Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 10, No 1 (2016)

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Empowering Students to Make Sense of an Information Saturated World: The Evolution of Information Searching and Analysis

James H. Wittebols

Abstract


How well students conduct research online is an increasing concern for educators at all levels but especially higher education. The paper describes the evolution of a course that grew from a unit within a course to a whole course that examines confirmation bias, information searching and the political economy of information as keys to becoming more information and media literate. After a key assignment in which students assess their own tendency to engage in confirmation bias, students choose a social justice issue to investigate across web, news and academic research resources. Designed to build good analytical skills in assessing the trustworthiness of a variety of sources of information, the course empowers students as researchers, citizens and consumers.

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