug or incomplete development to account for this new adventure and how it replaces existing rank requirements. I figured better to report now for a JIRA “story” to be developed and have it fixed before we near the end of the program year and it still doesn’t calculate correctly and we receive questions on the forum on how to by-pass and just mark the rank as complete to over-ride. Hope this helps to get it into queue.

Thanks!

P.S. It’s not just Tiger rank that it replaces CyberChip, it’ll be all the ranks according to the adventure page on Scouting.org (screenshot above).

ETA: Yes, I know that the Protect Yourself Rules Adventure cannot be used as an elective as the screenshot shows (which it is showing as of now due to the way ScoutBook automatically marks the first completed elective adventure as the one of choice). That logic may also need to be updated.

Zach,

I recall seeing in a post last June that it would take a while before they would be able to incorporate this element into Scoutbook.

The coding for it cannot be easy. Just think about the possible combinations:

  1. The Scout does not have Cyber Chip, and the Protect Yourself Rules Adventure is the first one s/he completes. In this case, it doesn’t matter which rank requirement Scoutbook marks complete. It only matters that it can be moved later as needed.

  2. The Scout does not have Cyber Chip, and s/he completed a second elective adventure after completing Protect Yourself Rules. In tis case, no matter where Protect Yourself Rules was originally credited by Scoutbook, it should move to cover the Cyber Chip requirement. Since Protect Yourself Rules doesn’t “expire”, there is no question that using it in lieu of the Cyber Chip requirement is preferable.

  3. Protect Yourself Rules is the first adventure the Scout completes, and s/he has a current Cyber Chip. Later, the Scout has completed one or more other elective adventures, and Cyber Chip expires before the Scout completes the rank. The Protect Yourself Rules Adventure would have originally been credited as an elective, but now should move to cover the Cyber Chip requirement (if this could really ever happen-see below).

  4. The Protect Yourself Rules Adventure was credited to cover the Cyber Chip requirement, and the Scout later earns Cyber Chip but has not yet earned any other elective adventures. In this case, credit for Protect Yourself Rules needs to move to cover the elective adventure requirement.

Honestly, this is something that isn’t so difficult to track with paper and pencil, but it is a nightmare to code.

There was another discussion here around May or June about the Cyber Chip itself. As I recall, advice was being sought from the Cub Scout Committee, because it isn’t clear how volunteers should be administering the requirement. There were four possible interpretations identified, each of which can claim correctness on some level.

  1. Since the requirement simply says, “Earn the Cyber Chip award for your age,” a Scout who earned the Cyber Chip as a Tiger in December 2018, can use that for the rank requirements for both Wolf and Bear, since all three ages earn the same Cyber Chip. The requirement does not say, “Earn the Cyber Chip for your age or recharge it, if it is not current.” Effectively, this interpretation means that the only point of an expiration date on the Cyber Chip has to do with the Scout being able to wear the emblem on his or her uniform. Those supporting this approach feel that avoids having to interpret a requirement that simply isn’t there, which the Guide to Advancement tells us not to do.

  2. The Cyber Chip for a Scout’s age only needs to be current at any point while s/he is working toward the rank in question. Thus, a Tiger who earned the Cyber Chip in December 2018, and became a Wolf in June 2019, holds an unexpired Cyber Chip for at least one day as a Wolf. Therefore, the day the Scout became a Wolf, the requirement was completed. This approach supports the notion that once a Scout completes a requirement, the Scout is not asked to go back and do it again. If all requirement sign-offs were still done in handbooks, the Cyber Chip would have been signed off in June 2019, and it would be extraordinary to think that a den leader would be asked to go back and erase that signature, if the Cyber Chip expires before the Scout finishes earning the rank.

  3. The Cyber Chip must be current when all other requirements have been completed. For example, a Tiger earns Cyber Chip in December 2018. The Scout then completes Howling at the Moon, the last adventure s/he needs to earn the Wolf rank, in January 2020. Since the Scout does not have an unexpired Cyber Chip in January 2020, and did not have Howling at the Moon in December 2019, there was no single date on which the Scout had all the Wolf requirements complete. Therefore, the Scout must recharge the Cyber Chip to earn the Wolf rank. This approach respects the one-year expiration placed on the Cyber Chip by not allowing a Scout to complete a rank without the Cyber Chip being current. Otherwise, the one-year expiration has little meaning. The argument against this is that it means “erasing” something a Scout already had signed off. Had the Scout finished the other Wolf requirements a few weeks earlier, s/he would have been regarded as having completed the rank.

  4. The Cyber Chip must be earned for each rank. A Tiger who earned Cyber Chip in December 2018, and then completed all the requirements for Wolf (other than recharging Cyber Chip) in November 2019, still must recharge the Cyber Chip to complete earning the rank, even though it is unexpired. This approach supports what the Guide to Advancement says about moving ahead and working on the next rank. The work the Scout did as a Tiger earning the Cyber Chip cannot be used toward a Wolf requirement. This would create an odd situation for Webelos. A Webelos Scout who earned the Cyber Chip in April 2019, as his or her final requirement for the Webelos rank can begin working on the Arrow of Light the following day. If the Scout finishes all the other requirements for the Arrow of Light in October 2019, this approach would seem to demand the Scout recharge his or her Cyber Chip before being regarded as having earned the Arrow of Light. This stands in contrast to the Scout getting credit for an Arrow of Light elective adventure that s/he earned prior to earning the Webelos rank (and becoming eligible to work on the Arrow of Light). The exception to the no moving ahead rule is necessary here, because without it, a Scout who earned all the elective adventures prior to completing the Webelos rank could make it impossible for himself or herself to earn the Arrow of Light, because there would be no elective adventures left to earn. Since the Cyber Chip can be recharged, a similar exception is not necessary.

The above four approaches/interpretations all ignore the existence of the Protect Yourself Rules option to the Cyber Chip requirement. Until there is a clear answer on the Cyber Chip in isolation, it would make no sense to code the option into the requirement. There is simply no way to know when Scoutbook should and should not direct Protect Yourself Rules to cover the Cyber Chip requirement, and when it might be appropriate for Scoutbook to move credit for the adventure from one requirement to the other.

For now, I’m taking approach #3 with my pack. I have not been using Scoutbook long enough to tell whether it does it this way, but it looks like it does. I would like to know the correct answer, so we can administer the requirement as intended. Until then, we do the best we can.

From what I have read elsewhere from the advancement committee, Scouting magazine, and CubCast, the Protect Yourself Adventure/Pin will replace Cyperchip at every level, in which case, regardless of the programming difficulty, it’ll need to be included. Again, goes back to left hand (advancement) not communicating with the right hand (IT/ScoutBook).

You’re absolutely right, Zach. What I remember about the tone of those posts to which I referred, there was a bit of shock that the preview adventures had been released, and the rank requirements had been modified. No warning was given to IT; they seemed to find out at the same time as the general public.

I’ve seen the same things you have about it being made permanent. The statements seem filled with certainty. So, why release it as a preview adventure? It seems they still have a chance to back out.

While the content of Protect Yourself Rules is terrific, it leaves a void that was filled by Cyber Chip. The Wolf version really doesn’t address the digital world, and that is too important to ignore in this era.

My daughter did the Wolf version of Protect Yourself Rules on her first day as a Wolf. She then wanted to watch the Lion and Tiger videos, which were the same as the Wolf one. In her opinion, many Lions and some Tigers would have difficulty understanding the message being given.

I’m guessing this is probably outside of the existing architecture, but another way to address this sort of thing would be to have a “use as Cyber Chip” box that could be manually checked.
It’s okay if Scoutbook doesn’t fully automate all of these decisions. We just need a way to mark it ourselves when the logic is too cumbersome to code.

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Well, structurally, there’s no good reason for the advancement requirements to be hard-coded into the IT system. The IT guys should provide the framework and the process for managing advancement, and the Advancement people should be able to populate it and update it as required without having to change any code at all.

Steve,

That’s true, and Christy’s suggestion that there be a check box next to Protect Yourself Rules would be a simple solution, but if they were doing it that way, one would think they’d be done by now.

There’s also the factor that announcements have been made that Protect Yourself Rules will REPLACE Cyber Chip. If that happens next June, all the work done to code Scoutbook and get it to automatically put Protect Yourself Rules in the optimum spot will have been for this program year only. All resources are limited, so perhaps they are going to wait for a more permanent decision and spend their time on other things.

The Protect Yourself adventure is still a preview adventure. It was added to Scoutbook so it can be recorded in a Scout’s record. Until it comes out of preview, Scoutbook will not be updated to add it to the Percent Complete calculation.

Peter is correct, the programming is very difficult to get this correct because of the scenarios he described and possibly others. The decision was made to not invest the developer time into solving a problem that may not exist long term.

If you choose to use Protect Yourself in place of Cyber Chip, you can simply mark the rank complete when all requirements including Protect Yourself are finished by clicking on Percent Complete and entering a completion date.

Advancement requirements are in the database and can be updated quickly when they follow the established structure. Protect Yourself Rules does not follow the established structure and since the requirement could change at any point as it is a preview adventure, not a regular adventure, the decision was made not to update the established structure. Once Protect Yourself Rules becomes a regular adventure, it will either work like all the other required adventures, or the development time required to support it will be scheduled.

@edavignon, thank you. I was afraid that was the answer (based on how advancement committee came up with these), but still wanted to at least request it as I know we will have more questions in this forum (based on how other issues are repeated) and might be worth getting ahead of it.

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