Pharos Teaching & Tutoring Limited
Online Classes in British Genealogy
Courses at Pharos: How They Work
Pharos brings genealogy courses to you using e-mail, a chat room and a shared message site, called a Common Room. The system is simple and flexible. As long as you can receive lessons, know how to find the messages in the Common Room and where to go for chats you are ready to participate at whatever level of involvement suits your timetable or inclination.
The following paragraphs explain how the system works. Everyone registered in a course receives this information personally from the instructor, along with anything specific to the program.
Once You Are Registered
Confirmation of payment received will be followed soon after by a welcome message from your instructor. This message is important. Please read it carefully as it contains important information including reminders to take the following steps.
Respond to the request for an e-mail address to which lessons can be sent.
Respond to the request to send the instructor information about the time zone in which you live; you may also be asked for information about times when it is impossible for you to attend chat sessions.
Check that a recent edition of Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be found here:
Check that the URL provided for access to the Chat Room takes you to a correctly titled location. You can practice entering the chat room at any time. You will find instructions there about using the Chat Room; please print them out and keep them handy.
Check that the URL provided for access to the message area takes you to a Common Room correctly titled for the course. You will find further instructions there about using this feature; please print them out and keep them handy.
Review personal genealogy files in order to select and refresh your memory on the line or lines of research relevant to the course content.
Once the Course Begins
On the first day of the course, or perhaps a day or two earlier, you will receive lesson number 1 by e-mail from your instructor. It will arrive as an attachment in PDF format. Print it out and put it in a binder. This is a good opportunity to create a course binder with separate sections for each lesson. Be sure to include some blank sheets of paper for additional notes and to use a binder large enough to add any printouts you make at web sites visited during the course.
If you gathered together some charts and summary notes in your review of genealogy files you may want to put them in the binder.
Courses are taught as a progression of lessons and it is important to read lessons and complete the exercises in order.
Make an effort to attend some or all of the chat sessions. The instructor will try to take into consideration the time zones and timetables of the class members but please bear in mind that participants in the class and/or the instructor can live in completely incompatible time zones. Chats generate interesting exchanges and advice not found in lessons; copies of chat text will be available.
Visit the Common Room regularly. This is an area where the instructor can leave messages for you to collect at your convenience and where you can exchange questions and discussion not only with your instructor but with other members of the class.
Learn and Enjoy
Good learning experiences happen when people join in, get involved and take part in all facets of learning – lessons, exercises, chats and Common Room. Online learning is a mix of self-study and coming together. There may not be a classroom to gather in but there is opportunity to interact and get to know one another. A busy schedule may keep you away from the real classroom but it need not reduce your participation in a Pharos online course. The instructors look forward to meeting you and making your genealogy learning interesting, productive and enjoyable.