Learning Center

FAQs for NGS Courses

How does an online course work?

Online courses use a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide students with various materials needed for the courses, including web pages, videos, and websites. NGS uses the Canvas Learning Management System by Instructure.

How long does it take to complete an online course?

These courses are self-paced and students can work as quickly as they like. The courses have no set time or date for attendance as they are geared toward individuals who have busy lives and varied schedules. After registration, students have access to the course for six months. If necessary, students may request a one-time extension.

What is the difference between the Foundations in Family History and Continuing Genealogical Studies courses?

Foundations in Family History is a comprehensive three-part to help family historians build their skills and learn about various types of genealogical records. The modules provide step-by-step instruction, case studies, web links, quizzes, bibliographies, glossaries, and practical exercises.

Continuing Genealogical Studies courses focus on specific subject areas such as genetic genealogy, military research, or reading old handwriting. These courses help students learn skills to further their research. Each of these courses dive deep into a specific subject and provide practice exercises and additional reading materials.

When can I start the course?

Please allow three business days to receive an email from NGS confirming registration. You will then receive an email from Canvas by Instructure providing you with login instructions, good for the duration of the course.

Which browsers work for a Canvas course?

Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser, including the current version of many popular browsers such as:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari

Can I do my coursework on my computer or on my iOS or Android mobile devices?

Yes. You will need to download the appropriate Canvas app. Please note: Canvas was designed for desktop display. Its mobile apps are not yet fully responsive.

Can I do my coursework without being connected to the internet?

You need an internet connection to do your coursework.

How do I log in to Canvas?

Upon registering for the course, you receive instructions for logging in to Canvas for the first time. Please keep track of your password.

How can I extend my course time?

If you need extra time to complete a course prior to your course expiration date, please contact the course administrator at courses@ngsgenealogy.org.

What is the refund policy for courses?

All course purchases are final. No refunds are issued.

What kind of tech help is available for Canvas?

Please note that Instructure provides NGS with the Canvas software. If you have questions about using the system, please send an email to Susan Yockey, course administrator, at courses@ngsgenealogy.org. We try to answer questions promptly during office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

If you have questions regarding course content, please send an email to the education course manager.

After taking one of the courses, am I a certified genealogist?

Although the National Genealogical Society has a variety of courses available to help you learn about the methods, skills, and standards for certification, NGS is not a licensing body. Therefore, no formal genealogical credential or accreditation is implied. Please refer to the websites of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG) or the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) for their policies or standards for certification or accreditation.