GEN 103: Week 2 Guidance

Everything You Need to Know for Success in Our Course!

Week 2 Overview

Welcome to Week 2! I have enjoyed meeting all of you on our discussion forum, and I look forward to continuing to work and learn together this week!


  • As a busy online student balancing the demands of academics, work, family and personal life, you may never have taken the time to consider whether or not you are "information literate." The American Library Association defines information literacy as, "recognizing when information is needed and having the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." Think about it. All day, every day, we have to fulfill our own needs for information. We require directions to get to a job interview, instructions on how to operate a new tool, or guidelines to sign up on a website to receive weekly updates from our children's teachers .

  • When we set out to buy a car, we do research to find a safe and reliable vehicle that uses gas efficiently and is priced within our budget. But where do we begin? A salesman in a showroom or a website for a specific brand of automobile will be able to provide us with vast amounts of information on makes and models and colors and features. Surely these are valuable details in our search. But can we count on them to give us totally unbiased information about the car's reliability, or the cost of maintenance? For these pieces of information, we can go to a website or book in the library that includes information on all different makes and models of cars, authored by someone who isn't trying to sell them. We can ask friends and neighbors for their first-hand experiences with their cars. While we have one main information goal (find an automobile that meets our different needs), we consult different sources to find this information.

  • It makes life easy for us when we can perform these tasks quickly and easily. We all know the frustration of wasted minutes or hours when we cannot locate the information we are looking for, or we locate so many pieces of information that we do not know which ones to trust.

  • This is where GEN103 comes in, to help you increase your level of information literacy savvy in all areas of life: academic, professional and personal.

Lifelong Learning

“Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.”


The American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy made this declaration in 1989; though technology has changed the way we access information in the last (almost) 3 decades, the underlying message remains the same.

While college students typically have the goal of graduating before them, dangling like a carrot, once one becomes a college graduate, learning doesn't end! Some will continue onto graduate studies; some will find employment; some may choose not to work. However, each graduate will continue to have information needs, and technology will continue to evolve. Information literate lifelong learners take changes in their lives and in the world around them in stride, because they know they have the positive attitude and skills set that will enable them to find out what they need to know, and where to go for help if and when they need it (and we all need help at one time or another)!

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Untitled [Information Literacy Wordle]. (n.d.). Research & Pedagogy Colloquium Series, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, ME. Retrieved June 19, 2016.

Watch this You Tube video, created by a professor at Butler University for a different, but very informative, type of presentation on information literacy!

McGrath, J. [James McGrath]. (2013, May 28). Viva la Library. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMlDQlsna1U.

Viva la Library (The Information Literacy Song)

Discussion Post Expectations

Your first post for Discussion 1, Information and Lifelong Learning, must be 350 words and must be posted by Day 3 (Thursday). Responses to 2 of your classmates in Discussion 1 are due on Day 7 (Monday).

Discussion 2 is our open forum; post 100 words in total for the week. Remember, while you do not HAVE to exceed 100 words, those who participate and post more will benefit more from this open forum!

Please be sure to put your discussion responses in your own words! If you do choose to include a direct quotation, it must be properly cited. See the link below for help, but keep in mind that the bulk of your discussion post should be in your own words though.

Assignment Expectations

  • The Module/Chapter 1 book quiz must be completed by Day 7 (Monday).
  • There is an APA skill activity that you are encouraged to perform.
  • The weekly assignment, Writing Your Research Question, is due Day 7 (Monday).

Contact Your Instructor

When I'm not promoting YA literature in my high school media center, I can be contacted through the "Ask Your Instructor" board or via email. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the course!