Friday, March 19, 2010

Family History Library Classes Now Available on Internet

This is great news from FamilySearch. Classes in the following topics are now available online at no charge:

* England Beginning Research
* Germany Research
* Ireland Research
* Italy Research
* Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México)
* Research Principles and Tools
* Russia Research
* U.S. Research

There are currently 23 Family History Library classes available online, with subjects ranging from European research to United States military records. The most popular offerings are the Beginning Research Series for Ireland and England and a class on descendancy research.

The classes vary in length from 6 to 58 minutes, with most lasting about 25 minutes. The format of the class varies, depending on the content being presented. One type of class shows a video that alternates between the teacher and the PowerPoint slides. Another kind of class integrates video of the presenter, the accompanying PowerPoint slides, and links to supplemental materials all in one screen.

Several of the classes are interactive, such as a course on reading German handwriting. In these classes, the teacher is represented with still photographs and audio narration, and the student can actively participate in learning activities, such as matching English and German characters or transcribing selected words from a document. As a student types, the correct text appears in green and incorrect answers appear in red, providing immediate feedback.

FamilySearch is continually adding new online offerings; classes on how to read English handwritten records are currently in development. All of the classes can be accessed on by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.