Capturing Family Histories and Personal Stories

Recording and preserving the memories and personal stories of grandparents, parents, siblings, children, and even friends can be deeply rewarding, and a fun bonding experience for both the interviewer and the interviewee — and one that’s full of fascinating discoveries and surprises, too. 

Learn how to capture personal histories, whether for a book, podcast, video, or a series of recordings or transcripts in this fun and practical course. Find out what you need to get started, know how to keep your project on track, and learn how to overcome roadblocks. 

Discover the best equipment for your project (hint: you may already have what you need), get tips on conducting enjoyable and effective interviews — even with interviewees who think they don’t have anything interesting to say — and find out how to get people talking and keep them going. The course also emphasizes the importance of empathy, respect and care when gathering people’s stories, especially when they share more difficult or personal moments.  

This course is for anyone who has wanted to record the memories or personal stories of family members, friends or others they admire, but need the structure, skills and guidance to make it happen.  

By the end of the course, you’ll know how to: 

  • map out your project
  • get the most out of your interviews 
  • use photo albums, journals and daytimers to jog memories 
  • transform raw material into a completed project 
  • preserve stories and memories that can be passed down to future generations. 

You don’t need any prior experience in interviewing, writing or recording to take this course.  

How am I Assessed?
This course is graded as complete/incomplete based on participation.  

Expected Effort
Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week completing coursework, participating in the online forum, and attending the optional group video chat. 

Technology Requirements
To take this course, and for the best experience, we recommend you have access to: 

  • an email account 
  • a computer, laptop or tablet using Windows or macOS  
  • the latest version of a web browser (or previous major version release)
  • a reliable internet connection 
  • a device that can record audio (smart phone, tablet, computer, digital recorder, etc.). 

One day before the start of your course, we’ll email you step-by-step instructions for accessing your course. 

There are no textbooks for this course.

Course Format

This course is 100% online and instructor supported. Course work is done independently and at your own pace within deadlines set by your instructor. Log in anytime to your course to access the lessons as they become available.

The course includes a lively mix of written materials, articles and interviews with top experts in the field, as well as an online forum where you can interact with your classmates and instructor, and an optional weekly group video chat.

Available Sessions

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Sep 27, 2022-Nov 21, 2022 | Online | $610.00

Format: Online, Instructor Supported
Code: WG406F22O
Sep 27, 2022-Nov 21, 2022
Optional Tuesday Drop-in, 6:00pm-6:45pm
8 sessions

1nstructor: Jennifer Van Evra

Fees / Tuition

Type Fee Tax Total
$610.00 $30.50 $640.50