COD Library Blog

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World

GIFT-blue.pngEvaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News
An updated New York Times Lesson Plan from Katherine Schulten and Amanda Christy Brown. The authors present problems that students grapple with when evaluating news and provide resources and activities around the following ideas:

  • Why Does This Matter? Framing the Problem for Students
  • Understanding Different Types of Unreliable News
  • Follow a Case Study in How Fake News Spreads
  • Consider the Effects of Fake News on Democracy

Lesson Idea: Media Literacy and Fake News

GIFT-green.pngLesson Idea: Media Literacy and Fake News
A 3-step lesson plan from C-SPAN Classroom using the short video "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles' War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News" as context.

OVERVIEW:
In a world filled with rapid pace communication through a variety of platforms, we have an abundance of information available at our fingertips. Discerning fact from fiction can be complex. Knowing the source can be challenging, and the messages being delivered can be received in different ways, effecting certain populations of people as well as our country. View the videos in this lesson with your students to cultivate an understanding of media literacy and engage in a discussion about its impact and significance for the future.

Nutrition Research Leaves Unanswered Questions

Sugar.jpg In "Unexpected Honey Study Shows Woes of Nutrition Research," an article in the New York Times, author Aaron Carroll discusses why so we still have lingering questions about so many of the current claims about nutrition. Carroll discusses a study that contradicts a belief that many people currently have: that natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup are better for you than created sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.

However, as Carroll points out, the study that caused the fuss had some methodical problems: for example, the study only involved 55 people, and only followed those people for 2 weeks. Is that enough data upon which to base large lifestyle changes? The article also includes links to similar articles Carroll has published on weight loss, healthy foods and exercise, all of which are interesting reads.

Want to think through what questions you should be asking after reading scientific research articles, so that you're not naively believing certain research? Check out How to Read and Critique a Scientific Research Article from our library collection.

Image Credit: Romain Behar, Sugars; clockwise from top left: White refined, unrefined, brown, unprocessed cane.
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What Do You Wish You Would Have Known?

What do you wish you would have known about the library when it started?

Here are four current COD students sharing tips with our new (and familiar) students.

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Mohammad tells us that the library is a great place to meet up with students of other majors.
Danielle.PNGDanielle wishes she would have known more about the Group Study rooms.
Taylor 2.PNGTaylor wishes she had known how printing works and that reference librarians are approachable. ethan2.PNG
Ethan wishes he would have started by talking with a librarian to learn more about the library.

Have questions about any of these tips? Stop by the library or chat with us or email us.

Is your tip not mentioned here? If so, comment on the library's Facebook page to tell us what other new students should know about the library.

How Do Celebrity Scientists Change Public Debates About Science?

Curious about how scientists actually feel about the well-known (celebrity) scientists who regularly engage in scientific debates? Check out “Responding To Richard: Celebrity And (Mis)Representation Of Science” by David Johnson, Elaine Howard Ecklund, Di Di, and Kirstin R. W. Matthews, published in 2016 in Public Understanding of Science.

The article authors interviewed 48 other scientists about their perceptions of Richard Dawkins, and find that opinions were mixed: while some believed that he asserted science’s role in public debates, others had trouble with what they saw as his misrepresentation of science.

You can read the full article here.

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Thinking Scientifically

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Fake news is something we’re all thinking about at the moment, but it doesn’t start or stop with just political news. A Survival Guide To The Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits Of Mind, one of the newest books in the library collection, has chapters discussing how to read graphs, what probability means, and practice of the scientific thinking generally. Want to know if you're consuming fake news? Knowing when you're looking at problematic data or logic can help you to make that distinction. The book has gotten great reviews so far--check it out!

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Waist Deep in Information

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If you are looking at Facebook, following Twitter, watching the news, reading the paper, or otherwise engaging in the world, you're probably feeling a bit inundated information-wise. And while it's one thing to sort through the tidal wave for your own purposes, it's another thing entirely when you need information to shape an argument or informed position.

Whether you're talking to friends, writing a paper or presenting a speech, you need to be informed about your information. Take a look at the Library's Source Evaluation guide for resources that can help you check facts, escape the filter bubble, discern fake news from facts, and evaluate sources regardless of format.

Read with Skepticism

From Scientific American, this short article discusses the importance of skepticism when reading our news. It is important to remember that we, as the readers, must be diligent and make attempts at evaluating the information we find - all the time. Algorithms can only help us so far in combating false or misleading information. If we rely too heavily on algorithms, those creating algorithms ultimately start to decide what is real or fake.

The Ultimate Cure for the Fake-News Epidemic Will Be More Skeptical Readers

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-ultimate-cure-for-the-fake-news-epidemic-will-be-more-skeptical-readers/

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Fact Checking President Trump's Tweets

TwitterBird.pngThe Washington Post has developed fact-checking extensions for both Google Chrome and Firefox. Both tools provide in-Twitter context to POTUS tweets along with links to articles that can further illuminate claims sent from Trump's account.

Learn more and find links to download the extensions:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/16/now-you-can-fa...

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Welcome Back from the Library

Group staff photoWelcome to spring semester 2017! The COD Library extends a warm welcome to our entire community.

We hope you had a refreshing break and we look forward to serving you this semester in a welcoming and supportive space. Wishing you a productive, engaging, and rewarding semester.

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