Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Feedback is a Good Thing: Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Offers New Interactive Option for Courses

A few months ago, I received word of a new genealogical institute that would be offered in a virtual manner.  I remember being excited at the prospect of such an institute, but with my schedule and financial constraints, I was not able to jump on board and try it out. 

About a month ago, I came across Jenny Lanctot’s blog post Review: Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) and was curious to see what she thought.  As I had feared, Jenny’s biggest disappointment had to do with the fact that it was clearly stated that courses would be limited to 100 participants to allow for “a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars,” and she felt that this level of interaction was not a reality.  Many of the people that commented on her post, who also attended the same course Jenny discussed, felt the same way.  Following was my response to her post:

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jenny. Having run webinars for nearly three years using GoToWebinar, I wondered how the idea of “a higher level of instructor feedback” would work, especially with the modifier of “limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course.” Sounds like it may not have worked out so well. There are other options available to make it a more interactive experience, but I get the feeling that this was a matter of going with what you (the organizers) know and what the genealogy community is familiar with (webinars, particularly the GTW platform). Perhaps with your feedback (as well as others who participated and felt the same way) a better solution can be implemented in the future.


Fortunately, my prediction was right.  The organizers of VIGR considered the feedback and are trying a new solution, where participants can pay an extra $30 to receive “Plus” perks that include a separate one-hour Q&A session and instructor feedback via email (details in the press release below).  I’m not sure that I agree with the solution of a “Plus” package, especially since a higher level of interaction was promised from the beginning.  But kudos to the organizers for listening to the participant’s feedback and trying to come up with a solution.

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Register for CSI-Genealogy, New Institute in Illinois Next May


I must apologize to my readers as I thought I had posted about the new Carl Sandburg Institute of Genealogy (CSI-Genealogy) that will be held in Galesburg, Illinois, May 28 to June 1, 2015.  Apparently, I did not, so here’s the scoop.

Over the course of 4-1/2 days, attendees attend a variety of classes/lectures specific to the track they choose.  The four tracks that are available are:

If you click on the link for the tracks, you can see the list of classes/lectures that are included.

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Another New Genealogical Institute, This One Virtual!

header-logo2This morning I received the following press release, announcing the formation of Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR).  I think it’s a really interesting concept, with some great benefits.  First, you don’t have to travel—all the courses are offered online.  Second, for a reasonable price, you get to attend four 90-minute sessions online AND you get the digital video recording and the syllabus.  And finally, unlike traditional genealogical institutes, where you only get to work on one topic for the week, VIGR offers various courses at different times throughout the year, allowing you to attend more than one.  More details in the press release below.

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The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy to Hold Fourth Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute on March 26-28, 2015

The 2015 FGI Offers Two Brand-New, Cutting-Edge Courses for
Forensic Genealogists

Dallas, Texas – June 12, 2014 – The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) announced today that the fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) will be held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The 2015 FGI features two brand-new, concurrent, 20-hour courses: “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” and “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases.”

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