Thursday, January 17, 2013

So Are You a Beginner, an Intermediate or an Advanced Researcher? Do You Know?

How would you categorize your researching ability? Do you know where you are on the spectrum from beginner to expert? Do you know where to find continuing education opportunities based on where you are? Here are some tools you can use to figure out where you are and where you need to go.

You can look through some of the free courses at FamilySearch's Learning Center. The courses can be filtered by beginner, intermediate and advanced topics. See what things you know and don't know and you will be able to categorize yourself.

You can also look through the courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Scroll down until you see "Compulsory Courses." Their required courses for the American Records Certificate are listed as basic, intermediate, and advanced. If you read the course content of these courses, you will be able to figure out what you already know and what you don't which will help put you at a level.

Here is a simple checklist by Sandra H. Luebking. She has outlined criteria that would put you in the intermediate category. It is offered by Samford University as a tool to help you determine whether you are where you should be to take their Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies course. You can access it HERE.

Are you thinking that you are more advanced? You can check yourself against what the Board for the Certification of Genealogists and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists consider a proper background in education and experience.

Are You Ready for Certification?
ICAPGen Accreditation Application

You can be a beginner in one area and advanced in another. Even expert genealogists have weaknesses. Most genealogists tend to gravitate toward a specific area of expertise. I am a beginner when it comes to research in the British Isles because I haven't had much experience researching in those records. Constantly assessing your expertise level and what your deficits are will help you plan your continuing education. Even if you are an advanced researcher, new record sets are becoming available online and you really need to keep up with that or you will be doing a lot more work than is necessary.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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