The University of Tasmania is now running their introduction to family history course again. They have taken note of many things mentioned by those of us who did it over the Christmas break in 2014/2015. I was invited by Dianne Snowden to be a moderator for this course, so I can see the tremendous changes that have been made.
1. They have allowed a two week orientation program where students get the chance to learn the terminology for online learning, as well as having a chance to navigate around the MyLO platform which is used at the Uni. This also means those who enrol late still get a chance to learn the computer skills needed before heading into the actual family history learning. Included in this learning is a practice dropbox activity and a practice quiz which they must pass with at least 50% correct before going onto the family history modules.
2. The course is over a longer period of time which allows for more detailed learning on those areas of family history which might be different to normal history eg referencing and citing of sources.
3. There is only one major assignment and that is a research plan rather than the report we did in our course. Assessment also includes a quiz every two weeks and discussions in your groups. These discussions are assessed on quantity rather than quality as we had. Students have to start 8 discussions and reply to at least 16. Each module completed will mean chances to start your own discussions on topics of interest but also based on the research you want to do.
4. Students put themselves into discussion groups with a maximum of 50 students per group. There are three skill levels and these were explained before students decided which one they put themselves into.
It has been interesting to follow conversations in the Facebook group as well. The same worries we had in our course are also found with this new group of students. Many of them though, were champing at the bit to get started with the first module of true family history learning.
As I am a moderator of three beginner groups, I often give them the link to my blog and the links we used in our previous course. These have come in handy especially for storage of information.
As the actual course gets going I will be adding further posts to the blog and further points to this post.