Jan 18, 2022: Evidence-based Strategies for Navigating a Polluted Information Environment

20 January 2022

While education is often framed as a necessary bulwark against the threat of misinformation, a mounting body of evidence shows that common approaches to teaching media literacy and critical thinking are ineffective, if not counterproductive, when applied to online information. As a result, many students enter college unprepared to navigate an information environment where they are constantly confronted by propaganda posing as fact, manipulated statistics, hyperpartisan clickbait, questionable ‘research’ studies, and everything in between.

This session will explore insights from recent educational research analyzing how students assess online information, paying particular attention to the faulty mental models many students bring with them to college. After a discussion of emerging evidence-based strategies for helping students orient themselves within their polluted information environment, we will spend time brainstorming ways to incorporate some of these best practices into our teaching across disciplines.

Dimitri Pavlounis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies.

Prior to arriving at Carleton, Dimitri worked for a Canadian civic education organization researching and developing resources to strengthen citizen resilience to online disinformation. As part of this work, he collaborated with educational psychologists to study Canadian high school students’ digital literacy habits and develop evidence-based best practices for teaching students how to navigate online information effectively. Based on this research, he led development on a digital literacy curriculum currently being taught in thousands of schools across Canada. He has also delivered workshops on disinformation for numerous teachers’ associations and civil society organizations.

Jan. 18, 2022: Evidence-based Strategies for Navigating a Polluted Information Environment