Real world examples
When instructors teach students about fake news, it’s important to present them with real-world examples. Instructors may ask students to find a piece of disinformation and write a paper on how they know they can’t trust it.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was much medical misinformation going around.
For example, there was a story circulating on social media that garlic could cure Covid-19. Political misinformation, such as the idea that an election was stolen, can destabilize a democracy.
Teach students how to think instead of what to think
High schools do not generally teach students much about how to think, but at college, this is extremely important. They need to see examples of how their own preconceptions and biases can influence their thinking.
If they hope to make good arguments in essays, they have to present opposing views and draw evidence-based conclusions. Studying at college is more about teaching them how to think instead of what to think.
Lessons to teach students
Students need to learn that they shouldn’t share online content if they have any questions about it.
They should always check whether the source is a reputable one and use other news or fact checking websites to cross check the facts.
They should find out more about the author of the content, check the date when something was written and think about whether their own beliefs could be affecting their judgment.
Students need to realise that online platforms will show them other content based on what they view and like. They need encouragement to look at a range of different resources and access various sources of information, even those with opposing viewpoints.
They should always check where the information in a story comes from by checking links and named sources.
Tackling the problem of propaganda, misinformation, and fake news isn’t easy. It starts by increasing students’ awareness and helping them to identify misinformation when they come across it.
If they can begin to see their own preconceptions and check information more thoroughly, they are less likely to be taken in by fake news.
Emma Rundle has written several books that touch on very sensitive issues that prevail in society.
From racism to gender equality and student loan to immigration, she knows her topics amazingly well, and this enables her to impress her audience. She’s currently writing a book on how colleges can tackle gender inequality issues.