Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

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scouterguider
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Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby scouterguider » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:56 pm

I was just wondering how most people make the best use out of Scout Tracker and the Badge Testing procedures. (Cubs)

The past couple of years, I used the free family-only version of Scout Tracker with my own kids. It has worked great... one thing I did though was just mark things as completed. That way, the percent complete for each badge grew as my kids accomplished things - which was an incentive. When the had "completed the badge" - they arranged and were tested at the meeting by a leader, and received the badge.

A couple of things are different this year. 1st - I am now able to be a leader again, so I'm a leader with our Cub Pack - and (except for my own kids) am the main badge tester. The other change, is our group is using Scout Tracker this year.

So I'm looking at educating our parents/youth about how to mark things off as "ready to test". So - do most groups just test single requirements instead of whole badges? Should I be marking specific nights in the schedule to do testing (so I don't have kids expecting to test badges when we have a hike scheduled?) - is that the best way to allow for the percentage complete to be meaningful? How do groups find testing single requirements works out? (Our group has always had the kids test for an entire badge at a time, unless requirements were done by the group...)

Sam Wallis
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby Sam Wallis » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:03 pm

I dont know how to use scout tracker, another pack scouter does that. I do know that one thing I got our pack to implement was one night a month of badge testing. trying to fit badge testing into a time you have something serious scheduled doesnt work. so we take the first meeting of the month, schedule some light stuff or just games, and test all the badges then. if we did something as a pack, then we just give the badge out then
Truth is a perception, and a individual perception is their truth

scouterguider
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby scouterguider » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:36 am

No one else has suggestions? Does no one use Scout Tracker, or does no one have an opinion on testing badge requirements versus testing entire badges?

I've done the entire badge testing various ways over the years... that really isn't a big deal for me. But Scout Tracker shows the percent done (ie, the percent tested) - which I have found to be a great motivator for my own kids (marked as done even before tested in our family account) - and I now I read somewhere about a group testing each requirement as done - and that is the way Scout Tracker is setup.... (ie - the report of Testing needed is requirement based - not entire badges...) - but I'm trying to wrap my head around that... are kids supposed to bring in stuff for each requirement they've done to whatever meetings in case the leader tests them??

Sam Wallis
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby Sam Wallis » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:19 pm

we test the whole badge. the cubs save up till they have completed all needed requirements. if we cover one as a group we enter it into scout tracker then, but anything on their own we do all at once.
Truth is a perception, and a individual perception is their truth

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whuggard
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby whuggard » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:25 pm

I use Scouttracker but only do in person testing for complete badges. We don't have the time to do testing for individual requirements. The software shows me if youth are working on requirements at home ('ready for testing') and helps me make sure I have the badges in stock. I can also step in and offer help when they have all but one or 2 things done. It's a pretty great tool!

We do badge testing at meetings whenever time permits.
Will Huggard
Akela - 1st Crestview Cubs
Winnipeg, MB

scouterguider
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby scouterguider » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:25 pm

Hm - maybe I should put in a request for an (optional?) ready-to-test % indicator for the badges etc. As I said, seeing that percent rise up really motivates my kids - but the % done is almost useless when you test whole badges except for the stuff done in meetings... (and then the cub can't even make theirs go up by doing more things....)

sdfry
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby sdfry » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:39 pm

We use it to mark when requirements are complete or the badge is awarded.

I love the fact that we can set up and event/meeting, add participants and add the badge requirements completed. It is far easier than the Excel spreadsheet/pen and paper we used to use.

We haven't implemented the ability to allow the parents to see their youths progress. (Mostly lack of time to set up and the fear of trying to explain to parents how it works).

Stan

Angus Bickerton
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby Angus Bickerton » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:06 am

When an item is marked complete, we don't "test" it again. Only a scouter can mark it "complete", so that in an of itself is "testing", as you have been satisfied that the youth has completed the requirement. Why go through that again? Waste of time, in my view, when you only have 1.5 hours a week.

If a youth works on stuff at home, as some are wont to do, they can mark it as "ready to test", but we wouldn't test them on the requirement unless they were ready to test the whole badge, unless it was a big honking requirement that wasn't going to last.

Last March, our whole Pack was awarded the Tawny Star, because ScoutsTracker indicated that they had earned it that night (we were building bird houses). We just told the Pack that they'd earned it by coming to the meetings and participating. The requirement feature for each event/meeting and the attendance feature make this really easy. Do the stuff, you earn the badge/star/award. It's that simple.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

scouterguider
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby scouterguider » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:22 pm

We aren't testing it "again"... we have 2 situations here... last year and this year.

Last year I had a "family" account - the free account. As a parent, I found it easier in that account to just mark everything as complete. It was encouraging to my kids as they could see "Pet Care" - 75% or "Canadian Heritage" - 80% or whatever... so I could show them that they were close, they would look at what requirements were left and do it.... then we would go to the meeting once they were finished the badge, they would get tested - and get the badge.

This year our group has a group account. Therefore, as a parent (as well as a leader), I would in theory be marking stuff done at home as "ready to test". But the percentage doesn't increase that way, so we don't get the feedback. Also, I'm sure I read somewhere (not that I can find it again) that the program was developed in such a way to have you test requirements as completed.... and that does seem how the program is setup. If you do a printout of "ready to test" you get a list of single requirements as a leader to test - I'm not sure it even indicates that an entire badge is ready.... just requirements.

It just seems to me a lot of the way the program is setup is wasted if you test entire badges, yet I can't picture testing requirements seperately.... so maybe I'm missing something?

sdfry
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby sdfry » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:44 am

We actually don't "test" for individual requirements in a Badge.

If the youth wants to earn their Pet Care Badge we get them to stand in front of the pack and present what they've done to achieve the badge. We and the other Cubs will ask questions to determine the youth's knowledge and present the badge accordingly. (We always check with the parents before it gets this far, we would hate to not be able to present a badge to the youth because they missed something)

I'm not bothered by not using a feature of the ScoutsTracker program. We're not adjusting how we do things to fit a software package (unless there is a gain for the youth).

If you see an opportunity to make an enhancement to the program I would send the guy (Dave?) an email. He's always been very responsive to any questions/problems I've had.

Good luck,
Stan

Angus Bickerton
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Re: Best Use of ScoutTracker - Badge Testing

Postby Angus Bickerton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:02 am

scouterguider wrote:We aren't testing it "again"... we have 2 situations here... last year and this year.

Last year I had a "family" account - the free account. As a parent, I found it easier in that account to just mark everything as complete. It was encouraging to my kids as they could see "Pet Care" - 75% or "Canadian Heritage" - 80% or whatever... so I could show them that they were close, they would look at what requirements were left and do it.... then we would go to the meeting once they were finished the badge, they would get tested - and get the badge.

This year our group has a group account. Therefore, as a parent (as well as a leader), I would in theory be marking stuff done at home as "ready to test". But the percentage doesn't increase that way, so we don't get the feedback. Also, I'm sure I read somewhere (not that I can find it again) that the program was developed in such a way to have you test requirements as completed.... and that does seem how the program is setup. If you do a printout of "ready to test" you get a list of single requirements as a leader to test - I'm not sure it even indicates that an entire badge is ready.... just requirements.

It just seems to me a lot of the way the program is setup is wasted if you test entire badges, yet I can't picture testing requirements seperately.... so maybe I'm missing something?


Yep. You are missing something. You can test individual requirements. It requires one of the account scouters to check it off. We have one scouter doing that at every meeting of Pack or Troop. This allows for the youth to see their progression at home. Also, by properly doing the events (i.e. meetings, weekend events, camps, Klondike, etc.), and indicating that requirements are done and updating the attendance at an event, those requirements get automatically checked off. For instance, the main programs (Stars in Cubs and Achievement Awards in Scouts) we see as leader responsibility, whereas personal interest badges tend to be for the youth to pursue. As a result, we enter the Star or Achievement or personal interest badge requirements that a particular activity might check off. When you complete the event, marking attendance, you then "give credit" to the youth who participated, and then finalize the event. All the youth who participated are then credited with those requirements. This way, they can see their progress, without having to enter the stuff themselves. This was why Dave Caughey created Scouts Tracker in the first place.

To give you an example, this past Wednesday, our Troop did a number of things in Voyageur OUtdoor Skills, Voyageur Leadership, and in Voyageur Citizenship. We also covered an element of the Paddling Badge. All these were marked in the event. When I went to "give credit", I marked off all the youth on those requirements listed in the event, except one. One scout did a reading at the Closing, and so they were the only one to be marked off for that requirement under Leadership. It was still associated with the event, but only the scout who did the requirement got the credit. Then, when the event was finalized, all the scouts received their updates.

For the youth at home, if they are working on a personal interest badge, they mark it "ready to test", and then at the next meeting, they present their stuff, in whichever way the Pack or Troop does that. If they are ready, then the scouter simply checks it off as complete in ScoutsTracker. We do this right at the meeting (as you can be online or offline with ScoutsTracker, just in case there is no wifi at your meeting place).

It is an amazing simple and effective program once you have explored it enough. I encourage all of our scouters to play around on it. You can't wreck things by creating events, etc. They can always be edited, even after the fact, if something is wrong.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong


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