BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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My experience and recommendations

So, last night I used a DLE meeting plan for the first time, and this was my experience.

Interface:

  • I am unsure what were the testbeds for the website, but it doesn’t work well on an iPhone 7. The height of the pages exceeds the height of the screen. I tried to take attendance, and I wasn’t able to confirm those present until I placed the phone in landscape and it allowed the confirm button to appear. Even then, this wasn’t an ideal workaround.
  • Consider revising the graphics. The Scouts are not using this site, so it doesn’t need the goofy animal imagery throughout. I am going in to perform a function, make the interface as clean and streamlined as possible.

Meeting Plan: I used: Wolf Meeting 5: Call of the Wild (1 of 2)

  • The creators of the plan are very optimistic as to how much can be done with 2nd graders in an hour. We did most of the activities, but skipped some due to time constraints.
  • There is no way to only mark some of the agenda items as completed. The program requires you to “Mark All As Done”.
  • Despite not “Marking All As Done”, all of the scheduled items were marked as completed AND approved in Scoutbook.
  • Despite the meeting taking place on 24 Sep, all requirements are marked as completed on 25 Sep.
  • I am now stuck with the problem of going in to each Scout’s account and correcting the date of completion, and removing the completion for the requirements that were not done.

Attendance:

  • Marking the Scouts was easy. However, when I go to the event in Scoutbook, instead of showing 75% attendance, it shows 29%. Why? Because Scoutbook takes into account all of the parents that were invited to the event.
  • DLE doesn’t allow you to take attendance for adults, and Scoutbook doesn’t allow you to take attendance for DLE events. Additionally, should parents really count toward participation levels?

Recommendations:

  • Allow editing of the Event Name. This was not our 5th meeting, it was our 3rd.
  • When the Den Leader sets up the den, allow them to pick from a list of meetings and place them whenever in the year they want. There may be some plans that they don’t want to use and are now stuck with, but at the same time, some of these are decent and can be used…. But maybe not in the order listed. This should be an ongoing option where you can choose at any point in the year whether a certain meeting plan is used or not.
  • Optimize the pages to fit on an iPhone 7 (i.e smaller screen).
  • Remove the animal imagery and other graphics to streamline the user interface.
  • Realize that not everything can be completed in the allocated time. Have the ability to mark some items as completed, not just all of them.
  • Record the completion dates in Scoutbook as the date of the meeting.
  • Fix attendance/participation for adults.
  • Create a printable version of the meeting plan to allow use at the meeting site.

If these changes were to be implemented, I’d be more apt to use the system and to possibly recommend it to other leaders. I still think the system needs additional work, but these are a good start.

I will probably attempt to use another meeting plan, but I’m not sure the administrative headache will be worth actually using the DLE.

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Has anyone else used any of these? Any thoughts on my feedback? Is there a mechanism to submit feedback to the developers?

The Developer in charge of the project monitors the forums - that is all we know.

We have pointed the development team to this post previously. I believe they reviewed it, but I do not know what they may choose to change.

Another suggestion for the DLE. Make it obvious what requirements are being worked on during each meeting. I’d place it in the header, but I’d also mark each activity in the meeting that meets a requirement with the number. That way, you can easily find what out what you’re supposed to be working on. Or, if you’re not able to do the whole meeting for some reason, and you need to do “X” requirement, you can easily find an activity that will meet the bill.