GEN 103: Week 4 Guidance

Everything You Need to Know for Success in Our Course!

Welcome to Week 4!

This week we will be learning about the CRAAP assessment of websites: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose, with the intention of preparing you even further for your annotated bibliography assignment. CRAAP is an acronym for the different categories we look at, using this method, to assess the overall value and validity of our sources: currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose.

One of the lessons I most enjoy sharing with high school students and teachers is one that concerns the authenticity of websites. Something I remind people is that you can’t necessarily judge a website by its appearance. A professional website may in fact be inaccurate; a website that is a mess aesthetically may in fact be legitimate. However, in accessing the websites of major organizations, government institutions, etc., you should expect a clean and professional design.

I am including links to 2 hoax sites below. By hoax site, I simply mean that the site is full of inaccuracies or false information – this can be either for amusement, such as a parody or for offensive reasons, such as spreading racist viewpoints. The Onion is a popular, entertaining hoax news site from which I have had Facebook friends share links to articles they think are really true. The hoax sites I am linking to are amusing, non-offensive ones, but they’ll allow you to see how easy it is to post information that is completely untrue that people will have few reasons not to believe. Without digging deep and using the CRAAP analysis, there are websites that I would even have trouble assessing, and I do this for a living! So pay close attention this week and educate yourself; you'll be glad that you did and your academic work will be more legitimate due to your efforts.

Objective vs. Subjective Information

I like to include a variety of supplemental materials in various formats to help drive home important concepts in our course. I know you are all very pressed for time, so I only include resources that I think are very beneficial, and this two and a half-minute video from the Portland State University Library does a good job at addressing the difference between these two important types of information, for those of you who feel like you can use a little extra instruction on the topic.
Objective vs Subjective Information

Google Smart Searching

It became very apparent through the Introductory forum that the vast majority of students in this section of GEN 103 are Google afficionados. I am too; as we've discussed it is the most convenient way, especially when searching from mobile devices, to access information quickly.

While Google isn't appropriate for every search need, I've found some resources on using Google more wisely for better searching that I thought were worth sharing with all of you. This is NOT to suggest Google is a replacement for academic databases by any means, but no matter what type of forum you search in, you will have the best results if you search smartly!

If you use any of these tips and find they work well for you, please let the class know on the weekly open forum!

Week 4 Assignments

Discussion 1: CRAAP Analysis. Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to at least 1 classmate. Your intitial contribution should be a minimum of 350 words, and be sure to address all parts of the prompt.


Discussion 2: Open Discussion. You must post a minimum of 100 words before the end of Day 7. Keep in mind, however, that if everyone waits until Day 7 there won’t be much interaction, so try to post earlier in the week if possible!


Quizzes: There are two quizzes this week; one is on Book Module 3 and the other on subjective/objective information. Please complete both before Day 7.


Assignment: You will complete a “Locating Web Pages” template which is due Day 7 (Monday). Please be sure to read and follow all instructions very carefully, and be sure to complete the worksheet in its entirety, and please adhere to any word count requirements.

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!