Syllabus for SOS-110



Living in the Information Age is designed especially for students who are reentering academic study after a considerable hiatus in their formal schooling. Through interactive instructional software programs— MyFoundationsLabTM and Credo Information Literacy courseware—you evaluate and strengthen your academic skills in writing and information literacy. In addition, through the use of different types of computer technology and by completing course activities, you learn about the ways in which computer technology has changed and is still changing education, work, society, and daily life. Learning activities include reading articles on technical subjects written for general audiences, as well as writing essays and discussing topics ranging from future careers to Internet privacy.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Demonstrate strengthened skills in reading and writing so that you are well prepared to succeed in your degree program.

CO2        Communicate clearly in writing geared to a particular purpose, such as description or persuasion.

CO3        Use technology and information literacy skills to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use and share information.

CO4        Discuss the impact of information technology on daily life.


All materials needed for this course are available online through the course website. These include the Syllabus, Course Calendar, and course Modules; full-text articles available through EBSCOhost; the Credo Information Literacy courseware; and the MyFoundationsLab™ software.

To participate fully in course activities, you need to have daily access to a personal computer and command of basic computer skills.


Living in the Information Age is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in six graded online discussion forums and complete seven written assignments, four Credo Information Literacy assignments, and six MyFoundationsLabTM assignments. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Living in the Information Age requires you to participate in six graded discussion forums, worth 12 percent of your course grade, as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum in Module 1 of the course.

The six discussion forum topics allow for interaction among students and the mentor. The discussions help promote a sense of online community and encourage you to bring your own experiences and insights to bear on the issues and controversies raised in the readings. All discussions in this course are asynchronous, threaded discussions.

Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, a reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

To receive credit for your online participation, you must make a substantive contribution to the discussion forum. A “substantive contribution" means writing at least a short paragraph summarizing your ideas or experiences on the topic and responding to at least two other student's contribution in a timely and material way (i.e., expanding on, agreeing with, or disagreeing with a student's response in specific terms). Vague statements of agreement or encouragement will not be considered substantive.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics folder on the course website is the rubric used in the grading of online discussions.

Use the discussion forums freely for public discussion of course topics. If you have private questions about activities, please direct them to your mentor using e-mail.

Written Assignments

Living in the Information Age has seven written assignments, worth 60 percent of your course grade. Two of these assignments—numbers 4 and 7—serve as the midterm and final examinations, respectively, and are each worth 15 percent of your course grade. The other five written assignments combined make up 30 percent of your grade. There are no proctored examinations in this course.

Your written assignments will be graded according to the evaluation rubric found within each assignment link. Please note that your assignment will receive an automatic 0 if any of the following is the case: (a) your assignment does not address the assignment question; (b) your assignment consists simply of sections cut and pasted from other sources, with or without attribution; or (c) your assignment has been plagiarized.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your activity as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


You should always proofread your course submissions (including discussion forum posts) before posting or submitting them within the course. Fortunately, most word processing programs have proofreading tools built right into them. (You may find these within an area titled “Review” or “Edit” on the program’s top navigation bar.) Using these tools provides a quick “first pass” in proofreading your work.

In addition, examine the proofreading tips found on each of the following sites. You may want to bookmark these sites in your browser so that you can easily return to them:

Credo Information Literacy

The Credo Information Literacy assignments are designed to introduce concepts and help you build skills related to information literacy. There are four Credo Information Literacy assignments, with each assignment containing one or more lessons. Module 1 also contains the Credo Information Literacy pretest. Your score on the pretest will not count toward your final grade in the course, but if you take the pretest and score a 90% or higher, you will automatically earn full credit for all four Credo assignments and do not need to complete them.




Credo Information Literacy 1

  • Why Information Literacy Matters


Credo Information Literacy 2.1

  • The Research Process
  • Choosing a Topic
  • How Information is Produced
  • Types of Sources


Credo Information Literacy 2.2

  • How to Read Scholarly Materials
  • Search Strategies
  • Search Techniques
  • Evaluating Information


Credo Information Literacy 3

  • Why Citations Matter
  • Academic Integrity
  • Social Issues


Use the Credo Information Literacy assignment links in Moodle to access each of the assignments. The four Credo Information Literacy assignments are worth 12 percent of your final grade. To earn credit for your Credo assignments, you must demonstrate mastery in one of the following ways:

  1. Score 90% or higher on the initial pretest in Module 1 (one attempt only). You will get full credit for all four Credo assignments and can bypass them in the modules.

  1. Work on each assignment as indicated in the Course Calendar until you score a 100% on each lesson within the assignment.


Students please note: You are required to complete all MyFoundationsLab assignments by the end of Week 8 of the semester (see Course Calendar). Your access to MyFoundationsLab will end at that point, so it is very important that you complete your assignments at or before that time to receive credit for your work. You may complete work in the six topics at your own rate, as long as you finish all six by the end of Week 8.

The MyFoundationsLab™ software from Pearson is designed to help you assess your reading and writing skills and improve skills as needed. The program’s adaptive learning technology assesses your performance and activity in real time and personalizes content to reinforce concepts that target your personal strengths and weaknesses. Individualized instruction allows you to master skills while working at your own pace. The reading and writing subject areas are shown in the following table:





Reading: Fundamentals

Finish all topics before the end of Week 8 of the semester.


Basic Grammar

Sentence Skills

Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling

Usage and Style

Paragraph Development

Instructions for logging in to MyFoundationsLab are given in the MyFoundationsLab area of the course site. Please follow those instructions carefully.

Completion of the six MyFoundationsLab assignment areas is worth 16 percent of your final grade. To earn credit for your MyFoundationsLab assignments, you must demonstrate mastery of each assigned topic in the following manner:

  1. Initially score 73% or higher on the post-test or mastery check for each of the topic areas.

  1. If a score of 73% is not initially achieved, work on each activity prescribed by your learning path until you have a score of at least 73% in each area, including the post-test.

After achieving mastery on all assigned modules using the methods described above, submit a brief message to your mentor using the MyFoundationsLab Completion Notification link in the MyFoundationsLab course area. In your message, please indicate your results and how you achieved mastery. Your mentor will then verify the scores and give you credit for the assignment.

For technical support using MyFoundationsLab, click Help at the top of the MyFoundationsLab page and then click MyFoundationsLab Support .


Unlike most online courses at Thomas Edison State University, Living in the Information Age does not require you to take a proctored examination. Instead, two written assignments—numbers 4 and 7—function as the midterm and final, respectively. For this course, you do not have to arrange for a proctor by the first week of the semester.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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