Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Higher Level of Learning

As part of my continuing series where guest authors share reviews of courses at genealogy institutes, here Darcie Hind Posz shares her experience with the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. This course will be offered again in January 2014.

By the time I attended the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, I had already been to national genealogical conferences, been in a few study groups like ProGen and NGSQ and had successfully completed the NGS Home Study Course.  All of those were valuable experiences, but they had allowed me to remain insulated from classroom participation and avoid a cast iron deadline: I was able to learn at my leisure, but at some point I had become complacent.  I needed a higher level of learning that forced me out of my comfort zone and the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum was right for me.  Each day, students of the Practicum receive a genealogical question from one of the excellent lecturer/presenters.  Students then have the day to solve the problem and present their findings to the lecturer/presenter.  Students have the opportunity to interact with presenters and other students on a unique level as they study methodology.  When I attended in 2013, I diligently took notes each day so that later, when I got back home, I could take apart the case studies and more fully understand how it was resolved; even now, applying these methodologies to my own personal research has helped me to resolve nearly all of my genealogical brick walls. 

Mark Lowe taught me that it is possible to both “mull it over” and meet a deadline.  Bill Litchman taught me to just relax and evaluate what is around me, and analysis will come and the answer will appear.  Stefani Evans had beautiful source citations, a lovely research report and taught me to inspect those derivatives.  Tom Jones helped me realize that I have become a source snob by ignoring published family histories and online pedigrees and reminded me that I need to evaluate everything.  J Fonkert showed me that problems can be multi-layered and that I needed to find a better way to sort the information, which led me to using tables in my research plans. 

I enjoyed my experience so much that I have enrolled for 2014 and recommend it for everyone to try!  It is an essential part of Genealogical education and learning.  If you are “on the clock” or just want a more intense genealogical educational experience, then push yourself out of your comfort zone, accept the challenge and experience the Practicum!

For details on the 2014 course and instructors see:
Instructors Selected for 2014 Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

To see other courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, or to register click here.

Darcie Hind Posz has been a professional genealogist for more than nine years. Research emphases include Chicago and Hawaiian/Polynesian genealogy and urban ancestors.  Her writing has appeared in APG Quarterly, FGS FORUM and NGS Magazine and portions of her research are housed at Columbia University. Currently, she is President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and resides in Washington, D.C. 

For other reviews of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at SLIG see:


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