11 March 2015

RootsMOOC is Coming -- Free online intro to genealogy course



RootsMOOC [Massive Open Online Course] is a free, open, online course and a friendly introduction to family history research in the U.S. using commonly available sources. The staff at the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library will help you learn about the most useful sources, tools, and techniques for getting your research off the ground. By the time you’re finished with this course, you’ll have a good start on your own genealogy research and you will know how and where to keep digging.

Participants in this course will have the opportunity to complete an ancestor chart, conduct interviews with family members, and share their own research progress with fellow participants. You’ll be challenged to go beyond the sources that are available online, identify local genealogy societies and libraries in your area, and connect with experts who can help you wherever your search takes you.

This project is created by Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library and the State Library of North Carolina and was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services



RootsMOOC is broken up into five two-week modules, each opening in sequence (not all at once):
  • Introduction & orientation
  • Getting started & staying organized
  • Tapping into the US Census
  • Using state & local resources (ex: local history room, public library, university archives, state libraries and archives etc.)
  • Understanding & using of digital collections

Sign up here.

The course has no graded activities and no deadlines. As new modules open, all previous modules and their discussions remain active, so participants can go back to previous modules if they fall behind.  You can spend as much or as little time as you want on each module. It is really up to the participant. There is no set time to “meet” but the course and discussions will be open from March 23, 2015 – June 1, 2015.

Through video interviews, tutorials, discussions, and structured learning activities, we’ll learn the very basics of genealogy research, such as the best places to get started, how to stay organized, and what kinds of documents and search tools you’ll encounter along the way. We’ll all share our research progress and help each other overcome roadblocks as we share our best tips and tricks in the online discussion forums. Librarians, archivists, and other experts from North Carolina and around the United States will be participating right alongside us, answering questions and pointing us all in the right direction.

If you’ve been looking for a place to get started on your family history research, RootsMOOC just might be the thing you’ve been waiting for. We can’t wait to get started!

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of MOOCs this YouTube video is quite helpful, 






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