Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

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dylanaakennedy
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Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby dylanaakennedy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:53 pm

I did a quick search through the forums, but didn't find anything that would indicate a solution.

I'm looking to find out if the Church has anything available to help manage sign-ups for opportunities to serve. In our ward's Relief Society, we send out a variety of paper sign-up sheets each week. However, this is fairly inefficient. The sheets don't get to everyone, or the people in Primary or YW don't have sufficient time to review them and sign up. These are not Priesthood assignments, but rather extra opportunities to serve for sisters and their families.

I'm hoping to find something that will allow members to sign up electronically (via Stake calendar?) for a particular service opportunity. I know there are 3rd party sites out there that serve this purpose, but we want to stay within the recommendation of using official Church technology.

If the Church doesn't currently have tech to provide this functionality, I'd be interested in hearing how other members are handling the process of getting sign-ups.

Regards,
Dylan

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aebrown
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby aebrown » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:29 pm

A similar request was discussed at Calendaring compassionate service needs.

mohhess
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby mohhess » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:59 pm

Well, if you are lucky and living in California, Colorado, or Texas, you have access to the justserve.org pilot program. If not, you may be able to use the calendar system as people have mentioned. While note ideal, it is very easy for anyone in the ward to create their own calendar that they can administrate. Someone such as the ward clerk or executive secretary will need to approve your calendar, but then you have access to allow anyone in the ward to view or view/edit the calendar. Now, if you want everyone in the ward to be able to view/access it, it will take a long time to give everyone permission individually.

Here's the caveat though, if you get in touch with some of the people who develop and maintain the calendaring system, you may be able to get them to added in the "adult" role to the calendaring system. Currently, anyone in the lds.org directory who is an adult is automatically given that role. The calendar system pulls in callings and allows you to allow people privileges linked to their calling, but doesn't allow you to just put in "allow all adults to view/edit the calendar". I don't believe that it would be that difficult to add that functionality though.

Another issue that you may run into with the calendar system though is that there isn't really a "sign-up" feature. Its more just about displaying info.

jdlessley
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:07 pm

mohhess wrote:Here's the caveat though, if you get in touch with some of the people who develop and maintain the calendaring system, you may be able to get them to added in the "adult" role to the calendaring system.

There is no role, or positon, called adult. The list of positions available under the option to add editors/viewers "by calling" comes from CDOL. And currently that list of positions only includes standard positions. The list of members under the option "by name" comes from CMIS. Adding a method to include groups of people, such as adult members of a ward, will require another programming option to define and then implement. Whether or not that would be pursued is not up to the programmers but rather the Church department sponsoring the Calendar application.
JD Lessley
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mohhess
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby mohhess » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:34 pm

yes, my word choice for calling "adults" a role or position is incorrect. Where/how does the ward directory system determine if someone is an adult? Hasn't the programming method already been designed and implemented by those who maintain the lds.org directories?

And yes, I agree. Ultimately the programmers don't decide what direction a resource goes, its the Church Department. From my experience with projects though, it's always nice to find out how hard or probable something would be to implement before requesting it from the Church Department. That's what I like about tech.lds.org. The programmers know the systems and websites. They know what they are and aren't capable of and they can communicate directly with church members. Then, church department members who may have no experience programming or coding don't have to waste time trying to answer questions they might not even understand. If tons of church members have the same request, that is easy to implement and they communicate that need to the programmers, then idealistically, the programmer could bring both the problem and the solution to the respective church department.

eblood66
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby eblood66 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:40 pm

mohhess wrote:yes, my word choice for calling "adults" a role or position is incorrect. Where/how does the ward directory system determine if someone is an adult? Hasn't the programming method already been designed and implemented by those who maintain the lds.org directories?

I'm not a church programmer but I do know something of the architecture of the calendar from the initial days when it was a community project.

First, the calendar and the directory are separate applications so what is available in one is not automatically available in the other.

Second, the calendar stores viewers and editors by either storing a specific user id or a position id. It then compares those ids to the ids in the SSO header (which you can view at https://www.lds.org/header). It does not access membership information to determine rights. So adding this option would require more significant changes than you might think.

Finally, I don't think just adding an 'adults' option would be sufficient because that would allow all adults to schedule the building. Most units aren't going to want to open scheduling up that far. So they'd also need to add an option that says that editors of the calendar can't schedule resources (unless they can edit another calendar). That would be a very significant change.

mohhess
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby mohhess » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:54 pm

eblood66 wrote:Finally, I don't think just adding an 'adults' option would be sufficient because that would allow all adults to schedule the building. Most units aren't going to want to open scheduling up that far. So they'd also need to add an option that says that editors of the calendar can't schedule resources (unless they can edit another calendar). That would be a very significant change.


Thank you for your added information. In regards to the last paragraph you mentioned, adding groups such as adults to available permissions for the calendar only makes it possible for someone to add all adults as editors, it wouldn't make it mandatory. Just as the current calendars are, they are each unique in that they have different possible editors. Wards are capable of creating many calendars and would most likely create a separate calendar from their building schedule calendar.

eblood66
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby eblood66 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:24 pm

mohhess wrote:
eblood66 wrote:Finally, I don't think just adding an 'adults' option would be sufficient because that would allow all adults to schedule the building. Most units aren't going to want to open scheduling up that far. So they'd also need to add an option that says that editors of the calendar can't schedule resources (unless they can edit another calendar). That would be a very significant change.


Thank you for your added information. In regards to the last paragraph you mentioned, adding groups such as adults to available permissions for the calendar only makes it possible for someone to add all adults as editors, it wouldn't make it mandatory. Just as the current calendars are, they are each unique in that they have different possible editors. Wards are capable of creating many calendars and would most likely create a separate calendar from their building schedule calendar.

Right now any event, no matter what calendar it is on, can schedule resources. There is no special building schedule calendar. Currently if you are an editor on any calendar you can schedule resources. That means that this option would only be usable if a unit was willing to allow any adults to schedule the building. I expect that would limit it's usefulness so much that it wouldn't be worth implementing (personal opinion--I could be wrong). Allowing for non-scheduling calendars would require the additional programming effort I was referring to.

mohhess
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby mohhess » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:30 pm

gotcha. I've been admin over several calendars in the past, I guess I just always went through those who had the scheduling calling and never knew I could have scheduled building resources. That could/would definitely be an issue.

russellhltn
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Re: Electronic method for signups for service opportunities

Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:55 pm

There's another issue: Any one can alter anyone else's entry and there is no "tracks" to show it was done, much less who and when. So in the case of a missionary calendar, anyone can bump off anyone else to clear up "their" date.

I also question how much use such a calendar would receive. Maybe your ward is different, but I tend to believe that use of the calendar outside of the leadership is rather small.

At this point I suggest that the calendar be circulated in the usual method and the results entered into the on-line calendar. Then it could be printed and the new version circulated as needed.
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