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Digital Literacy Skills for Family History Research

Wilkinson, J., & Bond, N. (2021). Digital Literacy Skills for Family History Research. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice16(2), 89-110.


In this case study, an archivist and librarian teamed up to teach an
introductory course on family history research for adult learners at their
university’s lifelong learning centre. In response to students’ relative lack of
digital skills, the instructors developed a new set of introductory skills that they
believe are essential for genealogy research.

Authors conducted pre- and post-course surveys to determine
student expectations and the extent to which the course met those
expectations. Authors coded one of these surveys.

Course assessment and class activities exposed the need for a set of
digital skills that go beyond a literacy framework to assist family history
researchers. After analyzing key themes found in pre- and post-course
assessment, authors developed a new tool for genealogy instructors titled
Introductory Digital Skills and Practices in Genealogy (IDSG).

Archivist/librarian collaborations are an excellent way to
cultivate needs-based teaching and outreach opportunities in our wider
communities, particularly for adult learners. The Introductory Digital Skills
and Practices in Genealogy tool is meant to inspire and assist other library
professionals who want to teach family history research, serving as a reminder
to centre teaching tangible digital skills as a focal point of instruction.

Read the full text pdf

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