We all are surrounded by information. It comes at us from all directions, all the time – from phones, computers, TVs, even from other people.
It can be overwhelming to find the information that we need without spending all our time digging through information that is not relevant or accurate. This is especially true when time is ticking away at work or for a classroom deadline.
GEN103: Information Literacy will help you find the information you need quickly and aid in evaluating the sources you find so you can be confident you’re using relevant and accurate information.
Here are three things to know about your GEN103: Information Literacy class:
1. Should You Google It?
Whenever we need to know something, we turn to Google and instantly select the information we need from the first few hits. That might be fine when you’re trying to remember or locate a fact. But for academic purposes, it’s not enough. In GEN103: Information Literacy, you’ll explore ways to evaluate web pages. One method you will be introduced to is called the CRAAP test. That’s right – the CRAAP test helps to assess Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. These are the elements you should look for in web pages to help make sure that you’re looking at credible and reliable information.
Bonus: Another great place to find information is the University of Arizona Global Campus Library. In GEN103, you’ll use the library to find journal articles and ebooks. These are the types of sources you’re likely to be asked to use in your upcoming classes. In this class, you’ll learn how to use the library step-by-step, so it’ll be easy!
2. Do You Have Confirmation Bias?
Have you ever considered how your own views might affect how you do research? The tendency to look for sources that support your views and ignore sources that contradict them is called “confirmation bias.” In order to present fair and accurate research, a researcher must be aware of confirmation bias and do their best to avoid it. You’ll dig deeper into this topic during the class so that you can be better researchers in the classroom as well as in your professional lives!
3. Is There a Final Paper?
Throughout this class, you’ll be discussing the research process from the beginning stages of defining and choosing a research topic. But, in this class, your final project will not be a research paper. Instead, it will be an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is a list of sources, correctly referenced, with a one- or two-paragraph description that acts as a summary and an evaluation. So ultimately, there’s no formal research paper required!
Gen103: What’s In It for You
GEN103: Information Literacy provides a strong foundation that will help you more effectively and efficiently complete your assignments and your upcoming classes. It also will help you be more successful in wherever your professional life takes you.
Bonus: There’s a video walk-through and sample template to follow for building this final project – so all the tools you’ll need to succeed are right there in the classroom!
Written by Holly Heatley, MA, MLIS, Lead Faculty in the Center for the Enhancement of the First Year Experience at the University of Arizona Global Campus