Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: The Class
The slides for the LOEX 2018 session entitled Fake News, Lies, and a For-credit Class: Lessons Learned from Teaching a 7-Week Fake News Undergraduate Library Course can be seen on the right.
An open Canvas version of the course is available as well. Look for a Canvas version of the course in the Commons if you are a Canvas campus. The assignments in the Canvas Commons course take advantage of the integration of Google Drive and Canvas on our campus. See the assignment materials below if the Canvas assignments are unavailable to you. A machine-readable version of the syllabus is available. A PDF of the syllabus is also available.
Finally, the materials below include the lesson plans, slides, and homework assignments for each of the 7 weeks of the course. You can find the course proposal here.
Instructional Approach to the Course
- Critical thinking exercises and active learning activities are key to the success of the class.
- Examples of news stories allow students to apply course concepts. Use them freely.
- A Socratic and constructivist approach was applied to the instruction of the course.
- Peer-to-peer learning is incorporated throughout the course.
Week 1: Introducing the Course
- Students will be able to know a little bit about their classmates in order to get to know them and perhaps progress to a community-based classroom
- Students will be able to describe what a poor class discussion is like in order to describe what a good one should be
- Students will be introduced to some historical examples of fake news in order to learn that this is a not a new phenomenon and work toward defining news
- Students will express their own definitions of fake news in order to become aware of their own experiences with the term and in order to be introduced to varying definitions of it.
- Students will be introduced to different types of news in order to become of the wide range of possible types of junk news
Week 2: Strategies for Identifying Real News
- Students will review their class discussion about class discussions in order to have a valuable, respectful discussion today
- Students will analyze some news reading strategies today in order to determine some beginning aspects of a personal strategy for engaging with the news.
- Students will practice searching for background information in “issues databases” in order to find trusted information about hot topics.
Week Three: Journalistic Integrity and News Production
- Students will be introduced to the state of the news media in order to understand how the state of the news media informs the reporting of the news
- Students will be able to use allsides.com in order to have a potential resource to check news outlet bias
- Students will be able to use poynter in order to check on the validity of fact checking websites
- Students will be able to apply some of their personal strategy for engaging with the news with an example of 2 news sources about the same topic in order to gain some experience with checking the news and in order to test parts of their strategy
- Students will be able to engage with news media professionals in order to engage directly with people who are involved in news production
Week 4: The Information Landscape: Media Fragmentation and Social Media
- Students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of social media in order to determine its influence on the news
- Students will be able to search scholarly literature about course topics in order to both explore library databases as well as learn how research can inform our engagement with the news
Week 5: Fact-checking Statistics and Data
- Students will be introduced to a practical fact-checking strategy in order to avoid having to learn how to find census or other organizational data
- Students will be able to practice engaging with a news source using a statistical rule of thumb in order to be aware of how statistics are manipulated sometimes in the news
- Students will be able to engage with data visualizations in order to be prepared when they are confronted with data visualizations that may be manipulated in the news
Note that the data visualizations portion of the lesson relies considerably on visually observable components. Bracketed captions attempt to convey some of those components.