Friday, June 1, 2012

Waking Up Your Brain with the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at SLIG

This post is the seventh in a series of posts by guest authors sharing their experience with courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Here is the experience of Corey Browder Oiesen.

Waking Up Your Brain with the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at SLIG
Have you ever tried to complete five complex client projects in five days? When working on our own family history projects, we often have the luxury of pondering, letting ideas sit and ferment for a while. Maybe we pick up the project again later. When working for others, this luxury goes out the window.

For clients, I try to set realistic deadlines and hours. Yet, often I find myself spending many more hours than scheduled. When I signed up for the new Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), I wasn’t thinking about my chronic over-servicing. I signed up to learn how advanced researchers approach genealogical problems. What I would find is that I learned just as much about case management as I did about researching.

Each evening at SLIG, the instructor of the day jumped into a new genealogical challenge. The students could work on it nonstop until the class reconvened 24 hours later. And if I was at all cocky about my researching skills, these challenging case studies were, for me, served with a big slice of humble pie. And I loved every bite.

The variety of instructors enriched the experience:

Jim Ison, AG, CG
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Karen Mauer Green, CG
Kory Meyerink, AG, FUGA
David Ouimette, CG

The case studies covered different geographic regions, time periods, as well as approaches needed to solve the problems. So not only did I gain insight into new areas of research, I learned news ways of thinking. The instructors challenged my research methods, analysis techniques, and the way I come by conclusions.

My biggest takeaway: the new skills I gained in managing the case studies themselves. Because I only had one day to complete each case study, I had to manage my time wisely and plan ahead. I developed a research planner for each one before I sat down to do the research. At the end of the day, I had to accept that my work was not complete, nor perfect, but that I had used the allotted time effectively.

I am grateful to the instructors and course planners for this unique opportunity!

Corey Browder Oiesen
Genealogy Heroes

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