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14: Assignment Resources for Instructors

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    100048
  • Using Crash Course: Navigating Digital Information for Class Discussions

    This excellent series provides concise, credible information to help students learn to navigate and evaluate digital information. I used every video in the 10-part series for discussion assignments. Sometimes, I utilized Studio in Canvas to allow students to comment directly on the video. Other times, there were specific prompts to help students practice what they had learned from the video.

    The following Discussion Prompts are available for your use.

    All Class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #1

    One of my favorite authors, John Green, along with his brother, Hank, started an educational YouTube series several years ago called Crash Course. In one of the newest additions to the series, they're tackling digital information and I think it has some great tie-ins to this course. We'll be watching several videos over upcoming weeks.

    I am utilizing a tool that allows you to comment directly in the video. When something seems interesting or makes you think, post a comment. Your classmates can comment on your comments as well.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to get you to think more deeply about how we are consuming information. This discussion isn't directly tied to a unit outcome, but is a good introduction to the series, which will become more relevant as we move forward.

    What to Do:

    Because this video is basically an introduction to the series, there's no formal prompt or grading rubric - just comment in at least two places in the video. You can also add to or respond to your classmates comments, though that's not a requirement for this week's assignment. We'll get more into a discussion atmosphere in future videos in the series.

    Posting a Comment in the Video:

    To post a comment in the video, follow these steps:

    1. Watch the Video: Introduction to Crash Course Navigating Digital Information #1
    2. Pause the video when you’re ready to comment on the section
    3. Type your comment in the text box just below the video
    4. Click the blue Comment at xx:xx:xx box to post the comment

    Crash Course Digital Information #2: Facts about Fact Checkers

    In this second episode, John Green starts getting into the skills that are needed to evaluate information. Most of what he's talking about applies to the information you'll find on the open web - through a search engine or in a social media feed. We'll be digging deeper into evaluating sources in our next unit.

    I am utilizing a tool that allows you to comment directly in the video. When something seems interesting or makes you think, post a comment. Your classmates can comment on your comments as well.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to get you to think more deeply about how we are consuming information.This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    Students will be able to recognize the 5 Ws of source evaluation. (Note - we haven't actually reviewed this content yet, but this video is a nice introduction.)

    What to Do:

    There is no formal prompt or grading rubric - just comment in at least two places in the video. You can also add to or respond to your classmates comments, though that's not a requirement for this week's assignment. 

    Posting a Comment in the Video:

    To post a comment in the video, follow these steps:

    1. Watch the Video: Facts about Fact Checking
    2. Pause the video when you’re ready to comment on the section
    3. Type your comment in the text box just below the video
    4. Click the blue Comment at xx:xx:xx box to post the comment

    Crash Course Digital Information #3: Lateral Reading

    In this third episode, John Green brings up some additional questions to ask yourself when evaluating digital information. Most of what he's talking about applies to the information you'll find on the open web - through a search engine or in a social media feed, but because we gather so much information online for our own personal reasons, it's vital to think about these question and know how to spot things that seem questionable.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to get you to think more deeply about how we are consuming information.This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    Students will be able to apply evaluation techniques to determine a source's relevancy and credibility.

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday 

    1. Watch the video: Lateral Reading
    2. Use Google or another search engine to find a website that appears to support a cause you believe in. It could be related to a hobby, or a charity, or even a professional organization that's connected to your current or future career. Take some time to explore the website and do some lateral reading as described in the video. Then, contribute to the discussion:
      1. Provide the name of the website and paste the URL
      2. What did your lateral searching and reading reveal about who is behind the website? In other words, who made it and why?
      3. Where did you go to find the answer to b above?
      4. After practicing lateral reading to learn more about the website you chose, do you trust the information this organization is providing on its website? Why?

    Responses to Classmates due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Comment on the analysis of at least two of your classmates' posts. Did you use any of the same sources when practicing lateral reading to evaluate your websites?  Other observations?

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #4: Who Can You Trust

    In the fourth episode, John Green discusses the issue of trust. How can we trust the digital information we find? This has become a real problem in our information overloaded society. You'll see that he acknowledges that even well-respected sources can sometimes make mistakes, but it's how they deal with those mistakes that matters.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and critical reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcomes:

    Students will be able to

    • Apply evaluation techniques to determine a source's relevancy and credibility.
    • Demonstrate critical reading skills.

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Who Can You Trust?
    2. Use the source you identified as your "Good" web source this week and answer the questions John posed in the video:
      1. What is the author or authors' professional background?
      2. What is the process the source used to produce this information?
      3. What systems are in place to catch mistakes and correct them. If you find a specific written policy on the website, paste the URL.

    Responses to at least one Classmate due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Comment on the analysis of at least two of your classmates' posts. Do you agree they have found a "good" web source? Why?

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #5: Using Wikipedia

    In the fifth episode, John Green takes a dive into Wikipedia. I'll be honest, I was worried about what he would say in this video, but I have to say after watching it, this is exactly how I instruct students to use Wikipedia. It is a great place to start to get some basic information about a topic and a great jumping-off point. I'll be interested to read your responses to the discussion this week.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and critical reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcomes.

    Students will be able to:

    Apply evaluation techniques to determine a source's relevancy and credibility.

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Using Wikipedia
    2. Go to Wikipedia's main page
    3. You will see a linked menu in the left-hand column. Click the fifth item down from the top in that left column that says Random Article. If you get an article that is only a few sentences long, keep clicking the Random Article link until you get an article that has some substantial information. Explore and read the article and look at the list of references, then provide answers to these prompts:
      1. Tell your classmates what article you landed on, give a short summary (in your own words), and provide the URL.
      2. Is the article about something you're familiar with or is it about something new to you?
      3. Based on the references listed, how well-researched do you think this entry is?
      4. Click on the "Talk" tab that John described in the video - What kind of "talk" has taken place about this article?
      5. Finally - tell the rest of the class your experiences with the communication you get from other instructors about the use of Wikipedia. Has any instructor ever said it's OK to use it as a starting or jumping-off point?

    Responses to at least one Classmate due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Comment on at least two of your classmates' posts. Do you agree with their assessment of the Wikipedia entry they discussed? Why?

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #6: Evaluating Evidence

    In the sixth episode, John Green reinforces our lessons on evaluating information and the importance of recognizing fallacies in arguments by stressing that credible sources should base their claims on evidence - and that evidence should be coming from reliable sources.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and critical reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    • Apply  evaluation techniques to determine a source’s relevancy and credibility (unit 2).
    • Identify rhetorical appeals and fallacies in reasoning (unit 2).

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Evaluating Evidence. In the video, John talks about irrelevant evidence and misinformation - when someone tries to bring evidence into the conversation, but that evidence isn't relevant to the argument that's being made - meaning the logic is flawed (a fallacy). This happens all the time and can often be found in social media posts or comments.
    2. Do a Google search (or use a search engine of your choice), or search one of your social media feeds and find an example of someone using flawed logic. The topic can be anything you like, and the example might be someone's tweet or social media post, a comment on an article/post or a social media post, a blog, or an actual article.
    3.  In the Padlet space below, click the plus sign or double click anywhere to add your details. Follow these instructions and answer to these prompts:
      1. Title your post with your name and the name of the fallacy being used. If you need a refresher, look at last week's reading on fallacies, or look at the Your Logical Fallacies website.
      2. Click the chain link symbol and provide a link to your example.
      3. In the "Write-something" area tell your classmates why this is an example of the fallacy you identified.
        1. I've provided an example to get you started.

    Responses to at least two Classmates due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Add your name and comment on at least two of your classmates' posts in the comment area down below their Padlet post. Make sure you sign your name so you get credit for your response. Do you agree with their assessment of the use of irrelevant evidence or misinformation and the fallacy they've identified? Why?

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #7: Evaluating Photos & Video

    In the seventh episode, John Green takes on photos and video. These are perhaps the most effective tools for misinformation because we naturally want to believe what we can see. But, there are steps you can take to make sure what you're seeing is coming from a reliable source.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and lateral reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    • Apply  evaluation techniques to determine a source’s relevancy and credibility. (unit 2)
    • Use information responsibly (seeking accurate and reliable sources while respecting intellectual property).

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Evaluating Photos and Videos. In the video, John talks about doing a reverse image search using Google or TinEye. You're going to practice that. 
    2. Find an image that could be taken out of context if it was posted just by itself or find an example of an image on social media or some other web-based source that has fooled you. Provide answers to these prompts.
    3.  In the Padlet space below, click the plus sign or double click anywhere to add your details Follow these instructions and answer to these prompts:
      1. Title your post with your name.
      2. Click the picture of the chain link to paste the URL to the image/video/social media post, etc.
      3. Do a reverse image search using Google or TinEye to try to find the origin of the image. (John demonstrates how to do this in the video.) In the "Write Something" area Tell your classmates what information you found about the image?
      4. If it was an image that originally fooled you, tell your classmates about your experience and how you confirmed it wasn't real.

    Responses to at least two Classmates due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Add your name and comment on at least two of your classmates' posts in the comment area down below their Padlet post. Make sure you include your name so you get credit for your response. Have you had similar experiences?

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #8: Data & Infographics

    In the eighth episode, John Green takes a look at data and infographics. We know from his previous episodes that people often equate graphics with good sources, but we need to pay attention to the sources that were used to make those graphics and the way the information is presented.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and lateral reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    • Apply evaluation techniques to determine a source’s relevancy and credibility. (Unit 2)
    • Use information responsibly (seeking accurate and reliable sources while respecting intellectual property).

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Data and Infographics. In it, John talks about the importance of paying attention to source and context while viewing information graphics or data online. Once again, your lateral reading skills should be put into play for this discussion.
    2. Pick one of the following infographics and analyze it using the prompts:
    1. Tell your classmates which infographic you picked and provide a link.
    2. Is the data accurate and relevant? 
    3. Does the information include any fallacies in logic? If yes, what kind?
    4. Is the source used for the graphic reliable?
    5. Is the information presented in an honest way?

    Responses to at least two Classmates due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Respond to at least two classmates who picked different infographics.

      1. Do you support their findings? Why?

    All Class Discussion - Crash Course Digital Information #9: Click Restraint

    In episode nine, John Green discusses the concept of click restraint - restraining from the urge to click on one of the first few results in your internet search. This episode didn't lend itself for specific tasks, so instead, I'm utilizing the tool that allows you to comment directly in the video.

    When something seems interesting or makes you think, post a comment. Your classmates can comment on your comments as well.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue thinking about evaluation and lateral reading. This video and commenting is related to the following unit learning outcomes:

    Students will be able to:

    • Use information responsibly (seeking accurate and reliable sources while respecting intellectual property).
    • Apply evaluation techniques to determine a source's relevancy and credibility (Unit 2).

    What to Do:

    Video comments due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    Because this video didn't lend itself to practicing a specific task, there's no formal prompt or grading rubric - just comment in at least two places in the video. You can also add to or respond to your classmates comments, though that's not a requirement for this week's assignment.

    Posting a Comment in the Video:

    To post a comment in the video, follow these steps:

    1. Watch the Video: Click Restraint
    2. Pause the video when you want to comment on something he says
    3. Type your comment in the text box just below the video
    4. Click the blue Comment at xx:xx:xx box to post the comment

    All-class Discussion: Crash Course Digital Information #10: Social Media

    In this last episode, John Green takes on social media. Some of the concepts he talks about were introduced last week, including filter bubbles and confirmation bias.

    Goal

    The goal of this assignment is to continue practicing evaluation and lateral reading skills. This discussion is related to the following unit learning outcome:

    • Apply evaluation techniques to determine a source's relevancy and credibility (Unit 2).
    • Use information responsibly (seeking accurate and reliable sources while respecting intellectual property) (Unit 4).

    What to Do:

    Watch Video and Initial Discussion Post due by 11:59 pm Sunday

    1. Watch the video: Social Media. Think about the "gatekeepers" of social media - as John mentions, there are no filters in what is posted. Filtering might be happening after things are posted - but not before a small group of people has already seen it. You must also remember the importance of using lateral reading skills before reposting information from a friend or followed source. Think of these things as you formulate your original post.
    2. Think of a time when a friend, family member, or someone you follow shared fake or misleading information on social media. Follow these prompts:

     

    1. Describe the misinformation and share a link to the source if you can find it.
    2. Did you respond to the person who posted it? If not, why? If you did, how did you respond?

    Responses to at least two Classmates due by 11:59 pm Monday

    1. Respond to at least two classmates.

      1. Look at the story they relayed. If they didn't respond, give them an example of how one might respond to a post like that. If they did respond, are there any ways you think their response could have been more effective? Explain in detail.

    CC BY-NC logoThis supplementary material written by Andi Adkins Pogue and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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