Monday, April 11, 2016

A Genealogy Course Review: "AGS: The Basics"

This week I enrolled in, and completed, the course offered by NGS titled "AGS: The Basics." This course must be passed before being allowed to take more advanced courses. The second course, "Guide to Documentation and Source Citation," is also a prerequisite to other courses.

While being given six months to complete this online course, I easily completed it in about three hours. Each of the four modules is set up with the same format: you read about a topic, then answer a series of questions. For each of the seven quizzes, you must score a minimum number of correct answers before being allowed to proceed.

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There are four modules in this course:
  • Getting Started - which includes family group sheets, pedigree charts, sources, citations, and computers 
  • Creating a Research Plan - which explains what a research plan is and how to use it
  • Home Sources - which deals with sources you might find at home including Bibles, military papers, and photographs
  • Family Traditions and Connecting with Others - which covers how to deal with family stories, family relationships (for example, what is a second cousin once removed?), conducting interviews, and contacting others through social media and other means
My biggest complaint was the price. For members, the course costs $45 and for non-members it jumps to $65. This is a lot of money for such a short course! 

I was also totally surprised that I was able to finish the entire course in about three hours. When given six months to complete it, I expected it to be a lot more involved! 

Lastly, more than ten years ago I started the Home Course through NGS, which I never finished. That course was heavily about actual research and you handed in assignments for grading and review before proceeding. I was expecting "hands on" work, and not just quizzes about what I'd read. 

I do plan on signing up for the next course, "Guide to Documentation and Source Citation," which I expect will be a lot like "The Basics." But, I'm hopeful that the courses past these prerequisite courses are hands on and include assignments which are actually graded. 

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