Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?
Problem Solving is unique in that a student learns new skills and techniques by working on their own research problem during the week.
Their ultimate success depends upon the problem chosen, their preparatory work putting together their project submission, and availability of records easily available in the Family History Library or Internet resources.
The Problem Solving course is a directed practicum: the student, with the assistance of interested consultants and peers (fellow students in the group) enhances and applies specific methodology, analysis, and evaluation skills in research. The format of the problem-solving course is designed for each student to receive specific help on his/her own project, and also to learn from study of the other student submissions and from the research and methodology discussion and suggestions given for the other projects. Brief discussion of specific records, analysis or evaluation techniques, or writing suggestions will be included as consultants see need.
Each problem solving student chooses his own curriculum – by focusing on one ancestor, ancestral couple, or particular genealogical question.
Choose a problem that is of personal interest and is not under constraints imposed by others. Research being done for hire or for possible submission for CG or AG should not be used, because of time/research constraints imposed by client or submission requirements of being only own work.
The Problem Solving course takes place in 3 parts: designing, working, and sharing.
Designing: after registering and before Oct 30, each student submits a Problem Solving Project, with the following elements: a short 1 page summary of the Problem, pertinent research logs, family groups, pedigree, maps, time line, and five page report about the research problem being submitted.
Working: During SLIG, daily meetings held with assigned group reporting on progress of extensive research, analysis and evaluation of own project.
Sharing: After SLIG: each student completes a new written summary of their research project, discussing sources used, new findings or lack of findings, conclusions and what to consider next in future research.
IF at the end of SLIG week, the group consensus is that research possibilities have been exhausted for the problem, leaving no further avenues to pursue, the student is encouraged to put the project “on the shelf” – writing a final evaluation report which states final conclusions with supporting evidence, and details research steps, sources and analysis. The summary should be shared with those interested including fellow PS Group members and consultants.
Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?
They are able to focus on genealogy and genealogical endeavors for a week away from family, work, and other distractions. They gain skills and understanding they can use personally and professionally and will make new friends who share a passion for genealogy and could provide a network when assistance may be needed outside their local area. Above all, SLIG can be a week of fun, while enhancing skills.
Any parting thoughts or advice?
Genealogy and family history is both fun and addictive. The more you learn about research techniques and analysis strategies the more successful you will be. The more you learn about ancestors and their lives and how they faced their problems the more you learn about yourself. Embrace all on your family and learn from each. Enjoy their successes and sorrow for their disappointments and failures.