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Capstone Project

by Vira Gryaznova, Dec 31, 2021

Fake News course presentation

Project Context

The purpose of this course is to increase the level of recognition of fake news by its participants, giving them an understanding of the basic fake news signs and explaining to them some cognitive biases and psychological mechanisms being used to spread such messages. Another point covered by the course is the importance of proper evaluation of the worth of user data, which can be collected through interactions with seemingly innocent messages and then used to further users' segmentation and targeted spread of fake news. It is assumed that the result of this course should be a change of the participant's behavior in social networks (namely, ignoring various "unhealthy" messages, like fakes or financial and data scams), and ideally also further dissemination of knowledge gained by them during the course. Thus, the network of resistance to the spread of fake news will be able to expand.

Learning Requirements

Target Audience is adults / young adults who are using social media platforms and want to become more literate on the fake news problem. The course is held fully online. All the course materials are presented in English.

Course Objectives

  • Describe common cognitive biases that influence a person being subjected to fake news.

  • Identify fake news by specified criteria, including recognition of the emotional hooking.

  • Evaluate properly the worth of user data that can be collected through interactions with messages on social networks.

  • Compose recommendations for reasonable online behavior regarding media literacy, especially on social networks.

 

Detailed Content Outline

Week 1. Cognitive Biases and Emotional Hooks

This week we will review some cognitive biases, systematic errors of the human mind and reflect on the role of our emotions in the fake news spreading problem.

Learning Outcome for Week 1:
Describe common cognitive biases that influence a person being subjected to fake news.

Week 2. A Fact or a Fake?

This week is the core of the whole course. We will talk about typical features of fake news and overview some examples. Fake-Check Flower from Ukraine and CRAAP Test will become our tools for fakes recognition. Also, we will consider the reasons for fake news wide-spreading.

Learning Outcome for Week 2:
Identify fake news by specified criteria, including recognition of the emotional hooking.

 

Week 3. The Real Value of User Data

This week we will investigate the real value of user data (which could be collected through online interactions), both from the good and from the bad side.

Learning Outcome for Week 3:

Evaluate properly the worth of user data that can be collected through interactions with messages on social networks.

In the Final Assignment, a participant should develop own recommendations for best practices of being a media literate user of social networks.

Summary of course evaluation

Here is filled out PDF for OSCQR Course Design:

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