HT/VT Application Project Description

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jdlessley
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HT/VT Application Project Description

Postby jdlessley » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:29 pm

In the project description of the HT/VT application wiki I am surprised to see the following:
Why is this project so important?
Research has shown that a Home Teaching / Visiting Teaching application will free up Church members to focus more on the needs of their assigned households or sisters. Research has also shown that this tool will actually improve Home and Visiting Teaching performance for many groups.
The reason I am surprised is because the only supporting evidence for the second statement is this postby Brad O., the RAR author. The only data sown in the citation is a sample of one (1) from a field of 27,827 wards and branches (from the statistical report given at General Conference in April 2008). Nowhere does Brad O. provide the number of units using RAR. He also makes no claims that the information provided is intended to constitute any attempt at research. An unscientific observation does not constitute valid research. And most certainly he did not make the statement that "this tool will actually improve Home and Visiting Teaching performance for many groups". (bold added for emphasis) Rather he stated "...a healthy majority do experience moderate to extreme improvements". I think a better statement of the facts would read as follows. Informal observations made after a few months from the Return and Report application indicate that this tool may improve Home and Visiting Teaching performance for many groups.

This second claim led me to try and find supporting evidence of the first claim. I can not find any. If research has been conducted - then who did it? What was the methodology used to collect and test the data? Where is it published? How did the 'researchers' arrive at the conclusion that "[the] application will free up Church members to focus more on the needs of their assigned households or sisters.." (bold added for emphasis)

I agree that the project and the resultant tool is important. My point is that a project such as this should not use marketing puffery. It is not necessary. This project is sponsored by the Church and as such we must be careful with the words we choose to represent the project.

If I am wrong about the research I will gladly recant.

I posted on this forum because I could not find an appropriate place on the wiki to make this point.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:34 pm

I would agree. The church has not done any studies so we should tone down the information on the page.

Tom

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Postby brado426 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:32 am

jdlessley wrote:In the project description of the HT/VT application wiki I am surprised to see the following:The reason I am surprised is because the only supporting evidence for the second statement is this postby Brad O., the RAR author. The only data sown in the citation is a sample of one (1) from a field of 27,827 wards and branches (from the statistical report given at General Conference in April 2008). Nowhere does Brad O. provide the number of units using RAR. He also makes no claims that the information provided is intended to constitute any attempt at research. An unscientific observation does not constitute valid research. And most certainly he did not make the statement that "this tool will actually improve Home and Visiting Teaching performance for many groups". (bold added for emphasis) Rather he stated "...a healthy majority do experience moderate to extreme improvements". I think a better statement of the facts would read as follows. Informal observations made after a few months from the Return and Report application indicate that this tool may improve Home and Visiting Teaching performance for many groups.

This second claim led me to try and find supporting evidence of the first claim. I can not find any. If research has been conducted - then who did it? What was the methodology used to collect and test the data? Where is it published? How did the 'researchers' arrive at the conclusion that "[the] application will free up Church members to focus more on the needs of their assigned households or sisters.." (bold added for emphasis)

I agree that the project and the resultant tool is important. My point is that a project such as this should not use marketing puffery. It is not necessary. This project is sponsored by the Church and as such we must be careful with the words we choose to represent the project.

If I am wrong about the research I will gladly recant.

I posted on this forum because I could not find an appropriate place on the wiki to make this point.


This information could still be provided if any interest was shown.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:30 am

Brad O. wrote:This information could still be provided if any interest was shown.


Why not post it here?

I am particularly curious to know if the improvements in visits has had a sustained effect after 6 months, 1 year etc or if the improvement is merely shortlived and attributed to the excitement of reporting in a different way.

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Postby brado426 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:35 am

dkjorgi wrote:Why not post it here?

I am particularly curious to know if the improvements in visits has had a sustained effect after 6 months, 1 year etc or if the improvement is merely shortlived and attributed to the excitement of reporting in a different way.


There are two things that should be looked at to determine whether this is worthwhile. While improvements in quantity of visits is a nice side-effect, in my opinion, the more important thing is the improvement of the quality of visits. I have said before that I have seen this increase quantity of visits for many groups, but not all. However, it certainly hasn't decreased quantity in any case that I've seen or heard.


The real-time visit household/sister status throughout the month and comments Emailed to the Presidency enables the Presidency to make more informed decisions which increases the quality of the Home/Visiting Teaching visits such as:
  • assigning the right teacher to the right household/sister
  • taking action for households/sisters who have not been visited as the end of the month approaches
  • knowing what the needs of the families/sisters are throughout the month and acting upon that information
The tool itself does not produce this effect. But it does provide the information to the Presidency giving them the opportunity to take action.

I have posted some accurate statistics in the past in an attempt to get people excited about this, but instead of getting excited about the potential of these statistics, all I hear is "well, you didn't do a detailed analysis."

If I had any indication that additional work on my part would be taken seriously or benefit the official Church project in any way, I would probably put forth that effort by preparing something, and post the results here.

Brad O.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:30 pm

Brad O. wrote:The tool itself does not produce this effect. But it does provide the information to the Presidency giving them the opportunity to take action.


In your opinion, is there a way that much of this functionality can be duplicated via email, perhaps by running a program on the quorum leader's computer? Or maybe even done without fancy technology? In other words, is there a way to get the desired benefit while side-stepping the issues the current system is running into?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby scion-p40 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:30 pm

Email is not an analytical tool. Feedback via email is subject to individual determination of important data. The R&R program seems to address these matters. Were I in a leadership position to which R&R could be directly applied, I would want to use it.

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Postby brado426 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:48 pm

RussellHltn wrote:In your opinion, is there a way that much of this functionality can be duplicated via email, perhaps by running a program on the quorum leader's computer? Or maybe even done without fancy technology? In other words, is there a way to get the desired benefit while side-stepping the issues the current system is running into?


Hey Russell,

This exact question has been posed to me numerous times and I have not yet been able to come up with anything that would provide any significant value. It always ends up being something that isn't much better than the Presidency having a mailing list in Microsoft Outlook and manually parsing through the responses. I guess a thick client could be created that parsed through the President's mailbox and pulled the data out of the received Emails. However, something like that would eliminate so many key benefits that it would be a depressing project to work on. For example, only one Presidency member would be able to administrate the Home/Visiting Teaching. Centralized data is key.

Brad O.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:31 pm

scion wrote:Email is not an analytical tool. Feedback via email is subject to individual determination of important data.


Email is a means of communication where the sender and receiver don't have to be available at the same time. If a standardized mail was sent out, filled out, and returned, it would be possible to automate the gathering and summarizing of data. E-mail side-steps the need for a non-church web server and the issues that go with it.

It's even possible to send out a PDF form, have the users fill it out and the data emailed back for tabulation. However, that probably takes more software then most folks would be willing to buy.

I'm simply seeing if there's another way to achieve the desired end.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:26 am

Brad O. wrote:The real-time visit household/sister status throughout the month and comments Emailed to the Presidency enables the Presidency to make more informed decisions which increases the quality of the Home/Visiting Teaching visits such as:


I do like this but I guess we are still relying on the HT's logging their visits throughout the month.


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