Category Archives: Curriculum ideas

What Can You Learn from an Old Program Brochure? Gen Ed @ the Library

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Today I stumbled on an old program brochure from a series of genealogy lectures I organized at Regina Public Library a few years ago.Neither the series offerings nor the brochure text are perfect. Therefore they are a good place to start in thinking about a similar lecture series. As you read this, realize this is a lecture series, not a class. Consider the following questions:

  1. Do the lectures fit into a logical progression/?
  2. Is the redundant information useful or a distraction?
  3. Do the titles reflect content as described?
  4. Do the topics fit the series for beginners? for intermediate learners?
  5. Would you attend? Continue reading

Item Analysis for Genealogy Teachers

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Is there a difference between genealogy teachers and those other folks who talk at the front of the class?

One critical difference is that teachers evaluate student learnig and student performance carefully to discover learning needs. We front of the room talkers need help with that.

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What Do You Include in Your Handouts and Syllabus Material?

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My thoughts on this are quite basic. My handouts contain an outline of my lecture, copies of any critical charts/figures, and a references or further readings list.

Not all see things my way. Look at any recent FGS/NGS conference syllabus and count the number who do not use outlines. Look at who they are. They are an impressive lot. Some people feel outlines invite people to steal the lecture. Frankly, if you can steal my lectures you are pretty impressive. I use very little script. Most of my illustrative anecdotes are spontaneous, and my humor makes the heavy content load palatable. None of it goes in the handout. OK, sometimes I include boxed quotations of my profound generalizations.
I often explain that the outline is there so the learner can see where she should arrive at the end.

Some lectures include sections in the handout for people to write down key definitions. or to fill in blanks. Done well, within an outline I like that. G. David Dilts AG did a presentation once that had a handout consisting of summary paragraphs for each section pf his lecture, with blanks for many key words for learners to fill in. I wondered how well that worked.
I insist everyone at my lecture have one for free, and do not allow them to be sold by my host to those not attending.. Nor will I permit them to publish it in their newsletter/journal/website.

I stipulate in my contract that I own copyright to the handout and the host may print sufficient copies for those attending. I usually collect the extras.

What do you think?

1. Reading, Transcribing and Abstracting: Resources for Learning.

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There he sits, the determined genealogist at the microfilm reader pondering marks in a page with a microfilm that states photocopies, even for personal use, cannot be made. The Genealogist obviously needs some skills to handle this situation.

Where can he turn?

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7. Learning and Practicing the Genealogical Proof Standard

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Its time to wrap up the series on the GPS. Today we look at the seventh concept to teach: We arrive at a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion. To get to this point the learner must have an understanding of the previous four steps in the  process: Continue reading

Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts in the Genealogy Class?

There's an interesting little book I just learned about called “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms”
Now its true that I could not distinguish a "wiki" or "wikis" from a tuberous begonia, I am curious, so I may just order it and see what I can learn. MY informant claims its a very practical book. Take a look.

4. Learning and Practicing the Genealogical Proof Standard

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I've been struggling over a lecture I'm giving in Oshawa at the Ontario Genealogical Society annual Seminar next week. My topic, Essentials of Documentation for Genealogists addresses the second part of the Genealogical Proof Standard, "We collect and include in our compilation a complete, accurate citation to the source or sources of each item of information we use" ( BCG Standards Manual (Orem, UT: Ancestry, 2000) page 1)

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2. Learning and Practicing the Genealogical Proof Standard

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Years ago and far away on the green isles of New Zealand I was mentoring people who were making some serious life changes. The program included several sessions where it was critical that precise information was given in a precise sequence. So I memorized the presentation word perfect. That was in 1969. Parts of that come back to me even today. How the does this relate to the GPS? Read on and I'll explain.

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1. Learning & Practicing the Genealogical Proof Standard

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Its easy to learn what the Genealogical Proof Standard says. In fact you could memorize it, because its not that long. Here's what it says in the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Washington, DC: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2000) pages 1-2,

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From a How–To Article to a Case Study Lecture

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Have you ever read a how-to article in a genealogical society publication that was stripped down, economical of language and so clear you wanted to do that search? I recently read an article like that in the National Genealogical Society Newsmagazine that got me thinking. I like lectures that are illustrated with a case study showing how one problem was solved, but doing so with suffiicient information that the listener could use the same process with his or her problem. Here's what I'm talking about.

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