Information Literacy and Trust in a Post-Truth World
- The course is designed to familiarize students with social and organizational processes underlying information production in the digital age, as well as with potentially problematic consequences of uncritical information consumption. A practical goal is to equip students with techniques and strategies that will help them productively navigate today’s information landscape.
- Understand the origins and mechanics of the major shifts in information environments that gave rise to the post-truth metaphor;
- Critically assess the authority of online information sources and acknowledge the possibility of multiple, conflicting expert opinions;
- Acknowledge their own biases and limitations as information consumers, and act so as to minimize the effects of their prior assumptions on how they process online messages;
- Spot common techniques used to frame or misrepresent information online;
- Apply the acquired skills to produce meaningful online content
- The role of information literacy in the age of post-truth.Post-truth as the state of information environment where subjective biases and uninformed opinions challenge fact-based reasoning and truth-seeking expertise.The role of information literacy in promoting responsible, introspective information consumption.Metaliteracy model.
- Expertise and authority.Social function of expertise.Strategies of evaluating information sources’ expertise.The role of subjective predispositions on perceived authority of information sources.
- The role of trust in digital information environments.Varieties of trust and their role in production and consumption of information online. Collaborative information production in communities of trust.Threats to trust and privacy.
- Varieties of information misrepresentation.Framing and frames. Devices and techniques used by media to construct the picture of social reality. Manipulating visual evidence.The truthiness effect.
- Promoting meaningful communication onlineThe original societal promise of the Web.The model of collaborative, civic-minded online information production. Platforms and formats for community-driven knowledge production.
- In-class contributions
- Individual report
- Final projectStudents will complete a final project based on the prompt from the Coursera MOOC:The goal is for students to create an online message promoting information literacy and share it with a person or group of people that they identify as vulnerable to biased or low-quality information. At the final class meeting, students will present their work and report ontheir experience sharing it with the public. This work can be collaborative, but each student must participate in presentation of their group’s final project. The project should attest to your newly acquired information literacy skills and your ability to help others become moreaware of their information consumption habits.
- Interim assessment (1 module)0.5 * Final project + 0.25 * In-class contributions + 0.25 * Individual report
- Ziva Kunda. (1990). The case for motivated reasoning.
- Bransford, J., & National Research Council (U.S.). (2000). How People Learn : Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Vol. Expanded ed. National Academies Press.
- Newman, E., & Feigenson, N. (2013). The Truthiness of Visual Evidence. Jury Expert, 25(5), 9–14.