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Getting students to distinguish fact from fallacy in the media

Faculty of Management Professor Elena Obukhova is eager for her students to become “discerning media consumers.” In a recent article in The McGill Reporter “How a Desautels professor is sensitizing students to fake news,” Professor Obukhova describes an assignment she gives students to develop their skill at critically evaluating media content so that they can discern facts from fake news.

“With the aim of imparting information literacy to her BCom students, Prof. Obukhova, with assistance from former McGill Associate Librarian Edward Bilodeau, designed an assignment about the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations that would allow them to grapple with distinguishing fact from fallacy in the media.”

The first part of the assignment calls upon students to write their own biased version of a news article. Professor Obukhova explains: “Teaching somebody how to make a biased or a fake news story is a way to inoculate them from being susceptible to bias and fakery.” Read more.

Many instructors have students do assignments to bolster their critical thinking skills. Pervasive fake news means that learning materials for creating critical thinking assignments are at our finger tips. What critical thinking assignments do you give your students? Post descriptions below!

Senior Academic Associate at McGill's Teaching and Learning Services.; former Senior Faculty Lecturer at the McGill Writing Centre; area of specialization: Second Language Education; loves teaching and learning; will work for chocolate (Photo credit: Owen Egan)

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