Fake News: Promoting Online Civic Reasoning and Media Literacy
This guide was originally created for a CTLT Summer Faculty Fellows Workshop, June 12, 2017. Nate Carpenter, Steve Hunt, Sharon Van Der Laan, workshop facilitators. Sharon Van Der Laan often adds new content with assistance from Christine Fary.
The Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP) of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University offers a collection of tools for teaching and learning about information quality and more. Includes complete lesson plan modules with videos, graphics, etc.
"In this course, we show you how to fact and source-check in five easy lessons, taking about 30 minutes apiece. The entire online curriculum is two and a half to three hours and is suitable homework for the first week of a college-level module on disinformation or online information literacy."
An extensive guide from Colby-Sawyer College’s Library, packed with fake news resources including Eli Pariser’s viral TEDTalk video “Beware online ‘filter bubbles’" and a “For Faculty: Fake News in the Classroom” section and much more.
This lesson plan uses a blank version of Vanessa Otero’s Media Bias chart to convey the idea that “fake news” exists on a continuum. “The chart is a useful tool for showing the nuances between nonfactual, biased, and inflammatory news sources. Participants are asked to research a news media organization and decide where to place it on the chart, then compare their choices to Otero's original infographic.”
"Designed for college students as a self-directed course or as a resource for classroom instructors, the approximately 90-minute course includes lessons on identifying reliable sources in fact-checking, debunking viral misinformation, and deciding whether a statement is really checkable."
Environmental journalist and professor, Andrew Revkin, illustrates his “Backtrack Journal” assignment which involves tracing the path one bit of information took to get to you. “This exercise shows the ways in which information moves through social media and how easily its origins can become obscured.”
The Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University offers curriculum materials, including a 14 lesson course pack with videos and activities, to teach students “critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and news sources.” Other free instructional resources to use with students are available in their Digital Resource Center.
Although this article originally appeared in School Library Journal, the many lesson plans, classroom activities, assignments, tools, videos, and other instructional resources could easily be used with or adapted for college students.
“Featuring Fred Fact, the cartoon walks readers through seven simple ways they can use their smartphones to check information and become a more discerning media consumer. Tips include things as simple as checking the author’s name and reverse searching an image….This comic book was produced by the Brazilian fact-checking platform Aos Fatos, in partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute.”