Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teaching Indexing

Tuesday night, for the first time, I was asked to teach indexing to a group of about 30 people (youth and their leaders) with about 15 laptop computers.

While much went right, we had our share of snags. I thought that a posting here might help things to go more smoothly for any of you planning to do the same thing.

Give participants a handout with the name of the wireless network and its password, as well as the URL for indexing. ( or

The leaders need the names and membership numbers of the youth to help them register. (Minimum age is 13 for indexing.) (This was provided by the ward membership clerk and returned to him afterwards.)

The Indexing "test drive" is best run from a computer with a 3:4 (rather than a 9:16) aspect-ratio monitor to eliminate constant scrolling up and down the screen. A projector will allow everyone to see the test drive or a 3-minute PowerPoint/Impress presentation for orientation.

Make it clear that members who already have an LDS online account should use it without registering again. If it doesn't work, then register.

Registering has the usual confusion over acceptable sign-in names and passwords. Ask everyone to write down their sign-name and password and take it home with them.
Downloading the software and installing it put a strain on the wi-fi network, as several people were doing this simultaneously. Download times increased to about 8 minutes.

Make it clear that once the software is installed, they look on the computer Desktop for the FamilySearch Indexing icon, and double-click it.

Once they run the software, they can sign-in for indexing.

Make sure that they select a Beginner batch. (usually a draft card registration or other simple document.) Some of my students didn't accept the Beginner batch suggested to them, and were overwhelmed by a more advanced-level batch.

Beginner batches do not need to have records added, so when that box pops-up they should just close it.

Have enough leaders to help them complete the batch and the Quality Check (which mostly looks for fields that have been left blank).

I noticed that some youth and leaders were reading "County" as "Country", so maybe watch for that.

If the box to transmit the batch fails to pop-up, they can use the icon (second from the left above the data entry table).


Actually, if you include all of this info in the hand-out, it should eliminate most of the problems. (I wish I had had it.)

Still, several of the youth were able to complete batches. Some did 3 or 4 batches. The YW leaders plan to do a follow-up indexing session next Tuesday without my help. If I am asked again, I will be better prepared.


Bill Buchanan

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I'd heard someone else mention the slow-down on the network with multiple people using it -- something I hadn't experienced working at home on my own network! Glad to see your verification of that. Thanks!